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RBI Data Reveals: Credit Cards Breach 100 Million Mark in India

As of December 2023, India witnessed a surge in credit card usage, with the total number crossing the 100 million mark. This trend has been steadily growing over the past few years, fueled by both strategic bank initiatives and evolving consumer spending habits.

Growth Trajectory

  • In December 2023, the total number of outstanding credit cards reached 97.9 million, with a record addition of 1.9 million cards during the month alone.
  • Throughout 2023, 16.71 million credit cards were added, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s addition of 12.24 million cards.
  • Over the past five years, the number of credit cards in circulation has grown by nearly 77%, reaching 55.53 million in December 2019.

Drivers of Growth

  • The surge in credit card usage is propelled by a combination of sustained efforts from banks and changing consumer spending patterns.
  • Offers such as “zero-cost EMI” are enticing more consumers to opt for credit cards, driving the demand upwards.

Leading Players

  • HDFC Bank remains at the forefront with 19.81 million credit cards in circulation as of December 2023, followed closely by ICICI Bank, SBI Card, and Axis Bank.

Spending Trends

  • Credit card spending among Indians soared to approximately 1.65 trillion in December 2023, reflecting a rise in both point of sale (PoS) and e-commerce transactions.
  • While PoS transactions experienced a slight decline, e-commerce payments witnessed a significant increase.

Transaction Increases

  • Leading credit card issuers observed an uptick in transactions, with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank all reporting rises in transaction volumes.
  • However, SBI Card experienced a decrease in transactions compared to the previous month.

Year-on-Year Jump

  • Credit card transactions in December 2023 reported a substantial 32% year-on-year increase from the same period in 2022, indicating a robust expansion in the credit card market.

RBI Data Reveals: Credit Cards Breach 100 Million Mark in India_4.1