Electronic credit card spending beat swipes by 76%


MUMBAI: Indians’ online credit card spending exceeds the value of in-store swipes by 76%. Data released by the RBI shows that Indians mostly use their credit cards online for payments, while debit cards are used more for physical stores. The RBI data provides for the first time a break in online payments compared to in-store payments, which explains the regulator’s concerns about the risks associated with online use.
According to March 2022 data, 7.3 crore credit card holders spent Rs 68,327 crore online vs. Rs 38,773 crore used to make payments in shops using card reading machines . In terms of number of transactions, there is not much difference between 11.1 crore offline credit card transactions and 11 crore online transactions.
Debit cards, however, tell a slightly different story. The 91.7 crore debit cards active in India were used for 20.8 crore transactions in stores and 11.9 crore transactions online. This means that around one in five debit cards was used for in-store payments and just over one in 10 was used for online payments. In terms of transaction value, Rs 40,831 crore was spent in stores, while Rs 22,687 crore was spent online.

Credit and debit card data released by the RBI for the month of March 2022 shows that banks increased their card base from 6.2 crore to 7.3 crore in 12 months. The addition of 1.1 crore resulted in an 18% growth in the card base. The highest addition came from ICICI Bank, which increased its card base by 22.5% to 1.3 crore cards. In terms of absolute growth, State Bank of India came in second by adding 19 lakh cards and registering a growth of 16% to 1.37 crores. Axis Bank increased its card base by 26% to 90 lakh cards.
In terms of card additions, HDFC Bank, the biggest player, ranked fourth due to an RBI ban on adding new customers for nearly eight months. This resulted in card base growth of just 10% to 1.65 crore. Kotak Mahindra saw the fastest growth in the top five by adding 7.8 lakh cards and growing its card base to 31.9 lakh, an increase of 32.6%. IDFC Bank, which launched its differential card product, managed to add 5.6 lakh cards, bringing its base to almost 8 lakh cards.
SBM Bank, which has successfully partnered with fintech companies, ranked in the top 10 with 5.6 lakh cards. Bank of Baroda added 4.6 lakh cards and ended the year with 11 lakh cardholders.
Foreign banks lost the most in FY22, led by American Express, which was barred by the RBI from onboarding new customers until it complied with storage standards Datas. Amex ended FY22 with 13.8 lakh cards, down 1.5 lakh users. Stanchart lost 1.3 lakh card users and ended the year with 13.4 lakh cards. Citibank lost 82,096 customers and ended the year with 25.5 lakh cards.

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