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India has 29.1M credit cards, 840M debit cards in February 2017


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The number of credit and debit cards in India is steadily increasing but debit card issuance outgrew credit cars. In February 2017, a total of 29.1 million credit cards and 840 million debit cards were in operation, according to the Reserve Bank of India.


Between February 2016 and February 2017, India added some 0.25 million credit cards and added 22.02 million debit cards. Card usage spiked during the months of November, December and January following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. This forced cardholders to use them. But since January, card usage has been tapering.


1. Number of transactions on credit cards grew by 41% while it rose by 140% for debit cards for the year ending February 2017. In February, total number of transactions through credit cards were 94.67 million while the figure for debit cards was 251.75 million.


2. Average amount transacted per transaction on credit cards — which is an indication of how much amount people are willing to spend in one transaction — decreased by 2.3% between February 2016 and February 2017. For debit cards, it grew by 15.36% during the same time period.

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3. Total amount transacted through credit cards — which was Rs 28,448 crore in February 2017 — increased by 38% in the one year period ending February 2017. Amount transacted through debit cards increased by 177% during the same time. In February 2017, Rs 35,843 crore were transacted through debit cards.


4. Total amount transacted through credit cards went down by Rs 4,243 crore in February 2017 while amount transacted through debit cards declined by Rs 13,161 crore.

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