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Debit Card transactions grew 140% year on year, in March 2017

Year on year, number of transactions using credit cards grew by 47.1%, and a staggering 140.2% for debit cards. In March, total number of credit card transactions were 106.22 million, while there were 271.17 million debit card transactions. Note how the growth in debit card usage has spiked post demonetization, while credit card usage is still grown steadily. In case of credit card usage, note how usage started trending upwards around October 2016, pre-demonetization. This is probably due to the festive season in India. One would expect usage to drop post the festive season, and return to levels lower than the festive season levels, but as is evident here, the number of credit card transactions in March 2017 were higher than in October and November 2016, although there was a sharp decline in card usage in January and February, before an apparent recovery.

By the end of March 2017, a total of 29.8 million credit cards and 854.9 million debit cards were in operation in India, according to the Reserve Bank of India. During the month, India added around 0.7 million credit cards, and 14.9 million debit cards. Notice how the number of debit cards added shot up in January 2017.

Total amount transacted using credit cards — which was Rs 32,887 crore in March 2017 — increased by 45% in the one year period as compared with March 2016. Amount transacted through debit cards increased by 165% during the same time. Note how, starting Number 2016, debit card usage overtook credit cards, owing to demonetization.

Total amount transacted through credit cards went up by Rs 4,439 crore in March 2017 while amount transacted through debit cards declined by Rs 144 crore.


Average amount transacted per transaction on credit cards — which is an indication of how much amount people are willing to spend in one transaction — increased by 1.47% between February 2017 and March 2017. For debit cards, it grew by 10.37% during the same time period.


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