In October 2017, Debit cards increased to 826.3 million with 6.54 million new cardholders, while a total of 33.87 million credit cards were in operation with addition of 0.5 million , according to the Reserve Bank of India. Between October 2016 and October 2017, India added some 6.53 million credit cards and added 87.02 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 February, both debit card and credit card usage have been range-bound. In June 2017, debit cards were down by 86.2 million to 793.83 million, shaving off most of the increase that demonetization brought in.
Number of transactions using credit cards grew by 38.8% year on year, while it rose by 98% for debit cards for the 12 month period ending October 2017. In October, total number of transactions through credit cards were 123.4 million while the figure for debit cards was 278.4 million.
Total amount transacted through credit cards — which was Rs 41,939 crore in October 2017 — increased by 40% in the one year period ending October 2017. Amount transacted through debit cards increased by 86% during the same time. In October 2017, Rs 40,870 crore were transacted through debit cards. Note in the chart above that though the amount transacted using debit cards had surpassed credit cards in November 2016, we’re in a situation where amount transacted using credit cards might surpass debit cards again.
Total amount transacted through credit cards went up by Rs 4,474 crore in October 2017 while amount transacted through debit cards also raised by Rs 4,240 crore.
Average amount transacted per transaction using credit cards — which is an indication of how much amount people are willing to spend in one transaction — increased only 1% between October 2016 and October 2017. For debit cards, it declined by 6% during the same time period.