In November 2017, the number of debit cards in India increased to 832.9 million with 6.59 million new cardholders, while a total of 34.78 million credit cards were in operation with the addition of 0.9 million, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Between November 2016 and November 2017, India added some 6.99 million credit cards and 88.31 million debit cards. However, month on month, both the number of transactions and the amount transactions declined. If the trajectory of digital payments was supposed to be upwards, debit and credit cards don’t really reflect that.
Card usage spiked remained flat during November, a contrast from November last year when demonetization was announced. 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 18% year on year, while it rose by 15% for debit cards for the 12 month period ending November 2017. In November, total number of transactions through credit cards were 115.72 million while the figure for debit cards was 270.96 million.
Total amount transacted through credit cards — which was Rs 39,260 crore in November 2017 — increased by 48% in the one year period ending November 2017. Amount transacted through debit cards increased by only 14% during the same time. In November 2017, Rs 36,519 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, the situation is back to where it was prior to demonetization: credit cards surpassed debit cards in August.
Total amount transacted through credit cards went down by Rs 2,679 crore in November 2017 while amount transacted through debit cards also declined by Rs 4,350 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 25% between November 2016 and November 2017. For debit cards, it declined by 1% during the same time period.