In April 2020, the number of debit cards stood at 829.4 million, an increase of 800,000 cards over March 2020. At the same time, a total of 57.4 million credit cards were in operation, losing 300,000 cardholders over March 2020, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Between May 2019 and April 2020, India added some 9.4 million credit cards and lost over 30.9 million debit cards.
The number of transactions done using credit cards at PoS terminals (or swipe machines) declined by 53.8% YoY, while it decreased by 48.9% YoY for debit cards for the 12-month period ending April 2020. In April 2020, the total number of PoS transactions through credit cards was 77.1 million, while the figure for debit cards was 208.3 million.
Total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals — which was Rs 20,858 crore in April 2020 — decreased by 63.8% in the 12-month period ending April 2020. The amount transacted using PoS terminals through debit cards went down by 58.2% during the same time. In April 2020, Rs 22,998 crore was transacted through debit cards at PoS terminals.
In April 2020, credit card transaction amounts were lower than those of the debit card transaction amounts. Note that in the chart above, the amount transacted using debit cards had surpassed amount transacted using credit cards in November 2016. January 2018 onward, the amount transacted via credit cards and debit cards were nearly the same.
The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals declined by Rs 29,838 crore in April 2020, while the amount transacted through debit cards decreased by Rs 24,648 crore.
At PoS terminals, the average amount transacted per transaction using credit cards — which is an indication of the amount people are willing to spend in one transaction — decreased 21.7% between May 2019 and April 2020. For debit cards, it declined 18.1% during the same period.