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Banks add 4.4 Mn credit cards and 71 Mn debit cards during pandemic: RBI Data

Banks issued 4.4 million new credit card and 71 million debit cards between March 2020 and February 2021, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India. The total number of credit cards stood at 61.6 million as of February 2021, while the number of debit cards stood at 894 million.


While the banks added nearly 550,000 credit cards between January and February 2021, they added nearly 6 million debit cards in the same period.



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Card Transactions Dip

The number of transactions done using credit cards at PoS terminals (or swipe machines) declined by 14.7% YoY. This number decreased by 19.3% YoY for debit cards in February 2021. The total number of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions done via credit cards was 161.6 million, while the figure for debit cards was 346.6 million in February 2021.


The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals — Rs 60,103 crore in February 2021 — decreased by 3.9% on an annual basis. The amount transacted using PoS terminals through debit cards went up by 2.1% YoY yo Rs 59,034 crore in February 2021.

In February 2021, credit card transaction amounts were higher than those of the debit card transaction amounts. Note that in the chart above, the amount transacted using debit cards had surpassed the amount transacted using credit cards in April 2020.

The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals declined by Rs 4,715 crore in February 2021, while the amount transacted through debit cards decreased by Rs 5,003 crore.

At PoS terminals, the average amount transacted per transaction using credit cards — an indication of how much people are willing to spend in one transaction — increased 12.7% between March 2020 and February 2021. For debit cards, it grew 26.5% during the same period.

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