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Banks add 4.3 Million credit cards and 69.6 Million debit cards during pandemic: RBI Data

Banks issued 4.3 million new credit cards and 69.6 million debit cards between April 2020 and March 2021, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India. The total number of credit cards stood at 62 million as of March 2021, whereas the number of debit cards stood at 898.2 million.

While the banks added 401,904 credit cards between February and March 2021, they added nearly 4.2 million debit cards in the same period.

The number of transactions done using credit cards at PoS terminals (or swipe machines) grew by 14.9% YoY. This number increased by 4.8% YoY for debit cards in March 2021. The total number of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions done via credit cards was 189.2 million, while the figure for debit cards was 380.5 million in March 2021.

The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals — Rs 72,382 crore in March 2021 — increased by 42.8% on an annual basis. The amount transacted using PoS terminals through debit cards went up by 40.3% YoY to Rs 66,829 crore in March 2021.

In March 2021, the value of credit card transactions 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 grew by Rs 12,279 crore in March 2021, while the amount transacted through debit cards increased by Rs 7,795 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 24.3% between April 2020 and March 2021. For debit cards, it grew 33.9% during the same period.

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