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Banks add 5.2 million new credit cards, 67 million debit cards during pandemic: RBI Data

Apart from a surge in cardholders, the data revealed that transaction amounts across several Point of Sale terminals also increased over the past few months.

In May 2021, the number of debit cards stood at 902.3 million and rose to 1.5 million debit cards over April 2021. A total of 62.4 million credit cards were in operation, which increased to 133,014 cardholders over April 2021, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India. Between June 2020 and May 2021, India added around 5.2 million credit cards and over 67 million debit cards.

The number of transactions done using credit cards at PoS terminals (or swipe machines) grew by 30.8% year-over-year (YoY). This number decreased by 1.4% YoY for debit cards in May 2021. The total number of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions done via credit cards was 134.9 million, while the figure for debit cards was 264.7 million.

The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals — Rs 54,846 crore in May 2021— increased by 70% in the 12-month period from May 2020. The amount transacted using PoS terminals through debit cards went up by 16% during the same time. In May 2021, Rs 43,683 crore was transacted through debit cards at PoS terminals.

In May 2021, credit card transaction amounts were higher than debit card transaction amounts. As indicated by the chart above, the amount transacted using debit cards had surpassed the amount transacted using credit cards in January 2021.

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The total amount transacted through credit cards at PoS terminals declined by Rs 4,304 crore in May 2021, while the amount transacted through debit cards decreased by Rs 12,395 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 30% between June 2020 and May 2021. For debit cards, it grew 18% during the same period.

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