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Credit Card Use In A Cashless India Set To Surge

Credit Card Usage in a Cashless India Set To Surge

Get Some Plastic In Your Pocket To Go Cashless

Cashless India Credit Cards SurgeDemonetisation sure has hit the country hard. With liquid cash being largely unavailable, the average Indian has no other option but to resort to credit or debit card usage as a means for daily expenses. As queues lengthen at ATMs and the average Indian squabbles with various bank personnel for non-payment of hard cash, more and more people are realizing the importance of credit cards.

Popularity of Credit Cards

However, before demonetisation also, it was clearly observed that even though the economy was sluggish, the Indian credit card segment was posting remarkable growth. According to published statistics, between the 2007-08 and 2012-13 fiscal years, the Indian credit card base has risen from around 150 million to the whopping 400-million mark!

There has, moreover, been an impressive growth in the total value and volume of transactions during this period. Total spends on credit card in terms of real value doubled to Rs 1.23 lakh crore from 2007-08 to 2012-13.

Similarly, total debit card spending has gone up by 6 times a massive Rs 74,400 crore in the same period. The population of card processing terminals too had doubled (around 9.5 lakhs) during this period of 5 years.

Some Of The More Popular Cards Are

The change in trend

The remarkable growth recorded in the electronic cards segment isn’t just a direct reflection of upbeat consumption trends in India. Rather, it reflects a greater shift – India is slowly changing itself from cash to an electronic, plastic or even cashless economy.

According to figures published by the RBI, India currently has 19 million credit card users. The figure may seem minuscule compared to the country’s vast population. Nevertheless, it is growing at a constant rate.

Credit cards usage

The figures speak for themselves.

MasterCard notes that 75% of credit card transactions are confined to the leading 20 Indian cities. New Delhi and Mumbai along with their suburbs alone account for 43% of all credit card transactions done nationally.

Moreover, credit cards dominate the discretionary category while debit cards are more frequently used for routine expenses. With online shopping catching on, nearly 30% of online spending is done through credit cards.

Change in credit card policies

The bottom line is that the credit card concept has evolved structurally over the last few years. Banks are lowering their spend shares in their credit card businesses. For instance, lifetime free cards are being gradually phased out.

Annual fees ranging from Rs 500 — Rs 1.25 lakhs have been imposed on most cards, and the focus is more on quality customers than quantity. Rewards and incentives have been restructured accordingly.

However, the rise of online shopping and upbeat sales of tablets and smartphones is expected to sustain the growing momentum in credit card transactions. Moreover, new safety measures are ensuring customer protection both online and offline, and this too will go a long way in enhancing credit card usage in the country.

There has never been a better time to begin using a credit card if you are not already. The benefits and security are something any smart consumer should be taking advantage of. Find a card that fits you and run with it in the new cashless economy, you will not be the only one.

Soubhik Chakrabarti

About Soubhik Chakrabarti

Graduated from one of the top National Law Universities in the country, Soubhik is an entrepreneur at heart. He owns www.icytales.com and juggles between different client projects successfully. When he isn't doing the legal stuff, you would find him writing content - you can tell him your needs at [email protected]

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