A recent report titled 'India Digital Payments Report' by Worldline has mentioned that, as of September, this year, the total number of cards in circulation stood at 985.35 million, which is a significant jump.
Jump in debit and credit card circulation
In this figure, 920.30 million were debit cards and 65.02 million were credit cards, up by 8.65% and 10.78%, Y-o-Y respectively. Significantly, credit card transactions volume and value in Q3 2021 stood at 557.24 million and Rs. 2.32 trillion, respectively.
Deepak Chandnani, Managing Director, Worldline South Asia & Middle East in the report said, "Despite the setbacks brought by Covid-19 over the past two years, digital payments continued its growth even in the rural pockets across the country. The PIDF status update published by RBI states that over 5.6 million physical and digital devices have been deployed across tier 3-6 centers in addition to north-eastern states as at end of September 2021."
Increased demands and growth of cashless transactions
The growth of debit cards and credit cards is indicating two folds dimensions, that Indians are showing increased demands in the economy, and cashless transactions in the country are rallying up gradually. In Q3 2021, 1.48 billion transactions were processed through debit cards while the value stood at Rs. 1.88 trillion. This has recorded a 43% increase in terms of volume, however, it was a marginal decline of 13% in terms of value against Q3 2020.
Over 14.27 million debit cards and about 2.21 million credit cards were added into the system in Q3 2021. Out of the total cards in circulation, debit cards accounted for 93% while credit cards represented a 7% market share.
Growth for e-commerce transactions
The report added, "The number of debit card transactions processed at POS terminals was 607.42 million while e-commerce transactions were 440.96 million. In terms of value, Rs. 1.16 trillion was processed at POS terminals while Rs. 720.12 billion was processed on e-commerce transactions. The number of credit card transactions processed at POS terminals was 284.64 million while e-commerce transactions were 272.59 million. In terms of value, Rs. 952.10 billion was processed at POS terminals and Rs. 1.37 trillion was processed at e-commerce transactions." This data shows that the largest utilization of debit cards and credit cards has been done for e-commerce transactions.
The card tokenization services, initiated by the RBI, this September were extended to laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches, bands, etc.), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, etc., along with mobile phones and tablets. This is expected to help the card transactions to grow in the country, further. According to the RBI, the changes "are expected to reinforce the safety and security of card data while continuing the convenience in card transactions." With better security, transactions can be safer, and usage of debit cards and credit cards can increase.