Credit cards continue to see strong traction in February with outstanding credit cards at 7.17 crore, an addition of 14.5 lakh new cards from 7.02 crore credit cards in January, reported Business Line.
On a year-on-year basis from 6.16 crore cards in February 2021, there was 16.3 per cent growth in the number of credit cards, the highest in 21 months.
Axis Bank was the largest issuer of credit cards last month, which added 2.47 lakh new credit cards to take its total count to a little over 86 lakh cards. HDFC Bank maintained its position as the market leader with 1.62 crore outstanding credit cards in February, adding 2.27 lakh new cards in the month. Other private sector lenders which saw good growth in credit card issuances include Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank and RBL Bank, says Business Line.
Most banks have been optimistic about their credit card portfolios and working to add more customers. Credit card spends also surged by 43 per cent year-on-year in February to ₹86,304.76 crore. However, it reported a two per cent decline when compared to ₹88,037.91 crore in January.
“Spends witnessed a modest traction led by constant moderation in new infections and rising share of ecommerce transactions, which will keep growth in spends buoyant,” said Motilal Oswal in a recent note.
“The banking system reported net additions of about 1.5 million credit cards in February 2022. This has taken its total credit card base to 71.7 million (16.3 per cent growth year-on-year; the highest in the past 21 months),” it said.
It added that monthly spends per card for the industry declined by four per cent month-on-month to about ₹12,000, closer to the one-year average of about Rs11,900 (higher than pre Covid levels).
Ticket size rose to about Rs4,600, while the number of transactions per card fell by six per cent month-on-month to 2.6, the note said.