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Credit card spends fall 11% in Nov

Credit card spending dropped 11 per cent sequentially in November at Rs 1.15 trillion, but topped Rs 1 trillion for the ninth month straight, data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed as the festive season ends and consumption activity slows down.

Year-on-year (YoY), spending was up 29 per cent.

Card spends have consistently topped the Rs 1 trillion mark, led by the rising share of e-commerce transactions.

Travel and hospitality spending has come back strongly after being subdued in the coronavirus pandemic, aiding growth in credit card spends, experts said.

Credit card spends touched an all-time high of Rs 1.29 trillion in October, driven by the festive season and consumption activity.

HDFC Bank saw a 13 per cent drop sequentially in its credit card spends value; ICICI Bank’s spends fell 15 per cent, and Axis Bank saw an 8 per cent drop. SBI Card witnessed an almost 10 per cent sequential drop in spends.

The banking industry added about 1.3 million cards, taking the total to 80.66 million as of November.

In October, the industry added about 1.66 million credit cards.

On average, the industry has been witnessing a net addition of over 1.5 million credit cards monthly as companies became aggressive in the unsecured lending business after the pandemic.

The progress excludes the two months when the industry saw a net reduction in credit cards as RBI’s norms kicked in.

The norms mandated card issuers to deactivate credit cards inactive for a year.

The net addition of cards in November was led by SBI Card with 388,438 cards, taking its base to 15.55 million.

HDFC Bank, the largest credit card issuer in the country, came second by adding 236,101 cards and taking its total to 16.78 million.

Axis Bank added 207,825 cards during this period, taking its card tally to 9.29 million.

ICICI Bank, on the other hand, saw a net reduction of 106,000 cards.

Its outstanding credit card base fell to 13.43 million.

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