Credit card count dips by 23L on RBI rule

The total number of credit cards declined by 22.6 lakh on a net basis in August this year to 7.8 crore from over 8 crore in the previous month due to a change in the RBI’s regulation that required lenders to deactivate cards that have not been in use for a year. The largest declines were recorded by HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

While the drop in numbers could be attributed to the RBI’s directive, the industry also saw a month-on-month decline in total spending in August – down 3% from July. “This is largely on account of implementation of new RBI norms. This should impact other players (like SBI Card and ICICI Bank) as well with a lag,” said Suresh Ganapathy, head of financial research at Macquarie Capital.

According to data released by the RBI, total credit card spending in shops (point of sale terminals) stood at Rs 44,943 crore in August as compared to Rs 41,766 crore in July. However, card spending online fell to Rs 67,414 crore in August compared to Rs 74,089 crore in the previous month.

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