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New credit card users rise post demonetisation; SBI issues record cards in December

Economic Times:  January, 2017

Mumbai: The second largest card issuer in the country SBI card has seen a significant rise in new card issuances post demonetization. In the month of the December alone SBI added 1.15 lakh new credit card users and its total card issuance tally has now reached 47.5 lakh. “Demonetisation has given the card business a leg up the increase in transactions has been exponential and we believe if we continue to put more and more transactions on the electronic platform then it will bode quite well for the card business,” said Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI. “After 9th November we are aware that there has been a change in the way people do their financial transactions more and more transactions are happening on the digital platform.”

According to RBI data till October, HDFC Bank had issued 8.3 million credit cards, while SBI Card had issued 4.1 million credit cards. Likewise ICICI Bank which is the third largest player in the credit card market had issued 4.06 million credit cards; Axis Bank had issued 2.89 million credit cards.

Prior to demonetization SBI Card which holds 15% of the total credit card market added 85000 credit card users on a monthly basis this number was around 65000 card additions per month in 2015. The average spends on SBI cards have also increased by 25-30 per cent post demonetization. SBI Card has also launched a co-branded credit card with Future Groups fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space.

"Since demonetisation card transactions have gone up to 85 per cent from 61 per cent in Central. We are looking forward to much more," Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said here. "We are targeting revenue of Rs 3,500 crore for 2017-18, and are adding 16 more stores next year," he added.

The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT+ Cards offer an accelerated reward points structure, where cardholders earn 20 reward points for every Rs 100 spent in Central stores.

Dining and entertainment spends earn the cardholder 10 points per Rs 100 spent, while all other categories earn them 2 reward points per Rs 100. It also offers up to Rs 5,000 to cardholders.