Indians embrace Digital Payments – JAM Pays Off

The Government of India’s push for digital transactions which started from 2016 using JAM trinity (JanDhan, Aadhar and Mobile) is helping in changing the consumer preference structurally. This structural shift in the consumer preference will also help the credit card industry going forward.

Credit Card outstanding in India is just ~6% of debit card spends and this has not improved meaningfully in recent times. If we look at the composition of digital transaction over the years, the share of debit products (UPI, PPI-PrePaid Instruments and debit cards) have gone up due to the advent of UPI at the expense of credit card products.

The share of credit card in volume / value terms have come down from 20%/44% in FY17 to 10%/21% in FY20. All the fall of Credit Card is captured by UPI – Digital Wallets / Mobile Apps.

After growing at a CAGR of 23% over FY15-18, per card spend seems to have stagnated between FY18 and FY20 for SBI. Similar trends have been observed at the industry level where per card spends have stagnated in recent times.

What’s the reason behind stagnating per card spends? Is it because of incremental growth in cards coming from younger customers / Tier-3-4 cities where spending power is lower? Or is it the advent of FinTech companies financing consumers aspiration for White Goods through Digital Loans and Spot Approval at the Retailers doorstep ? Disruption in the way consumers borrow is inevitable and Credit Card companies must be wary about the same.

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