Major players entered the Indian Plastic Money – Credit / Debit Card race only in 2002-03, even though the industry began as early as 1992. The first leg of growth took place during 2003-08. The introduction of lifetime free cards, coupled with an absence of credit bureaus, had dire consequences that played out during the global financial crisis. The industry has evolved today and the learnings of the past have paved the way for the next leg of growth, which is taking place right now.
Credit Card penetration in India is still extremely low at ~4-5% and one expects a few more years of strong growth in card additions. Credit Cards have growth ~3X in the past three years to ~46 mn while debit cards have grown even more rapidly at a ~48% CAGR to ~900 mn, the latter