Credit Card Spends, Growth Remain Strong In Dec 2021

Credit card business momentum remained strong in December 2021, both in terms of card issuance as well as spends.

Overall, the number of credit cards issued has increased by 2.02 percent in December 2021 versus 1.84 percent month-on-month (MoM) in November 2021.

Spends increased by 5.26 percent MoM in December 2021 versus a decline of 11.6 percent MoM in November 2021

Spends per card increased by 3.18 percent MoM in December 2021 versus decline of 13.2 percent MoM in November 2021.

Spends are still lower than the festive month of October 2021; but card issue have been strong

The per card spend:

Strong momentum was seen for South Indian Bank (+33.9%MoM), Dhanlakshmi Bank (+16%MoM), AU Bank (+13.5%MoM), while also growing for Karur Vysya Bank, Federal Bank, SBM, IDFC Bank, ICICI couch, etc.

Industry-level growth was at 3.18 percent MoM on spends per card.

Those who saw lower than industry average spend per card include the likes of HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, YES Bank, while decline in spends per card was seen for City Union Bank, Bank Of Baroda, Indusind Bank, Bank of India, Kotak Mah Bank , etc.

Credit card is the most profitable business for any bank or lender. The interest rates are very high over there, at & above 30 percent, which makes it one of the most profitable business for any lender.

Credit cards form 6.85 percent of total cards issued by lenders ie debit card and credit card versus 6.75 percent in November 2021

Between September to November, average ticket size movement:



Market share movement: HDFC Bank continues to be the leader

HDFC Bank continued to be the leader in terms of market share in credit cards issued

SBI lost 10bps of mkt share MoM while ICICI Bank lost mkt share for 2nd month in a row

Upward momentum or lets say consistency in gaining market share continued for 6th month in a row for Axis Bank

Market share momentum

December 2021 vs November 2021 is as follows:

27 lenders lost mkt share MoM while 6 gained between 1-10bps

• Top mkt share gain was seen for Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, AU SFB, Yes Bank

• Top mkt share loss was seen for PNB, IDFC Bank, Union Bank, J&K Bank, SBI, Bank of India

Credit card market leader in India is HDFC Bank, while the highest rise in credit cards issued (From Sept’21 to Dec’2) was by HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank & SBI – the 4 of them had a share of 69.1 percent in the incremental cards issued in India.

Those who have lost credit card customers from Sptember 2021 to December 2021 include the likes of Standard Chartered Bank, American express, CITI Bank, J&K Bank, HSBC, etc

HDFC Bank continues to remain the dominant force in the market with market share of 22.97 percent followed by SBI at 19.09 and ICICI Bank at 17.92 percent. Top 4 players have a huge market share of 71.71 percent in the Indian credit card market. All others, ie, 29 lenders/banks, have market share of greater than 5.1 percent each

Interestingly, the top 4, have been losing their mkt share for 3rd month in a row!


Both card issuance and average ticket size have seen good growth in December 2021. However, with people not spending much due to third wave, January 2022 growth may see some hiccup. Can expect spends to bounce back from February 2022 as situation (on-ground) normalises and people return to their normal lives.

First Published: IST


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