Mumbai: The credit card segment in the country is estimated to have grown for the first time this fiscal after witnessing sluggishness for four years, says a report by the electronic transactions provider Atos Worldline.
"The credit cards segment in the country witnessed a growth this year after a four-year period of sluggishness," the report said, adding, there has been an uptick in issuance from both the private as well as state-run lenders.
The report estimates the credit card userbase will touch 19 million (1.9 crore) by this March, which saw the number hovering around the 18-million-mark, a far cry from the March, 2009 figure when it stood at peak of 25 million.
In the run-up to the crisis, many foreign and private banks were upbeat about the segment and aggressively issued cards.
However, with the post-Lehman fall crisis setting in, banks aggressive on their unsecured books started witnessing stress and there was caution exercised by them in issuing credit cards.
Foreign banks continue to be cautious and their market share is estimated to dip to 26 percent from 28 percent earlier, the report said, adding that HDFC Bank continues to be the market leader holding a third of the market, followed by ICICI Bank and SBI.
The number of debit cards will grow 17 percent to 327 million and the trend of banks adding up to 50 million cards per year is expected to continue, with the state-run banks holding the lion's share, it said.
However when it comes to the average size of transaction, it is Rs 3,100 for credit cards, which is nearly double of that of a debit card which is just Rs 1,600, the report said.
When it comes to the private banks-dominated point of sale (PoS) terminals and its growth, there has been some push in activity from the large public sector banks in leveraging their network to grow the merchants in FY'13, the report said.
The total number of PoS terminals is expected to rise to 8.58 lakh by March from the 6.61 lakh a year ago, with private sector banks holding 83 percent and PSU banks a poor distant with 6 percent share, it said, but adding the market share of public sector banks may grow in the coming years.