This is the third in an ongoing series of reports looking at credit card use around the world. In this edition, we look at credit cards in India, but we’ll be spanning the globe in the coming weeks and months to feature other nations.
Credit card penetration
22 milion credit cards and 70 million debit cards as of January 2007.
Not yet hooked on plastic…
According to Visa research, only 28 percent of “affluent” Indians have credit cards, a fraction of the average around the world. As of 2006, credit cards accounted for just 1 percent of all purchases in India — one of the lowest percentages in the world. Plastic purchases totalled only $6 billion that year.
Interest rates are through the roof
The Washington Post says, “The lowest credit card interest rates hover around 20 percent [in India], and the average lending rate is 34 percent, which includes a 12 percent service tax on the interest.”
Cards and crime
“Most audacious cyber-crime in history”
Recently, an Indian hacker allegedly teamed with the Russian mafia to steal the identities of an estimated eight million people. Authorities said the losses surrounding it could total \xa33 billion and called it “the most audacious cyber-crime in history.”
A problem for Indian banks…
A recent survey on security at Indian financial institutions revealed that 30 percent of banks claimed to have been hit by identity theft — most commonly phishing scams — in the past year.
…That most aren’t urgently addressing
Still, the survey also said that “only one- third of respondent banks have a formal plan in place for creating customer awareness against online identity theft and financial frauds.”
Official tourism site
Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh
Location: Southern Asia between Burma and Pakistan (map)
Population: 1.15 billion (July 2008)
Area: 3.2 million sq km, 1.3 million sq mi
GDP: $2.989 trillion (2007)
Key exports: petroleum products, textiles, jewelry