Research and Statistics

Credit cards around the world: India


Our ongoing series heads to India for a look at credit card use and credit card statistics in one of the world’s fastest growing countries.

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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 report

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.

…But debt is still booming
Credit card debt increased 87 percent from May 2007 to May 2008, totalling roughly US$5.7 billion. It tripled from 2004 to 2007.

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.”

Local voices

Official tourism site

Top financial news sites
Financial Express
Economic Times

Indian financial blogs
Personal Finance in India
India Credit Card
India Economy Watch

Country info

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

Famous Indians:Spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi, president Jawaharlal Nehru, musician Ravi Shankar, actress Aishwarya Rai

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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