After dipping in April, credit card spends bounced back to touch a record high of ₹1.41 lakh crore in May 2023, surpassing the previous high of ₹1.37 lakh crore in March.

Spends were up 6 per cent in May after falling 3.3 per cent in the previous month, as per data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

As per the data, 64 per cent of the credit card spends during May were for e-commerce payments, and 36 per cent were for PoS (point-of-sale) transactions.

Of the top issuers, Axis Bank saw the highest increase in spends by 10.8 per cent to ₹17.302 crore during the month, followed by ICICI Bank which saw an increase of 8 per cent.

HDFC Bank continued to lead in terms of spends, which stood at ₹40,172 crore in May, an increase of 5.8 per cent, month-on-month (m-o-m). On the other hand, spends for SBI Card declined by 2 per cent.

Spends have now stayed over the ₹1 lakh-crore mark for the 15th consecutive month. Total credit cards spends in FY23 were ₹14.3 lakh crore, 47 per cent higher, year-on-year (y-o-y).

Card additions

The industry continued its steady growth rate in terms of card additions, net adding over 12 lakh credit cards in May. This took total cards-in-force to 8.8 crore, 1.4 per cent higher, m-o-m—the same as the m-o-m increase in April. Credit cards-in-force as of March 31 had stood at 8.5 crore, up 15.9 per cent for FY23.

Bank of America was the new entrant during the month, adding three new cards with total spends of ₹90,000.

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Despite the fall in spends, SBI Card led the increase in number of cards, with a net addition of 2.8 lakh cards during the month to a total of 1.7 crore cards at the end of May. It was followed by HDFC Bank, which saw a net addition of 2.4 lakh cards, maintaining its leadership position as an issuer with a total of 1.8 crore cards.

Axis Bank added 2 lakh cards during the month taking total cards to 1.2 crore cards, whereas ICICI Bank added 1 lakh cards to bring its total to 1.5 crore cards.