Money & Banking

ICICI Bank leads in credit card issuances

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on June 17, 2021

The bank has added over 8.15 lakh new credit card customers

Private sector lender ICICI Bank seems to be turning into the market leader in terms of acquiring credit card customers.

The bank has added over 8.15 lakh new credit card customers between January and April this year.

This coincides with the temporary halt on acquisition of credit card customers on HDFC Bank by the Reserve Bank of India in December last year.

According to the latest RBI data, ICICI Bank had 1.07 crore credit card customers by April end this year, adding 1.42 lakh customers over March.

The bank has the third largest credit card base and has been making additions on a monthly basis.

HDFC Bank continues to have the largest credit card customer base with 1.49 crore outstanding credit cards as on April 30, 2021.

But it has seen a decline of 3.8 lakh credit card customers since December 2020, when it had 1.53 crore outstanding cards.

State Bank of India has the second largest credit card base with 1.19 crore outstanding cards by April end this year. It has added 1.05 lakh new customers since December 2020.

Meanwhile, Citigroup which has announced plans to exit its consumer banking operations in India, has also registered a decline in its credit card base. It has 26.21 lakh credit cards outstanding as on April 30, 2021 versus 26.94 lakh as on December 31, 2020.

Private sector Axis Bank has 72.01 lakh credit cards in force by April end this year as against 68.72 lakh in December 2020.

However, with the economic uncertainty following the second Covid wave, analysts expect banks to have become more cautious in terms of credit card issuances.

“Given the challenges posed by Covid 2.0, we expect the spends, new sourcing, and business volumes to remain impacted in the near term. However, we believe that with Citi Bank’s exit from the credit cards business and domestic corporate loan cycle yet to pick up, credit cards will remain a growth avenue, especially for the major players such as SBI Cards, ICICI Bank further strengthening the position of such domestic players in this space,” said a report by Axis Securities last month.

Published on June 17, 2021

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