Money & Banking

ICICI Bank, SBI Cards see robust growth in credit cards

Mumbai | Updated on April 24, 2021

This concides with HDFC Bank temporarily halting the sourcing of new credit card customers

Private sector lenders, led by ICICI Bank and SBI Cards, have seen robust growth in credit card issuances between December 2020 and February 2021, coinciding with the temporary halt on HDFC Bank sourcing new cards.

Data with the Reserve Bank of India reveal that the outstanding credit cards of ICICI Bank stood at 1.03 crore as on February 28, 2021, registering a 4.68 per cent jump since December 2020 when it was at 99.1 lakh.

Outstanding credit cards of SBI Cards, too, grew 2.18 per cent to 1.17 crore as on February 28, 2021, from 1.14 crore as on December 31, 2020.

RBL Bank’s outstanding credit cards jumped 2.47 per cent to 28.9 lakh as of February-end 2021.

Meanwhile, Axis Bank’s outstanding credit cards grew 2.39 per cent in the same period to 70.36 lakh as on February 28, 2021, from 68.7 lakh at December-end 2020.

In contrast, outstanding credit cards of HDFC Bank fell marginally to 1.51 crore at February-end this year from 1.53 crore as on December 31, 2020.

HDFC Bank, however, continues to maintain its market leadership in the credit card segment.


Concerned by outages in its mobile and net banking services, the RBI had, on December 2 last year, directed HDFC Bank to temporarily halt the sourcing of new credit card customers as well as launches of digital business-generating activities planned under its proposed Digital 2.0 programme.

Despite the temporary stop, HDFC Bank’s credit card advances grew by 12.3 per cent to ₹64,674 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, against ₹57,575 crore in the fourth quarter of 2019-20.

“Within the credit card space, SBI and ICICI have been able to bite into the market share of HDFC Bank as the latter’s new card acquisition has been suspended by the RBI,” said a recent report by Emkay Financial Services, based on a call with Kaushik Mehta, Founder and CEO of RULoans Distributions.

There were a total of 6.16 crore outstanding credit cards as on February end this year compared to 6.03 crore at the end of December 2020.

The India Digital Payments Report 2020 by Worldline had revealed that 15 banks account for 95 per cent of credit cards issued in the country.

Published on April 23, 2021

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