Not everyone has the time to go through the tedious process of applying for a credit card. The standard procedure involves submitting an application along with know-your-customer documentation and getting a visit for a physical verification. Then there’s the waiting for the application to be processed and card to be finally delivered to your doorstep.

It could take anywhere from one to three weeks before you even have an idea of whether or not your application has been accepted and you will get the card for sure.

For those unwilling to wait it out, or if you need a credit line to make a speedy big-ticket purchase – that sale won’t last forever – here’s your answer.

Citibank is popularising being issued a credit card within two hours of submitting an application. The only hitch at the moment is that it’s so far limited to the metropolitan cities of Mumbai and Bangalore. But according to people in-the-know about the programme, a rollout at branches in other cities − as well as other banks − is slated to take place in the near future.

Win-win situation

For customers, this is a win-win situation, as they receive an immediate communication on their eligibility for a credit card. They also receive the card and can start using it within hours of application.

Presently, the instant credit card issuance facility is only available at the bank’s branches at Phoenix Mills, Mumbai, and MG Road, Bangalore. The procedure for applying for a card is simple.

You have to fill in an online application at the branch and submit an ID proof and address proof, besides a salary slip and photo identification proof, at the appropriate counter. Subsequently, the application will be submitted for a credit check based on CIBIL scoring as well as other parameters.

If it all checks out and an applicant qualifies, the card request is sent to a card management system, following which a personalised, embossed card is created and handed over to the customer.

From the first step to the last, the time taken for the entire process is one to two hours. According to Muge Yuzuak, Head of Cards and Personal Loans, Citibank India, “There is no additional documentation required to avail of a credit card through Citibank’s instant credit card issuance process. Citibank follows all the same background checks required for all credit cards in the industry.”

It does help if you carry a photocopy of your existing credit cards, however, as this might secure you a higher credit limit. Also, make note that while you can withdraw cash using such cards, you will only receive the PIN for your card in the mail.

Checks and balances

The biggest benefit is, of course, the minimal hassles involved in being issued a card. The other benefit is that this card is identical to a regular credit card in all aspects. The instant credit card issuance service is also not limited to Citibank customers -- anyone can submit an application for it.

However, the bank does monitor usage of such instantly issued credit cards in the first three months after issuance to ensure that it’s being utilised responsibly. Failing this, the card can be cancelled.