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Mumbai: HDFC Bank has become the first bank to achieve a milestone of two crore credit cards in force, the company said in a statement. According to RBI data, there were 9.6 crore cards issued by banks, giving the private lender a market share of almost 21%. The bank said it has a 28.6% market share of credit cards spends as of 31st March 2023.

Incidentally, HDFC Bank was the last among the major banks to launch credit cards. While SBI launched its card business in 1997, ICICI Bank followed in 2000, while HDFC Bank launched its card business in 2001.

The bank began by focusing largely on its existing consumer base, built a large merchant acquisition business and consistently grew its portfolio even when other banks slowed down in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Citibank dominated the credit card business in India in the 90s. Foreign banks lost market share as private banks picked distribution nationwide. In 2022, Citibank sold its retail business, including credit cards, to Axis Bank.

‘This achievement reflects the enduring partnership between our Bank and the community we serve. Every issued card represents our commitment and our shared journey towards financial empowerment, and we are dedicated to continuing this legacy of excellence in banking services,” said Parag Rao a senior executive with HDFC Bank.

Private banks have a third of the credit card business in India, followed by public sector banks (12%) and foreign banks (2.5%). The top three banks, including State Bank of India (19.01%) and ICICI Bank Ltd (16.88%), collectively command a significant share of the market.

The top five banks (HDFC Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd) collectively hold approximately 76.11% of the market share, indicating a concentration of credit card business among a few major players.

RBL Bank Ltd and IndusInd Bank Ltd have a significant presence, with market shares of 5.15% and 2.77%, respectively. RBL’s issuance is dominated by its co-branded card with Bajaj Finance.

  • Published On Jan 24, 2024 at 05:53 PM IST

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