Banks issued 63 percent higher debit cards in 2019 than in 2015: RBI Data

Debit Card

Digital India has brought a visible amount of change in the usage of debit cards and as a result of this boost,  the number of outstanding debit cards issued by Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Banks (PB), Foreign Banks (FB), Small Finance Banks (SFB) and Payment Banks (PB) has increased by 63 percent during the last five years, says the Union Finance Ministry in the parliament quoting data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Debit Card

Replying to a question during a parliamentary session, the Minister of state in the Ministry of Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said that in the last five years, starting from March 2015, the total number of outstanding debit cards issued by banks grew from 55, 34, 51,553 to 90, 58, and 13,162 in March 2019.


Month/Year No. of outstanding debit cards
Mar-15 55,34,51,553
Mar-16 66,15,36,018
Mar-17 77,16,49,172
Mar-18 86,10,76,000
Mar-19 90,58,13,162


According to the RBI, India stands second in the queue only to China in terms of the number of debit cards issued. Further, the volume of debit and credit card payments grew by a CAGR of 40 percent from 880 million in 2012 to 4799 million transactions in 2017.

As reported by the central bank, the Card (debit and credit) payment has replaced the use of cash at least in retail outlets and e-commerce sites. The usage behaviour in the financial year 2018-19 at PoS vs ATMs with reference to debit and credit cards is depicted in the following table:

ATM Volume(mn) Value( Rs bn) Ticket Size (Rs) Share – Volume Share – Value
Credit Cards 9.77 45.33 4639.19 0.10% 0.14%
Debit Cards 9859.61 33107.89 3357.93 99.90% 99.86%
PoS & online Volume(mn) Value( Rs bn) Ticket Size (Rs) Share – Volume Share – Value
Credit Cards 1762.59 6033.48 3423.08 28.54% 50.41%
Debit Cards 4414.28 5934.75 1344.44 71.46% 49.59%


Source: RBI

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