HDFC Bank Ltd, which has the largest credit card base in the country, was stopped by the Reserve Bank of India from issuing new cards starting December due to a series of digital banking outages. Since then, HDFC Bank’s loss has been someone else’s gain. And that someone, according to early data, may be HDFC Bank’s long time competitor and the country’s second-largest private lender — ICICI Bank.
A BloombergQuint analysis of monthly credit card issuance data released by the RBI shows:
- ICICI Bank managed to capture 43.4% of the incremental cards issued by banks between Nov. 30, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. The lender issued 6.66 lakh cards out of the total 15.34 lakh new credit cards given out by the system.
- This is a 13-percentage-point jump from the 30.77% share of incremental cards that ICICI Bank garnered in the September-November 2020 period, before the RBI asked HDFC Bank to stop issuing fresh cards.
- Others may have gained as well. SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd., issued 29% of the incremental cards between November 2020 and February 2021, compared to 20.14% in the prior three months.
- Axis Bank saw its share rise to almost 10% from under 1%.
As of Feb. 28, ICICI Bank had 1.04 crore credit cards in circulation compared to HDFC Bank’s 1.52 crore cards. HDFC Bank saw its outstanding cards portfolio decline by 1.89 lakh cards between November and February, the data showed.
ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank did not respond to queries mailed on Tuesday.