What RBI payments data says about festive sales

Debit and credit card transactions in October have not quite matched last year’s pace, underlining slower sales growth. And shoppers made more transactions offline than online. UPI, however, continues its strong upward journey

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By 

Pratik Bhakta

October 19, 2021

4 Min Read

The sales bump in October, India’s big festive-shopping season, gives a huge boost to ecommerce and large retailers as consumption surges. But compared to last year, the growth is sluggish this time, an analysis of the data on card spends shows.

According to digital payments trends shared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in the first 15 days of October, there were 77 million credit card transactions for a total value of Rs 36,658 crore (around $5 billion). In September, around 140 million transactions were recorded. Extrapolating the 15-day data to the entire October, a 9% increase is seen. The jump was 15.5% for the same period last year. 

There is a similar trend in debit cards: the number of transactions rose 8.6% between September and October 2021 as against 14% last year. (The October figure is based on the 15-day data.)

In the first half of this month, 157 million debit card swipes were recorded across ecommerce and point of sales outlets. In the whole of September, there were about 290 million swipes.

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