Ownership of Debit Card has been reducing considerably over the past six months.  How and Why?

  • There is a pressure from the Government to increase the sale of more Points of Sale or Card Terminals for a speedy implementation of Digital Payments.
  • However, the number of debit cards in the country has fallen over 884.7 million in the month of April this year.
  • This is said to be 11% fall, from the previous figure of 998 million as of October Last year as per a report from Reserve Bank of India.
  • The main reason attributed is said to be phasing out of magnetic chip and pin ones as per RBI guidelines.
  • A major portion of debit cards could be magnetic strip ones, which are required to be replaced by chip and pin cards as per RBI guidelines.
  • It is also said that though many have been replaced, still a sufficient number has not reached the customer for different reasons viz:
    • There is difficulty in dealing with Rural customers about the awareness on debit cards
    • The village folks do not use cards regularly, which results in deactivation of cards
    • This in turn does not prompt these folks to collect new cards from banks
    • A majority of Jan Dhan Accounts have become dormant and few debit cards linked to these accounts could have expired due to which the number is falling.
  • It may be noted that for a country like India, Debit Card is one of the first and foremost common digital payments instruments.
  • Even for Unified Payments Interface-based transactions, customer on boarding is done through debit cards only which has the maximum reach.

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