A surging Indian economy is boosting overall payment card use in India, though the use of debit cards is growing significantly faster than that of credit cards, according to data from India’s central bank.

Indian consumers in August spent 62.6 billion rupees (US$1.4 billion or1 billion euros) using credit cards, up 28.8% from 48.6 billion rupees during the same month last year. They also initiated 22.6 million credit card transactions, up 15.3% from 19.6 million, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

The number of credit cards in circulation in August fell 14.1%, to 18.8 million from 21.9 million a year earlier.

Debit card sales volume in August increased 42.4%, to 33.2 billion rupees from 23.3 billion rupees. Debit card transactions in August increased 39.4%, to 20.5 million from 14.7 million, the central bank says.

Indian financial institutions had issued 200 million debit cards as of the end of August, up 29% from 155 million a year earlier.

With the economy improving, overall card use should grow even more than it did last year as Indian consumers increase their shopping before the Indian festival of Diwali in early November, an official from the central bank tells PaymentsSource.

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