Canara Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the gainers as State Bank of India (SBI) lost market share in debit card spends between April and August, slipping to below its pre-demonetisation level. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), SBI’s share in debit card spends slipped to 29.88% in August from 31.27% in April. This is below the bank’s October 2016 share of 29.96%. SBI clocked debit card spends worth Rs 10,582.86 crore in August, down from Rs 11,720.73 crore in April. Interestingly, the gainers over the four-month period were not the usual suspects —HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. Indeed, the three large private players either saw no change or lost some ground over the period under review. HDFC Bank’s share remained nearly unchanged at 12.84% of the market, even as the value of spends on its debit cards fell to Rs 4,545.85 crore in August from Rs 4,818.66 crore in April. ICICI Bank’s market share at the end of August was 12.17% — it reported Rs 4,311.39 crore in debit card spends — down from 12.5% in April. Axis Bank’s share fell to 7.03% in August from 7.15% in April. The third-largest private bank by assets saw debit card transactions worth Rs 2,488.52 crore in August.
Canara Bank saw its market share rise to 3% in August from 2.94% in April. It clocked debit card spends worth Rs 1,064.22 crore in August. Kotak’s market share rose to 1.82% from 1.76% between April and August. The mid-sized lender saw spends worth Rs 643.39 crore in August.
Some of the loss in share for SBI can be attributed to the phenomenon of the bank losing some of its customers in states where its associates were headquartered. Effective April 1, SBI’s associates stand merged with the parent. In October, before high-value currency notes were withdrawn by the government, SBI and its associates had together reported Rs 6,572.96 crore worth of transactions and commanded a share of just under 30%. On its own, SBI accounted for a little over 26% of the market then.
At the end of August, SBI had nearly 27 crore debit cards outstanding, against 35 crore at the end of April. The number was 2.47 crore for HDFC Bank, 3.83 crore for ICICI Bank and 2.13 crore for Axis Bank. The total value of debit card transactions for the entire system in August stood at Rs 35,412.6 crore, down 5.5% from Rs 37,481.88 crore in April.