Covid-19 Scare: Lockdown makes wait for new, reissued debit and credit cards longer

By: |
April 22, 2020 5:36 PM

Since demonetisation, digital payments in India have seen tremendous growth, which has become a necessity during the lockdown.

Coronavirus Outbreak, Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, global health crisis, digital payment, debit card, credit card, mobile banking, mobile wallet, prepaid payment instrument, PPI, unified payment interface, UPI, lockdown periodAccording to RBI data, as of January 2020 there were 81.6 crore outstanding number of debit cards and 5.6 crore credit cards.

A year before demolition of the colony, in which Nitin (name changed) was staying, began, local authorities had asked him to shift to a nearby quarter in the same colony, as they preferred not to repair the originally-allotted depleted quarter for some unavoidable reasons.

Days before the unscheduled change in address, Nitin had applied for the upgradation of his credit card, which was returned undelivered as the quarter mentioned in the address was vacant.

After his effort to get the card delivered at a bank branch also failed, he got frustrated and applied for a fresh card with his office address, but within a week the nationwide lockdown began to contain the spread of highly contagious Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, leading to suspension of courier services.

With the wait for his credit card getting longer, Nitin is now facing trouble in paying bills and ordering things online especially at the time of lockdown, when moving out to meet various requirements is severely curtailed.

Not only Nitin, there are numerous such people whose debit and/or credit card(s) have expired or those who applied for fresh cards, which couldn’t be delivered due to the lockdown.

Moreover, since demonetisation, digital payments in India have seen tremendous growth, which has become a necessity during the lockdown.

Growth in digital payment methods in India.

While the use of relatively new digital payment methods like mobile banking, mobile wallet, prepaid payment instrument (PPI), unified payment interface (UPI) etc has spiked, there has also been a sharp rise in the number of cards issued over the last five years.

According to RBI data, as of January 2020 there were 81.6 crore outstanding number of debit cards and 5.6 crore credit cards, in comparison to 55.24 crore debit cards and 2.11 crore credit cards in March 2015, while on an average, currently, around 50 lakh cards come up for renewal every month.

Along with the huge number of monthly renewals, banks also receive a considerable number of applications for fresh debit and credit cards.

With the lockdown firmly in place to fight back COVID-19, lakhs of people are now facing inconvenience in making digital transactions at this crucial time as their cards couldn’t be delivered on time owing to the lockdown.

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