Plastic money to check a rise in volume
By Ankit Sharma
Oct 22, 2008
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Plastic money has been an important tool for everyday transactions in lives of people today. The volume of payment cards are expected to climb to as high as 210 million in the next two years as against 130 million at present.

In fact the rise is likely to account mainly on the debit cards front. Country's debit cards circulation is expected to rise to 169 million by 2010. But credit cards will take a lead in terms of transaction value.

According to a consultancy firm, "the number of cards in circulation will hit 210 million by 2010. Of these, 169 million will come from debit cards, and about 40 million will come from credit cards."

Even though the volume of cards will be biased towards debit cards, on the transaction value front credit cards are expected to take a lead. Value of credit cards transaction will exceed debit cards because consumers would continue to use credit cards for purchases and bill payments. The credit card purchases mainly account to shopping, jewellery, dining and traveling and they contribute nearly 70% of credit card payments.

There has also been growth in e-payments due to technological changes, growing Internet access among consumers, rising consumer confidence, and convenient delivery payment models. Over the last three years, e-payments have raised by over 60%.

The firm reported that "Considering the current growth trend, the retail payment market is likely to grow at 65-70 percent in the next two years. This growth rate will see increase in value of retail payments hitting 150 billion dollar to 180 billion dollar by 2010."

Today the Indian mode of payment has shifted from currency notes to electronic mode and major reason for the shift is to reduce risk involvement and money movement while dealing with high-value transactions. The new 'Payments and Settlement System Act' would bring in strict norms for banks and third party merchants in order to secure payments and prevent anti-money laundering.

During the fiscal year 2007-08 transactions made through cards were noted to be around 288 million and this figure is most likely to rise in the coming days.

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