A few observations on the above stats:
- Though debit cards have higher circulation (as they double as ATM cards as well), their usage is significantly lower (even by India's standards) [less than 1 transaction per card per year!]
- Credit card transaction volumes are low ($52 per year per card). Coming out of the 2008 market downturn, credit card companies are flying to quality. They are trimming credit limits, canceling cards with minimal usage... Nothing new to the western world, but a new trend in the wild swinging Indian market.
- Though the above numbers are small, the market is growing at a CAGR of over 30%. In 2020 the market size will be ... ;-)
With regard to payment card fraud, I do not have data on fraud rates at brick-n-mortar stores (contribution of relevant data is appreciated). According to Al Cameron, Payments Fraud/Loss Prevention Specialist, online payment fraud rates (Card-Not-Present / CNP fraud) is around 3oo bps (US is at 140 bps, and UK at 100 bps).
Even though the Indian ecommerce market is in its infancy, security concerns during online payments are cited as among the top-5 barriers to faster growth. Regulatory authorities in India (RBI) mandated 2FA (Two factor authentication) for online payments from Aug 1, 2009. Going by UK's experience (where CNP fraud dropped for the first time during the first half of 2009) of CNP fraud reducing due to deployment of 2FA, India might also experience a similar benefit. This could help bring more users to the world of online commerce (grow the pie), as well as, increase the bottom line of online merchants and card issuers.
I have not been able to get any data on the benefits expected by the Indian regulators after the implementation of their mandate. If any of you have access to this data, please do share it. I shall post it here and acknowledge your contribution.