Credit cards, EMI payments sparkle during Diwali sale


Payments through credit cards and equated monthly installments (EMI) showed strong growth during the Diwali and Dhanteras weekend, with many customers opting to purchase goods using credit.

While sales were initially slow during the run-up to the festival period, payment industry executives told ET that consumers compensated with last-minute purchases, taking advantage of discounts and offers.

Innoviti Payments, which processes card transactions on behalf of banks, said it had seen a 10% jump in EMI transactions during Diwali. Compared to last year, the total amount of money paid through the platform jumped around 50%.

Pine Labs, one of the largest card processing companies in India, said it saw a 300% jump in EMI transactions on its platform. “Consumers were saving up for deals and discounts during the festive days, the trends over the last few weeks show that consumers are looking for maximum returns on their spends,” said Rajeev Agrawal, chief executive officer, Innoviti Payments.

Fears of a consumption slowdown did not hurt the payments industry, as the last-minute rush made up for slow business at the beginning of the festive season. “Merchants across categories have seen a spike in sales through cards during Diwali days. The top performing categories were electronics and mobiles. We have seen a 133% growth in value in card payments, EMI transactions have grown by 300% against others days in the festive season,” said Venkat Paruchuri, chief product officer, Pine Labs.


Worldline, another card payment company, said it saw a 32% jump in the number of card transactions on its platform during Diwali and Dhanteras. In terms of the total amount paid through cards, the jump was 37% during Diwali, it said. Worldline claims it manages more than one million merchant points in India.

Agrawal of Innoviti said that around 55% of transactions were done through credit cards, up from 52% last Diwali. A Mumbai-based merchant acquiring company said it saw 8% of transactions happening through NFC (near field communication), which processes a transaction when a card is brought close to the payments device.

Sales also jumped in tier-II locations compared to the Diwali season last year, according to data shared by Innoviti Payments. The company saw a 64% jump in the number of transactions reported from such locations during Diwali, compared to last year. While card payments have jumped, smartphone-based transactions, too, have grown rapidly.


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