China’s credit card numbers and credit card transaction amount both saw surging growth in 2018.
Data from the “China Bank Card Industry Growth Blue Paper (2019)” (中国银行卡产业发展蓝皮书（2019）) recently released by the China Banking Association indicates that in 2018 China’s credit card transaction amount was 38.2 trillion yuan, hitting a five-year high of 24.9% in terms of year-on-year growth.
While in 2018 the number of bank cards issued domestically in China was 7.83 billion, for YoY growth of 11.4%, the credit card issuance volume was 970 million, for YoY growth of 22.8%.
The active credit card rate was 73.2%, with per capita credit cards reaching 0.7, for the highest levels on record.
China’s per capita credit card numbers are still comparatively low, with US consumers holding four credit cards on average in 2007, and 2.9 as of the end of 2016, after a bounce back following the Great Financial Crisis.
According to the CBA blue paper of the end of 2018 the unpaid credit card balance was 6.85 trillion yuan, for YoY growth of 23.2%.
Mid-year financial reports attest to surging credit card operations amongst listed medium-sized lenders.
China Merchants Bank’s (CMB) credit card transaction volume was 2.08 trillion yuan in 2018, while for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank the figure was 1.8 trillion yuan.
As of the end of 2018 China Merchants Bank had 84.3044 million credit cards in circulation, for a YoY rise of 34.98%, and 58.0293 million active credit card customers, for a rise of 23.61%.
Ping An Bank had 51.52 million cards in circulation, for YoY rise of 34.4%, while Shanghai Pudong Development Bank had issued a total of 56.5054 million cards, for a YoY rise of 37.26%.
CMB’s credit card lending balance was 575.5