Now boarding: Is India on the cusp of a tectonic shift in retail credit?

First-time customers are emerging as a huge catchment area for retail finance, but dangers lurk in the nooks and crannies

Raghu Mohan
credit, credit card, retail credit, bank, nbfc, debit card

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Is India on the cusp of a tectonic shift in retail credit, which the financial services industry can tap into for decades to come? According to a recent study by TransUnion, a Chicago-based consumer credit reporting agency, 31 million Indian consumers debuted with credit products through the first nine months of 2022, over and above the 35 million that did so in 2021. Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) accounted for 42 per cent of fresh credits, and Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012, according to the Pew Research Centre and the US Census of 2022) came in next at 29 per cent.
This audience, known as new-to-credit (NTC), or those with no credit history, has always existed, but unlike earlier, lenders now have the technology to reach out to them. What we are seeing is the emergence of NTC as a big catchment area for retail finance (and retailing in general). This explosive growth, coming at the tail-end of the Covid-19 pandemic, may even be an indica

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First Published: Mar 26 2023 | 6:23 PM IST

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