Banking from home may have sounded absurd to earlier generations but it’s a reality now without which life would be unthinkable. With a shift in the mindset and the convenience offered, technology has entered every sphere of our lives. Today, distance doesn’t matter as we skype and see our loved ones on a daily basis even if we are thousands of miles away from them. With this cultural shift, of course some of it has now become pretty much impossible to live without and one of those few things is the credit card.
Credit cards allow the flexibility to carry less cash in the wallet and lessen the trips to the automatic teller machines. Use of credit cards is a good option provided a cautious eye is maintained as to where it is being swiped. It allows taking stock of the expenses incurred during the month without having to tediously maintain record of detailed expenses on a regular basis. However it’s important to bear in mind the payment towards the credit card should ideally be made in full to avoid interest and penalties.
Now and Then
Credit cards were a virtue of the elite in the early 80s in India with only international banks offering it. Today, not only the card numbers have increased, but even the types of cards on offer have seen a surge. Where earlier, one would need to apply for this and wait for it getting allotted to him; today we get calls for credit cards and personal loans.
Credit cards offered today range from gold, silver, global, co-branded credit cards, smart to secure; the list is endless. Credit card companies apart from penetrating new domestic markets are also offering value-added services such as special points that can be used to redeem products from particular vendors. You also need to ensure that your credit card is safe at all times and that you don’t mention the PIN number on the card as this could lead to misuse in case of theft. Don’t give out your card details to others and be careful while using it online. Use secure sites and only your personal computers/gadgets.
With higher disposable income growing at every level of society, banks are now looking at entering newer markets in smaller cities. With the vast banking network already put in place, the use of plastic may become a universal norm rather than being restricted to India’s middle or upper income group. There are pros and cons to the credit card and it is upto you how you use it or misuse it.