In the industrial suburb of Sarjapur in Bengaluru, 47-year-old Ram Mitra (name changed) runs a 10X10ft carpentry workshop. The shop sits precariously on an encroached footpath. It does not get too many visitors. There is one three-legged stool. Everything in the shop is movable except for a fixture atop which sits a small shrine. Almost a metaphor for the one thing he holds on to—faith. Ram Mitra was also, until recently, the owner of a Kotak Mahindra Bank credit card.

A card he was sold with the promise of “paying later”. That Mitra was approached for a credit card despite low savings is in itself astonishing.