CYPRUS: Credit card transactions surged 33% in 2018

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Strong consumer spending put a smile on the economy with credit card transactions last year surging 33% compared to 2017, according to JCC payment systems.

A reflection of the upward trend in transactions is the staggering total of €3.53 bln for 2018, from €2.73 bln the year before. In 2017 the increase was 13%.

Card transactions by foreigners (sales) increased 20% last year compared to 2017 reaching €1.1 bln – while the increase for December was up by 46% to €71.9 mln.

Cyprus cards used in Turkey was €4.3 mln and spending in the occupied north of the island reached €15 mln last year.

Transactions made with Turkish credit cards in the Cyprus Republic amounted to €17.65 mln in 2018 with €1.85 mln being spent in December.

Sales and cash withdrawals of Cypriots with credit cards abroad was up 10% reaching €1.75 bln, with €153.5 mln being spent in December, increasing 3%.

According to JCC data, the value of Cyprus credit card monthly transactions in the domestic market jumped 41% in December to €425.8 mln.

The sectors that witnessed the largest volumes of transactions were in government, supermarkets, utilities, restaurants, bars and catering.

Government sector increases were due to the Inland Revenue Department payments and without these payments, the total monthly increase would be 8% for December.