CYPRUS: Credit card spending increased 4% in October to EUR 282 mln

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Cyprus credit card transactions in October increased by 4%, reflecting stable consumer confidence while online payments to the state did not play a significant role in the rise.

According to the latest JCC data, the value of Cyprus credit card spending in the domestic market increased by 4% in October to €282 mln compared to the same month last year.

October’s increase was mainly driven by card payments for professional services and entertainment.

In the first 10 months of the year (January to October) €3.18 bln was spent using credit cards, an increase of 13% annually.

As 2019 draws to a close the annual increase of card use may not follow last year’s trend when an overall 33% hike was recorded in 2018. There final outlook is expected to be determined by spending during the busy Christmas holiday season.

The sectors that witnessed the largest volumes were professional services, utility payments, restaurants, bars and hotels and entertainment.

Meanwhile, there was a decline in plastic money spent on payments to travel agents and at Do-It-Yourself & Household stores.

Sales and cash withdrawals of Cypriots with credit cards abroad, including online purchases, was up 12% to €172.5 mln in October.

Foreign card transactions (sales) increased 11% in October to €132.5 mln – for the year to date it was also up 16% to €1.1 bln.

Cyprus cards used in Turkey and the occupied north of the island reached €2.25 mln in October and a combined €22.4 mln for the first 10 months.

The use of local cards in Turkey amounted to €543,234 in October and €5 mln in the first 10 months.

Transactions with Turkish cards in the Cyprus Republic stood at €1.58 mln for October and at €14.55 mln for the first ten months.