The coronavirus lockdown boosted the food delivery sector, pushed up sales of gaming equipment as Cypriots also turned to online betting for entertainment.
According to JCC credit card data, in the first three months of 2021, Cypriots made 12% more use of their plastic money than the same period last year, with most of it going to fast food restaurants that saw a 1200% spike.
Overall, delivery services enjoyed an increase of 194%.
Cypriot habits were altered by the long hours spent at home, as 72% more credit was spent on electronics, computers, and gaming equipment.
Betting establishments also saw an increase of 194% contactless and online payments via credit cards.
Travel-related businesses, as expected, took a beating as Cypriots spent 78% less on their cards in this field.
In Q1 2021, a total of €1.323 bln worth of purchases was made in Cyprus using credit cards.
COVID-19 lockdown also meant that Cypriots could not travel, reflected in a 12% decrease of card use abroad for purchases than Q1 2020, with purchases remaining at €394.144 mln.
Furthermore, a decrease of 37% was recorded in the use of foreign cards in Cyprus.
Sales made using foreign credit cards in Cyprus reached €87.445 mln.
Local cards used in the Turkish occupied north of the island for purchases worth €295,547, and Turkish cards used in the Republic generated €393,676.