Mastercard, the second-largest payment-processing corporation worldwide, are investing in Cypriots’ preference to use plastic money over other payment methods.
In an event in Nicosia to present their new Country manager for Greece, Malta and Cyprus, Panayiotis Polydoros, Mastercard emphasised Cypriot’s strong preference for using credit cards for their transactions, breaking away from traditional payment methods such as cash and cheques.
Mastercard’s said that 53% of all transactions in Cyprus are carried out with plastic money.
This is much higher than the EU average, which is at 37%, Polydoros said.
“My personal opinion is that 53% is high. It tells us that about half of all transactions are done by credit card”.
He noted the Cypriot market had made steps forward, highlighting the government’s decision to push through a law which made it obligatory for all retailers to accept cards.
The number of cards issued by Cypriot banks increased by 10% in 2021 compared to 2020 and another 19% in 2022 compared to 2021.
The number of transactions, noted Polydoros, in 2021 increased by 29% compared to 2020 and 2022 by 23% compared to the previous year.
“The peculiarity is that the number of transactions is growing at a faster rate than the volume of transactions.
“This is not surprising because it seems that Cypriots prefer to use their cards for their daily transactions, no matter how small they are,” explained Polydoros.
He added that the next step would be for Cypriots to get acquainted with payments with their mobile phones through platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
“The positive thing is that Cyprus has infrastructure. Major banks offer at least three different e-wallet options.
“Cypriot consumers have a variety of options, depending on the bank they cooperate with, to be able to pay with their mobile phone or with another device”.
Mastercard aims to facilitate the island’s transition to a sustainable digital economy.
“This will be achieved by ensuring that the investment in the card network continues, increasing its quality.
“This means that consumers will be able to pay from mobile to mobile; it means that the fleet of terminals will be renewed and more cost-effective and innovative.”