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Cypriots warming to plastic money

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Consumers in Cyprus are increasingly turning to plastic money, reflecting the transformative impact of digitisation and emerging technologies in the payment landscape, according to a European Central Bank report.

In the first half of 2023, 70.1% of payments in Cyprus were conducted using cards, an increase of 2.4% compared to the corresponding period in 2022, the ECB report said.

Notable spikes in card payments were evident in Lithuania (+11.7%), Slovenia (+5%), and Germany (+4.5%). Conversely, Ireland (-6.1%), Malta (-2.2%), and Estonia (-0.3%) experienced declines in card-based transactions.

Lithuania led in the proportion of card payments, constituting 78.1% of total cashless transactions in the first half of 2023. Portugal followed with 75.5%, and Greece with 73%.

Credit transfers in Cyprus represented 16.5% of payments during the first half of 2023, demonstrating a marginal increase of 0.1% from the same period in 2022. Direct debits, however, accounted for 5.6% of total transactions, reflecting a decrease of 0.6%.

Electronic payments comprised 3.2% of total transactions, with a marginal annual reduction of 0.1%.

Within the European Union, card payments surged by 10.1%, contributing to half of all cashless payments in the first half of 2023. Credit transfers constituted 22%, direct debits 15%, and payments with electronic money 7%.

The volume of contactless card payments in the first half of 2023 rose by 24.3% to €20.9 bln, with the total value increasing by 25.9% to €0.5 trln.

Retail payment systems in the eurozone processed approximately 29.8 bln transactions, amounting to €23.6 trln.

The European Central Bank clarified that the percentages might not sum to 100% as certain payment services, including checks and money transfers, are not incorporated into the data.