Strong consumer spending and a surge during Christmas put a smile on the economy with credit card transactions last year increasing 11% compared to 2018, according to JCC payment systems.
A reflection of the upward trend in transactions is the staggering total of €3.93 billion for 2019, from €3.53 billion the year before. This follows a whopping increase of 33% in 2018 and in 2017 the increase was 13%.
Card transactions by foreigners (sales) increased 16% last year compared to 2018 reaching €1.28 billion – while the increase for December was up by 19% to €85.9 million.
Cyprus cards used in Turkey during the year was €5.7 million, while spending in the occupied north of the island reached €21.1 million last year. Plastic money spent in Turkey with local cards in December reached €409,675.
Transactions made with Turkish credit cards in the Cyprus Republic amounted to €18.8 million in 2019 with €2.3 million being spent in December.
Sales and cash withdrawals by Cypriots with credit cards abroad were up 10% reaching €1.93 billion in 2019, with €184.3 million being spent in December, increasing 20%.
According to JCC data, the value of Cyprus credit card monthly transactions in the domestic market jumped 8% in December to €459 million, reflecting stable consumer confidence.
The sectors that witnessed the largest volumes of transactions were in professional services, utilities, electronics and hotels. There was a decrease in money spent on airline tickets.