Greece: Transactions with plastic money are dropped in 2019

Greece: Transactions with plastic money are dropped in 2019

The volume and value of card transactions are reduced, as reflected in the latest data from the Bank of Greece. Based on these, in the first half of 2019, the cards in circulation increased by 4%, while the transactions and the corresponding value made with them decreased by 16%.

More specifically, the total number of payment cards in circulation increased by 539 thousand (+ 4%), compared to the second half of 2018, amounting to 17.7 million cards. The increase was due to the issuance of new debit cards, as an additional 540 thousand cards (+ 4%) were issued, and a corresponding reduction in credit cards compared to the second half of 2018. The individual card categories at the end of the first half of 2019 recorded the share of debit cards (84%) and credit cards (16%) in total payment cards, corresponding to the previous semester.

Transactions with plastic money

In contrast to the increase in the number of payment cards, both the total number of transactions and the total value of card transactions in the first half of 2019 decreased compared to the second half of 2018. In particular, the volume of transactions with payment cards stood at 438.3 million, down 16%. Accordingly, its value stood at EUR 29.6 billion, down 16%.

Regarding the average number of transactions per card, it declined to 25, compared to 30 in the previous half. Debit cards continued to be the main cash substitute, with the average number of transactions per debit card being 26 out of 32 in the previous half.

The average number of transactions per credit card remained stable at 20 transactions for the second consecutive semester. The average value of transactions per card decreased by 19% compared to the previous six months, with the absolute value amounting to EUR 1,668. This decrease was mainly due to a 20% decrease in the average value of transactions per debit card, which amounted to EUR 1,777. Accordingly, the average value of transactions per credit card decreased by 4.5% to EUR 1,089.

The average value per transaction for all cards was maintained at the same level as in the second half of 2018 and amounted to 67 euros. In the individual card categories, the average value per transaction using a debit card amounted to EUR 70, up by 1%, while the average value per transaction using a credit card decreased by 4.7% to EUR 54, compared to the 2nd semester of last year./ibna