Card payments are increasing this year as well

2023-08-22 18:17:00, Ekonomi CNA

Card payments are increasing this year as well

Bank card payments have increased significantly even in the first half of this year.

According to data from the Bank of Albania, in the first six months of the year, a total of about 6.5 million card payments were registered at electronic sales terminals (points of sale, POS). The average number of monthly payments has reached almost 1.1 million, up from approximately 890,000 payments recorded in the same period a year ago.

The total value of card payments for six months has reached 26.3 billion ALL, with a monthly average of 4.7 billion ALL, from 4.2 billion ALL which was the monthly average of 2022.

Considering that the July-August tourist peak periods are associated with an increase in card payments, it is expected that the average payments for the second part of the year will increase more.

It is believed that the strong growth of tourism is one of the main factors influencing the rapid growth of bank card payments in the Albanian economy. INSTAT data showed that the number of foreign citizens who visited Albania increased by 33% for the first 6 months of this year.

However, in addition to the significant impact of tourism, it is estimated that the use of card payments by residents is also increasing in recent years, especially after the pandemic period.

The increase in market demand for card payments is also accompanied by the expansion of the base of businesses that accept such payments, and it is believed that the tourism sector has given a significant boost to these payments. According to data from the Bank of Albania, the number of POS terminals for accepting card payments in the middle of this year reached 17,750, further increasing by 8.2% since the beginning of this year.

The increase in card payments is a positive signal in terms of reducing the use of physical money in the economy. Albania is a country with a high rate of use of cash, a phenomenon related to a still insufficient financial inclusion, but also to the considerable level of informality and fiscal evasion.

According to data from the Bank of Albania, at the end of 2022 the number of active bank cards reached 1.4 million, increasing by 2% since the beginning of the year.

The number of debit cards reached 1.21 million, up 2.5% since January. This product remains dominant and accounts for approximately 87% of the total number of bank cards. The debit card is a basic payment instrument, linked to the current accounts of businesses and individuals.

Meanwhile, positive developments this year are being recorded in the credit card segment. In the middle of this year, the number of active credit cards in the banking sector reached 116 thousand, with an increase of 3.4% since the beginning of the year./Revista Monitor

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