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Turnover of credit cards in circulation reduced by 35%

22 March 2010 / 13:03:58  GRReporter
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The turnover of used credit cards in Greece has decreased with one-third, without noting a significant decline in the number of transactions for the first two months of 2010. Analysts commented that in times of crisis, consumers have begun to change their marketing habits and credit card payments are made for lower value purchases. Studies show that in the period before the crisis "electronic money" were used for more expensive and larger purchases. Currently, however, consumers reach for Visa, MasterCard or American Express more often in their daily lives when visiting the supermarket or filling the tank of their car. Purchases with credit card of clothes, shoes and cosmetics have drastically decreased and experts present this reduction to be seventy percent. 

Another change in consumer behavior in relation to the use of credit cards is the sharp drop in cash withdrawals. The cash advance service, which enables the user to withdraw certain amount of cash from their credit card noted 50% decline since September of last year. Increasingly, debit cards are preferred, which allow you to spend only if you have cash. "Nowadays, consumers try to avoid any type of loan from a bank, not to mention cash from credit card. Everyone knows that the price of money from the card is much higher than that of an ordinary consumer credit. Interest rates on credit cards of all banks are two percentage points higher than the ones of the market," said the head of credit cards department of a Greek bank. 

Bankers say that the obligations of one of every five cards is not covered on time—in other words 20% of credit card users cannot make their payments within the agreed deadlines. At the end of 2009 credit card obligations in the country reached €9.5 billion, two billion of which are in the red zone because the banks delay their repayment.

Tags: credit cards economy Greece Visa Mastercard American Express
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