Credit and debit card transaction turnover grew almost 15 percent over the third quarter of the year on an annual basis, banishing fears that the growth rate of online transactions might slow to below 10 percent in 2019.
Card transactions added up to 11.4 billion euros in July-September, up 14.6 percent or 1.4 billion euros from the third quarter of 2018.
About a third of that increase is attributed to the 15.8 percent expansion in payments made using cards issued by foreign banks. Such payments mainly concern transactions by foreign visitors, which rose by 495.7 million year-on-year over the tourist season. Tourists’ card payments added up to 3.6 billion euros in Q3, representing a third of all card transactions this summer.
There was also a notable increase in the value of transactions Greeks made using their credit and debit cards abroad. Q3 data showed total spending with Greek debit cards outside of Greece reaching 5.7 billion euros, against 4.9 billion a year earlier – i.e. a 16.5 percent rise. In contrast, the increase in the value of transactions made using credit cards abroad came to just 25 million euros, totaling 1.3 billion. The number of credit cards has remained stable at 2.5 million, far below the 6.5 million in use in 2008.