ECONOMY

Half a million cards issued in a few days

half-a-million-cards-issued-in-a-few-days

Capital controls have sent online payments and credit card use soaring while the bank holiday continues, and banks are consequently speaking about Greeks’ rapid adoption of non-cash transactions in their daily lives.

Payment card transactions are estimated to have increased by a remarkable 130 percent since banks closed on June 29 and plastic money turnover has doubled, as a large portion of the population have started using credit and debit cards for their purchases at supermarkets, fuel stations and other stores, mainly covering everyday needs.

Steps to facillitate the issuance of credit and debit cards to pensioners and other bank customers without electronic access to their accounts during the bank holiday also helped increase non-cash transactions.

Notably, banks issued more than 500,000 new debit cards within just a few days, meaning that virtually all account holders in Greece can now carry out non-cash transactions, as the penetration of plastic has exceeded all expectations.

Data from banks also point to the issue of 40,000 new e-banking codes, while many users that had been inactive up until recently have rushed to reactivate their online accounts.