While the government’s previous plans to boost the use of credit and debit cards may not have been carried out, the introduction of capital controls did nevertheless lead to a surge in the use of plastic money in the last few weeks. Within just one month the number of users soared by 1 million, while the monthly average of new cards issued before the banks closed had stood at just 100,000.
“The use of cards for purchases at supermarkets and gas stations doubled within one month,” Alpha Bank’s managing director, Leonidas Kasoumis, told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
The alternate managing director of Eurobank, Theodoros Kalantonis, added that there was a similar increase in demand for credit and debit card machines not only by traders but also self-employed professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, dentists and others. At the same time, the number of new electronic banking customers grew fivefold in July to 150,000.