Debit card use soars due to capital controls

Debit card use soars due to capital controls

Bank of Greece data underscored the major shift toward debit card use by Greek households over the last 12 months, as the capital controls introduced by the government at the end of June last year forced Greeks to reduce their use of cash in everyday transactions.

Card transactions soared 128 percent in the second half of 2015 compared to the first half of last year, the figures showed. The value of those transactions in July-December 2015 rose 110 percent to reach 5.1 billion euros, while the average transaction amount went down to 58 euros, from 63 euros in H1 2015.

BoG said that this increase in card use is almost exclusively thanks to the rise in debit cards, whose transaction volume quadrupled from the first to the second half of last year, while credit card transaction numbers rose by just 25 percent.

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