As card use grows, ministry considers monthly million-euro draw


Month after month the use of credit and debit cards in everyday transactions is setting a new record, as taxpayers become increasingly accustomed to using plastic money. The same trend is seen in the introduction of card terminals by enterprises and freelance professionals, just one month before the deadline set by the Finance Ministry for the compulsory installation of Points of Sales (PoS).

Data show that turnover through card terminals over the first five months increased 30 percent year-on-year, reaching 9.5 billion euros, with 7.8 billion euros of that coming from cards issued by Greek banks – i.e. not related to incoming tourism-related expenditure.

The course of the figures confirms market estimates for total turnover in excess of 20 billion euros throughout 2017, thereby covering a major part of private consumption, without even including online transactions (e-banking or mobile banking).

This increase comes despite the fact that most taxpayers have already exceeded the card-payment threshold that secures them a tax discount. Sources say that the ministry will offer ast least 1,000 euros to each of the lucky 1,000 card users in its first prize draw in end-July.

Although the state has yet to launch the mobile app that will inform taxpayers how close they are to securing the tax discount, banks have already activated a similar service and are keeping their informed.

Bank data also show that in the country’s biggest cities, the penetration of card terminals in stores reaches 95 percent in more commercial areas, with small enterprises such as bakeries, newsagents and kiosks allowing their customers to pay via credit or debit cards. Freelance professionals such as electricians and plumbers are still some way behind, but have now filed numerous applications to acquire card terminals, according to the banks.