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Coronavirus: Credit card use spirals in supermarkets and kiosks

Cypriot consumers have increasingly turned to credit cards rather than cash for their daily needs during the coronavirus pandemic, a JCC report indicates.

According to data released on Wednesday, credit or debit cards usage in supermarkets rose by 31 per cent from March 17 to April 26 compared with the same period of last year.

The use of credit cards in kiosks, where Cypriots traditionally used cash, spiked by 93 per cent compared to last year.

JCC’s chief operating officer Aris Kourris said the rise in card usage in supermarkets comes as many customers turned from cash to credit cards in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

He also said credit card usage for payments to government rose after card payments were accepted for social insurance.

“We noticed that a lot of corporations are shifting towards e-trade and, as a result, companies making available internet payments to consumers,” he said.


“These consumer habits are expected to remain,” Kourris said adding that JCC Smart payments are increasingly used by companies for e-payments.

He also said the increase of transaction value for contactless credit card transactions, from €20 to €50, also boosted credit card usage.

Overall card usage in shops that have been closed by the pandemic plunged by 95 per cent compared to last year, while card usage in restaurants decreased by 91 per cent.

The usage of Cypriot credit or debit cards abroad also declined by 38 per cent in value and by 31 per cent in volume of transactions.

Finally, the usage of foreign credit cards in Cyprus for the period between March 17 and April 26 declined by 76 per cent in value and by 74 per cent in transactions compared to a 10 and 1 per cent decrease respectively in the first quarter of 2020, before restriction to enter the country came into effect.


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