Credit card payments reach record in Portugal
June and July saw a record number of credit card transactions worth €2.5Bn in Portugal.
Payments by credit card were 7% above the previous year while direct debits reached €5Bn, an increase of 14.3%.
According to the Bank of Portugal, in the months of July and August 2019, credit cards were used in 462.2 million operations worth a total of €2.5Bn, which represents an increase of 9.2% in quantity and 7% compared to the summer of 2018.
Contributing to this growth was the presence of foreign tourists in Portugal during that period. Purchases made in Portugal with overseas credit cards and processed by SICOI (Interbank Compensation System) achieved new maximums in July and August this year.
These cards were used in 25.6 million operations, with a total value of €1.4 Bn. In these months, foe each purchase made in Portugal with overseas credit cards, €58 was spent on average, an amount that is below the €63 seen for the same period last year.
According to data recently released on tourism in Portugal, in July 2019, the tourist accommodation sector registered 5.7 million beds occupied by overseas guests (+13% on the previous month and 5% more than for the like-for-like period).
The majority of purchases made with overseas cards were made using French issued cards (6.7 million operations, worth a total of €330 million).
“These numbers show a like-for-like growth of 11.9% in quantity and 5.2% in value, along with an increment of 2% in the number of guests of this nationality,” states the Bank of Portugal.
The number of purchases made overseas with Portuguese credit cards also hit new records in the summer months: 11.9 million operations worth a total of 559 million. This corresponds to an increase of 29.3% in quantity and 23.1% in value like-for-like on the same period last year.