The number of transactions involving payment cards rose by nearly one-quarter (22.5%) during the third quarter of this year in comparison to the same period last year, the Latvian Association of Commercial Banks has announced after analysing the latest statistics related to Latvia’s banking sector.
The popularity of using payment cards is constantly increasing, as is seen in the aforementioned increase in their use. The number of purchases involving payment cards rose even more swiftly – by 28% in comparison to the third quarter of 2013.
The number of payment cards as such has declined a bit – 2,369,854 on September 30 of this year, or 1.43% less than during the third quarter of last year. 63.5% of them are MasterCard payment cards, the number of which has increased by 17% during the stated period. The most rapid increase has been seen in terms of American Express cards, the number of which rose by 23.2%.
“People are becoming more active in paying for goods and services with payment cards, and they increasingly appreciate the benefits of doing so,” says Citadele Bank board member Santa Purgaile. “In addition to traditional opportunities to make payments without cash, people appreciate loyalty programmes and offers from partners. This is advantageous for active users of payment cards, because those who know about the opportunities can save money by shopping at venues that offer discounts or by receiving discounts on commission fees when using a card actively. There are also other convenient advantages such as the offer to wrap gifts for free.”
Citadele Bank statistics show that clients tend to have more than one Citadele payment card, with people using both debit cards and credit cards that are of use in various situations. It is interesting that women have more payment cards than men do – 10% more credit cards and 26% more debit cards.