Card use grows in 2021 on spending recovery, less reliance on hard currency

SEOUL-- Card use for settlement in South Korea jumped 9.4 percent last year as consumption rebounded from a pandemic-caused slowdown and people reduced reliance on hard currency, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The daily average settlement made through credit card and other card services came to 2.76 trillion won (US$2.26 billion) last year, up from 2.52 trillion won tallied a year earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.

The growth was driven mostly by a spike in settlement through credit and debit cards, whose daily average increased 10.2 percent and 7.6 percent to 2.16 trillion won and 581 billion won, respectively, the data showed.

In particular, daily settlement through mobile devices without making face-to-face contact surged 16.2 percent on-year to 986 billion won, affected by social distancing curbs that encouraged people to use online shopping.

During the fourth quarter, the so-called untact settlement accounted for 40.1 percent of the total card transactions.

Meanwhile, daily card settlement by using physical cards grew 2.2 percent on-year to 1.28 trillion won, the data showed.

Source: Yonhap News Agency