April 18, 2017

2.7 million cards are in circulation. Usage up for ATMs and payment cards

The number of payment cards including debit, credit, charge, and prepaid cards has risen 70 percent since 2009, according to the Central Bank. The compound annual growth rate was 7.8 percent.

Payment cards reached 2.76 million last year, registering 0.33 percent compared to 2015.

Grace Eid, Head of Retail Banking at Bank Audi, said: “The small growth achieved last year is because the Central bank issued a decree terminating the issuance of prepaid cards.”

The number of debit cards increased 20 percent reaching 1.7 million cards in 2016. Prepaid cards dropped 39 percent. Credit cards, and charge cards dropped three and two percent respectively.

According to Eid, debit cards are more in demand because they are tied to a current account as a payment convenience and cash retrieval.

A major share of the usage of debit cards is still on ATMs, whereas credit cards are mostly used on purchases through the Point Of Sales (PoS).

Number of ATMs increased 50 percent since 2009. It reached 1,772 last year, registering a four percent increase compared to 2015.

Around 40 percent of the ATMs were concentrated in Beirut and suburbs region, followed by Mount Lebanon (33 percent), and North (ten percent).

The number of electronic PoS increased 71 percent since 2009 to reach 30,181 in 2016.

Number of payment cards in 2016

Payment cards

2,763712

Debit cards

1,667,527

Credit

554,694

Prepaid cards

389,399

Charge cards

152,092

Source: Central Bank

Source:

http://www.businessnews.com.lb/cms/Story/StoryDetails.aspx?ItemID=6009

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