(ARGENTINA) The use of debit cards is growing

Debit card use increased 5.13% but credit card use fell 23.47% in the second quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2019, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Prisma Index, the use of prepaid cards rose 285.47% year-on-year in the quarter, mainly as a result of the delivery of the Alimentar card which reached 1.5 million beneficiaries.

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“Although in this context some people prioritize the use of the debit card over cash and their participation in e-commerce is growing, the drop in consumption generated by the Covid-19 caused its growth to slow down,” Julián Ballarino, manager of Institutional Relations at Prisma Medios de Pago, told Télam.

Ignacio Carballo, an economist from the Business School of the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), said that “we are seeing an increase in purchases, but cash withdrawals are still the most important thing,” and that “60% of the movements are withdrawals from ATMs or shops.

Meanwhile, Ballarino explained that “the fall in participation and credit card transactions has multiple explanations,” adding that “some of them are the adoption of a conservative position by users in the face of uncertainty generated by the pandemic, credit depletion and that certain activities where the credit card is commonly used, such as tourism, have been greatly affected by the situation.

In this regard, Carballo said that “in terms of volume, purchases were kept in one payment, while the plans ‘Now’ (in its various forms), doubled its share and reached 60% of total operations in installments.

Ballarino also noted that “government financing plans ‘Now’ have very competitive rates that made the supply of quotas for long plans is sustained.

In that sense, according to the report, the use of card for the plans of 3 and 6 installments fell 36.21% and 21.22% year, respectively, while for the 12-payment plans grew 89.35% and in 18 climbed 452.96%.

Author: El Once