Plastic Money: Brazilians Own 471 Million Credit and Debit Cards

Brazilian credit card issue by Unibanco Brazilians purchased 31.7 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 19.6 billion) in credit cards in July. The number of transactions reached 508 million, a figure that had only been registered previously in December last year. The figures were supplied by the Brazilian Association of Credit Card Companies and Services (ABECS).

The number of transactions grew 21% when compared to July last year. "More and more people are paying for their purchases with cards, replacing cash and checks. This statement may also be made considering the constant elevation in average expenses with cards," said Marcelo Noronha, Communications Director at the ABECS.

Transactions in debit cards were the ones that grew the most in terms of volume. They reached 188 million operations, up 26%. Then came operations with credit cards, which reached 238 million in July, growth of 19%.

In terms of values, the debit cards also led the ranking, with growth of 32%, reaching 8.8 billion reais (US$ 5.4 billion). Transactions with credit cards totaled 18.4 billion reais (US$ 11.4 billion), growth of 23% over July 2007. Then, with 19% expansion, came shop and chain cards, which were responsible for 4.5 billion reais (US$ 2.8 billion) in the month.

The number of cards in circulation in the country in July totaled 471 million. Debit cards reached the total of 210 million, shop cards, 159 million and credit cards, 102 million. In debit cards, each user spent on average 42 reais (US$ 26), up 23% over the 34 reais (US$ 21) registered in July 2007. The growth of credit in the period was 5%, totaling 180 reais (US$ 111) per card.

ABECS is the official representative of electronic payment systems in Brazil. It is headquartered in São Paulo and was established in 1971. The organization has among its associates the issuers of 95% of the credit cards used in Brazil.

Anba

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