The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published today statistics of payment cards issued in Hong Kong for the fourth quarter of 2020.
The payment card statistics (see Annex) include quarterly data on credit and debit cards issued in Hong Kong under the credit and/or debit card schemes of the eight payment card scheme operators (Note 1). The HKMA began to publish the payment card statistics on a quarterly basis in June 2010 to enhance transparency of the payment card industry in Hong Kong, in line with international practice.
According to the quarterly statistics, the total number of credit cards in circulation (Note 2) was 19.37 million by the end of Q4/2020. The figure represents a 0.1% increase from the previous quarter and a 1.7% decrease from the previous year. The number and value of credit card transactions (including retail sales and cash advances) (Note 3) are susceptible to seasonal factors and the general economic environment, making the trends more prone to fluctuation. The total number of credit card transactions was 222.24 million for Q4/2020, representing a 6.4% increase from the previous quarter and a 3.6% increase from the same period in 2019. The total value of credit card transactions was HK$169.4 billion for Q4/2020, representing a 13.7% increase from the previous quarter and a 11.7% decrease from the same period in 2019. Of the total transaction value, HK$140.8 billion (83.1%) was related to retail spending in Hong Kong, HK$18.6 billion (11.0%) in retail spending overseas and HK$10.0 billion (5.9%) in cash advances.
The total number of debit cards in circulation is not available due to overlapping of debit card brands in a single card. Like the number and value of credit card transactions, the number and value of debit card transactions in relation to retail sales and bills payments (Note 4) are also affected by seasonal factors. On a quarterly basis, the total number of debit card transactions in relation to retail sales and bills payments increased 7.4% to 38.89 million while the total value increased by 7.0% to HK$78.3 billion in Q4/2020. When compared to the same period in 2019, the total number decreased by 16.0% and the total value dropped by 7.6% in Q4/2020.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
19 March 2021
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