South Korea’s domestic credit card spending by individuals decreased by1.6% to KRW30.5trn ($29.7bn) in May this year, compared to KRW31trn ($30.23bn) during the comparable period last fiscal, reveals a report by the Bank of Korea.
The decline in credit card spending in May for the second consecutive month was attributed to April’s deadly ferry sinking, in which more than 300 people went dead or missing, as reported by koreaherald.com.
The data by the central bank also highlights that it is the first time that the amount contracted year-on-year for the second consecutive month since the central bank started data collection in December 2009.
Hyundai Research Institute senior researcher Lee Jun-hyup was quoted by koreaherald.com as saying, "The private spending growth, which has slowed since the third quarter of last year, is projected to worsen in light of the Sewol ferry incident. The private spending is expected to be very bad in the second quarter."
The average amount of debit card settlements reduced to the lowest level in June to KER24,910 per transaction, according to the Credit Finance Association.
In May, debit card payments at convenience stores and supermarkets grew to 50.2% and 68.6%, respectively.
"The debit card has become popular among other payment methods," the association told the news portal.
"The ratio of debit card payment at convenience stores and supermarkets, which mainly accept small payments, has increased."