Credit card transactions in Taiwan in April fall by most since 2009

(Photo/CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The value of credit card transactions declined to NT$206.2 billion (US$6.89 billion) in April, down 20 percent from a year earlier and the biggest drop in 11 years, according to data released Thursday by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

Credit card transactions in the month of April totaled NT$206.2 billion, a decrease of NT$51.6 billion from the same month last year, or a 20.02 percent year-on-year decline, the biggest fall since January 2009, according to the FSC data.

On a month-on-month basis, the value of credit card transactions in April decreased by NT$22 billion, or 9.64 percent from the previous month.

The dramatic fall in credit card spending can be attributed largely to significant weakness in domestic demand due to social distancing and other measures to combat the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that impacted people’s normal life and business activities, said a banking industry analyst.

However, the government’s new “Triple Stimulus Voucher” program set to launch on July 15 and the relaxation of COVID-19 control measures are expected to boost domestic travel and consumption as well as credit card transactions in the second half of this year.

As of the end of April, the number of valid credit cards circulating on the domestic market was 32.13 million, the FSC said.