Banks cancel cards at a faster rate than they issue themPublish date: 03-12-2008
The number of active bank cards was slightly down in the third quarter of the year, to 10.85 million units, after jumping 34% in the second quarter. However, the overall number of bank cards on the market continued to climb, reaching a new high in September, of 21.78 million units, according to data from the NBR (National Bank of Romania).
Compared with March (the first recent NBR report regarding the card market), the number of issued cards climbed 15%. The number of credit cards continued to grow, reaching 2.7 million units, against 2.2 million units in March. The value of payments made using cards amounted to 3.5 billion RON (978 million euros) in the third quarter, against 3 billion RON in the second quarter.
However, the major appetite for cash is seen in the significant rise of ATM cash withdrawals. Transactions involving Romanian-issued cards at Romanian ATMs climbed to 21 billion RON (5.8 billion euros) in the third quarter, up 27% against the first quarter. In the third quarter, the number of ATMs throughout Romania rose by 471 units, to 8,778 units, while the number of POS units reached 84,422, 4,086 more than at the end of the first half of the year. 16.16 million POS transactions were conducted in the July-September period, up 13.32% against the second quarter of the year, amounting to 2.55 billion RON, up from 2.22 billion euros.
There were 52.12 million cash withdrawals from ATMs throughout Romania in the same period, up from 51.8 million in the April-July period. The value of ATM withdrawals amounts to in the third quarter amounted to 21.06 billion RON, 8.58% more than sums withdrawn in the second quarter.
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