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Is Spain becoming a cashless society?
07 August 2019 @ 14:59

DEBIT card use has soared in Spain so far this year and cashpoints are having to be adapted to offer other functions besides withdrawing notes, according to the Bank of Spain.

As at the end of the first quarter of 2019 – the most recent period for which figures are available – a record 85 million credit and debit cards were known to be in circulation, most of which were the latter, which accounted for 48 million.

This represented an increase of 4.27% on figures for 2018 – a rise never yet seen before, and even in spite of newer methods catching on, such as paying by mobile phone.

The rise in the number of credit cards – 37 million in circulation by the end of the first quarter of 2019 – was lower than some of the historic highs seen in the last 13 years, such as the 52 million in use in 2017.

According to the Bank of Spain, the increase in debit cards and their use is likely to be linked to changes in financial institution practices – new criteria were introduced in January 2018 to comply with a European Union directive on card payments.

Anecdotal evidence points at great changes on the high street in terms of card payment acceptance, with increasing numbers of shops allowing debit card use for even small amounts; until last year, it was mainly only supermarkets which would permit card transactions for purchases of any sum, whilst those shops which did accept cards imposed lower limits ranging from €10 to €30, and many more were ‘cash only’ premises.

A growing number of cafés and bars are now willing to take payment on a debit card just for one coffee – a scenario unheard of two years ago.



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nicechap said:
12 August 2019 @ 19:30

When we came here 16 years ago you very seldom saw a credit / debit card, but now it seems every one has one, there's a lot of Spanish that regret getting a visa card, I needed a small loan, the only way I could get it from the Bank was to have it on a Visa card or go else were. Its the Banks that are responsible for the Visa card debt.

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