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Press Releases

Statistics of Payment Cards Issued in Hong Kong for First Quarter 2016

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published today statistics of payment cards issued in Hong Kong for the first quarter of 2016.

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 18.55 million by the end of Q1/2016.  The figure represents a 2.6% decrease from the previous quarter and a 1.8% 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 131.3 million for Q1/2016, representing a 3.0% decrease from the previous quarter and a 4.9% increase from the same period in 2015.  The total value of credit card transactions was HK$149.5 billion for Q1/2016, representing a 4.7% decrease from the previous quarter and a 1.9% decrease from the same period in 2015.  Of the total transaction value, HK$118.9 billion (79%) was related to retail spending in Hong Kong, HK$22.2 billion (15%) in retail spending overseas and HK$8.4 billion (6%) 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. (Note 4)  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 5) 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 decreased 0.8% to 33.0 million while the total value increased by 5.1% to HK$75.2 billion in Q1/2016.  When compared to the same period in 2015, the total number increased by 6.2% and the total value rose by 5.6% in Q1/2016.

 

Annex

 

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 June2016

 

Notes:

  1. The payment card statistics are compiled from data on credit and debit cards issued in Hong Kong by both authorized institutions (AIs) and non-authorized institutions (non-AIs) under the credit and/or debit card schemes of the eight payment card scheme operators (“the card operators”).  The card operators, in alphabetical order, are American Express International, Inc., China UnionPay Co. Ltd. (CUP), Diners Club International (HK) Ltd., EPS Company (Hong Kong) Limited (EPSCO), JCB International Co. Ltd., Joint Electronic Teller Services Ltd. (JETCO), MasterCard International Inc. and Visa Hong Kong Limited.

The payment card statistics are collected under the Code of Practice for Payment Card Scheme Operators, which was drawn up by the eight card operators and endorsed by the HKMA.  For more information on the Code, please see http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-information/press-releases/2006/20061214-3.shtml.

  1. A credit card issued in Hong Kong only carries one credit card brand.  The total number of credit cards in circulation refers to the total number of credit cards (i.e. cards with a credit function) issued in Hong Kong under the credit card schemes of card operators (but excluding EPSCO and JETCO, which do not operate a credit card scheme).  Some of these credit cards carry debit card functions, i.e. the credit card can be used for making purchases/payments or cash withdrawal at ATMs through directly debiting cardholders’ bank accounts.
  2. The total number/value of credit card transactions refer to the total number/value of transactions made via credit card accounts of credit cards issued in Hong Kong under the credit card schemes of card operators (excluding EPSCO and JETCO).  Starting from March 2015, a Hong Kong/overseas spending breakdown of credit card retail sales transactions is provided.
  3. A debit card may carry more than one debit card brand.  For example, a debit card issued under the CUP/MasterCard/Visa debit card scheme may carry both EPS and JETCO functions.  Since statistics on the number of debit cards collected from different card operators may overlap, it is therefore not possible to calculate an accurate aggregate total.
  4. The total number/value of debit card transactions in relation to retail sales/bill payments refers to the total number/value of those transactions made via debiting cardholders’ bank accounts.  Some of the eight card operators do not operate a debit card scheme. Care should be exercised in combining the credit card retail sales figures and the debit card retail sales/bills payment figures because of the possibility of double counting.  For example, a cardholder may use a credit card to purchase an item and then pay the credit card bill by a debit payment.  This transaction would be included in both the credit card and debit card retail sales figures.
Last revision date: 20 June 2016
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