Published : 2013-08-30 20:55
Updated : 2013-08-30 20:55
Korea’s total credit card spending overseas hit a record high in the second quarter of this year despite the nation’s economic slowdown, the central bank said Friday.
The Bank of Korea reported that about 51 percent of total payments made between April and June were put on plastic including debit cards.
Koreans spent about $2.5 billion with cards during that period. The amount increased about 1.6 percent from the first quarter.
The high rate of credit card spending resulted from a change in Korean travelers’ preferred method of payment, the BOK said, indicating payment by internationally valid credit cards are now taking over the use of cash in foreign currency.
“We are expecting to see a general increase in card payments in foreign countries in the next quarter,” a Hyundai Card spokesperson said, referring to the summer vacation season. Card payments were made by credit cards the most, followed by check card and debit.
Meanwhile, the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute reported that the nation’s total expenditure outside the country between January and July peaked at about $10.1 billion, up 13 percent from a year ago.
This is the first time that the amount surpassed the $10 billion mark, the state-run tourism institute said.
Officials said the weak Japanese yen and rising domestic consumer price might have induced them to go abroad for vacation.