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S. Koreans held 3.9 credit cards on average in 2019: data

(Samsung Card)
(Samsung Card)

South Korean held 3.9 credit cards on average last year, data showed Sunday, as credit card holdings in the country continue to increase as more people use credit cards as their preferred payment method.

There were 110.98 million credit cards in South Korea as of end-2019, up 5.92 million from a year earlier, according to the Credit Finance Association.

South Korea's economically active population, or the number of people aged 15 years or older who are willing to work, held 3.9 credit cards per person last year, data showed.

The number of credit cards held by the economically active population topped 4.8 in 2011. It dropped to 3.4 in 2014, but has been increasing since.

Last year, the value of credit card spending in South Korea reached a total of 806.19 trillion won ($651 billion), with 105 trillion won being credit card loans.

Credit card use accounted for 71.7 percent of total private spending last year. Including debit cards, the use of non-cash, electronic-based payment methods accounted for 90 percent of total private spending.

"In addition to the government's policy support, more people are using credit cards as their main payment method as they began to pay their taxes and other micropayments with credit cards," the association said. "Since 2014, many mobile, online-based easy payment services emerged in the market, but since many of them also rely on credit cards, there seems to be no major impact on people's credit card holdings." (Yonhap)