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S. Korea's card spending grows 5.4% in Oct.

A nearly deserted terminal for international fights at Incheon International Airport on Aug. 16, South Korea's main gateway west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
A nearly deserted terminal for international fights at Incheon International Airport on Aug. 16, South Korea's main gateway west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Payments made with cards in South Korea grew more than 5 percent in October amid the new coronavirus outbreak, industry data showed Wednesday.

Spending made with credit, debit and prepaid cards came to 77.3 trillion won ($69.7 billion) in October, up 5.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Credit Finance Association.

Credit card spending stood at 60.1 trillion won, with payments made with debit cards reaching 17.1 trillion won.

The association attributed the October increase to solid growth in plastic spending in wholesale and retail sectors.

Card spending for the wholesale and retail industries surged 14.8 percent on-year in October, but transportation, services and five sectors closely related to people's lives posted declines.

Battered by the coronavirus outbreak, the transportation industry suffered a 56.5 percent plunge, with travel agencies and lease companies posting a 44 percent nosedive.

Card spending for the hospitality industry shrank 9.5 percent in October from a year earlier, according to the data.

Due to travel restrictions and other social distancing measures, those industries have taken the brunt of the fallout from the outbreak of COVID-19, whose first case in South Korea was confirmed in late January. (Yonhap)

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