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Credit-card holdings in S. Korea hit record high last year

 The average number of credit cards held by South Koreans hit a record high last year thanks to a well-established payment system and improving economic conditions, a report showed Sunday.

   A total of 114.94 million cards had been issued as of the end of the third quarter of last year, according to the report by the Credit Finance Association.

   Given that the number of economically active people totaled

24.99 million at the time, the average number of cards held by employed individuals came to a record 4.59, the report showed. This compares with 0.6 reported in 1990.

   The increase is attributed to the country's well-established payment system and recovering economic conditions. The growing popularity of plastic money among consumers due to its convenience played a role as well.

   The report added that the ratio of credit card spending to total private consumption expenditure rose to a record high of 56.1 percent in the third quarter. Spending on credit came to 256 trillion won (US$228.1 billion), the report showed. (Yonhap News)