Credit Cards in Circulation in Hong Kong Reach 19.71 Million

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s central bank, has released its Q2/2023 payment card statistics, revealing that the total number of credit cards in circulation in Hong Kong reached 19.71 million by the end of the second quarter.

This indicates a marginal growth of 0.05% compared to the previous quarter and a 0.4% rise year-on-year.

The statistics, which the HKMA has been publishing quarterly since June 2010, cover credit and debit cards issued under the schemes of eight payment card scheme operators, aiming to foster transparency in line with international standards.

The data for Q2/2023 also highlighted the fluctuating trends of credit card transactions, both in number and value. Total transactions using credit cards numbered 254.12 million for the quarter, marking a 2.1% decline from Q1/2023 but a notable 16.7% surge compared to the same period in 2022.

In terms of value, transactions amounted to HK$217.5 billion, representing a 6.2% drop quarter-on-quarter but an impressive 22.8% increase year-on-year. Breaking this down, HK$158.0 billion (or 72.7% of the total) pertained to retail spending within Hong Kong, HK$50.6 billion (23.3%) was attributed to overseas retail expenditure, and HK$8.8 billion (4.1%) was associated with cash advances.

On the debit card front, specifics regarding the total number in circulation were unavailable due to potential overlaps of brands on individual cards.

However, the report mentioned that the number of debit card transactions relating to retail sales and bills payments slid by 4.5% to 44.43 million for Q2/2023. The corresponding value also dropped by 14.1%, settling at HK$68.1 billion. Yet, when juxtaposed with Q2/2022, both figures saw growth, with transaction numbers and values rising by 1.1% and 3.1% respectively.

The HKMA compiles these payment card statistics from data provided by both authorized and non-authorized institutions under the credit and/or debit card schemes of the eight card operators, including renowned names such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

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