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Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cypri­ots used their cards less in Au­gust, com­pared with the same month last year, with the card clear­ing house JCC say­ing that the to­tal value of trans­ac­tions with cards in the lo­cal mar­ket de­creased by 1% to 179 mln euros.

Apart from a slow re­cov­ery in con­sumer con­fi­dence, the sus­pen­sion of al­ter­na­tive clear­ing house IMSP also had an im­pact, as 4% of all mer­chants on the is­land used their POS ma­chines and were left in limbo after the Cen­tral Bank shut down the lo­cal branch op­er­a­tions of par­ent FBME Bank.

Ac­cord­ing to JCC, which is now a mo­nop­oly again in the ab­sence of a com­pet­i­tive clear­ing house, there was an in­crease in pay­ments in Au­gust in cloth­ing, shoes and ac­ces­sories stores, restau­rants and ho­tels, while a de­crease af­fected the gov­ern­ment sec­tor, DIY and house­hold stores.

The value of trans­ac­tions in Cyprus was up by 6% in the pe­riod Jan­uary-Au­gust, reach­ing 1.4 bln euros, com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2013.

Pay­ments made by Cypri­ots with lo­cal cards abroad in Au­gust dropped by 2%, to 98.9 mln euros, whereas a de­crease of 13% was recorded from Jan­uary to Au­gust, com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, with trans­ac­tions reach­ing 755.8 mln. For­eign­ers pay­ments with cards in Cyprus in­creased by 17% in Au­gust and reached 80.1 mln euros. The in­crease was the same be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust, with trans­ac­tions reach­ing 417 mln.

News re­ports also quoted JCC data as show­ing that Cyprus-is­sued card hold­ers spent about 410,000 euros in the north in Au­gust, mostly in leisure, ho­tels, restau­rants and travel to Turkey, with the to­tal year-to-date reach­ing 4.3 mln euros.

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