The total number of personal credit cards in circulation was 846,825 at the end of March 2015, which represents an increase of 1.9 per cent over a quarter earlier and 10.3 per cent increase on the same period last year, according to the credit card statistics for the first quarter of 2015 released by the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM) on Friday.
The latest data from AMCM reveals that the number of Pataca (MOP) cards, Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) cards and Renminbi (RMB) cards were 611,010, 78,138 and 157,677, respectively.
MOP cards, HKD cards and RMB cards witnessed respective growth of 2.0 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Compared to a year ago, MOP cards and RMB cards (the majority of which are MOP/RMB dual-currency cards) rose 12.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively, whilst HKD cards dropped 2.7 per cent.
As at end-March 2015, the credit card credit limit granted by banks in Macau reached MOP18.3 billion, up 5.4 percent from end-December 2014. Credit card receivables amounted to MOP2.0 billion while the rollover amount totalled MOP549.0 million, accounting for 28.0 per cent of credit card receivables.
For the first quarter of 2015, credit card turnover decreased 5.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter to MOP4.3 billion, but represented a 13.7 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The cash advance turnover was MOP217.3 million, accounting for 5.0 per cent of total credit card turnover. Credit card repayments, in which payments for interest and fees are included, went up 5.4 per cent from the previous quarter to MOP4.6 billion.
The 13.7 per cent year-on-year increase of the turnover, along with the 10.3 per cent yearly increase of the total number of credit cards in circulation Indicates that credit card consumption is becoming popular in society.
However, the lower turnover of credit cards in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter may represent a gloomy outlook for Macau’s retail sector. As Business Daily reported earlier this year, the increasing amount of tourists coming to Macau has failed to translate into an equally large stimulant for retail business.