SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Card use in South Korea exceeded 1,000 trillion won (US$811.4 billion) for the first time ever in 2022 as eased coronavirus curbs bolstered consumption, data showed Tuesday.
According to the data provided by the Credit Finance Association, credit and debit card use amounted to 1,097.7 trillion won last year, up 12.3 percent from a year earlier.
The number of annual transactions also increased 9.9 percent on-year to 25.69 billion, the data showed.
For the fourth quarter, card use expanded 8.4 percent, though it marked a slowdown from the previous quarter’s 15.1 percent growth.
The 2022 rise in card use is attributed to a rebound in consumption for tourism, lodging and other areas bolstered by eased coronavirus curbs.
South Korea lifted almost all of its coronavirus curbs last year as most people received vaccinations and indicators pointed to more signs of the pandemic subsiding.
On Monday, the government lifted an indoor mask mandate, one of the last remaining virus-related restrictions.
Card use for lodging and restaurants jumped 24 percent on-year in 2022. Transactions in the transportation sector also soared 63.3 percent over the same period, the data showed.