While use of credit cards has slowed here in the United States, many countries overseas are still experiencing double-digit growth in both the total number of credit cards as well as how often they’re used. A good example of this are credit cards in China. Over 300 million new bank cards (both debit and credit) were issued in 2008. Over 140 million of these were new credit cards – that’s up nearly 60% from previous year. The number of ATMs increased from around 39,000 to 167,000. The increase in POS (point of sale) terminals where users can pay using cards was 660,000 to 1,850,000. Total transaction volume on cards was $18.6 trillion (in American dollars) and that was a 14% increase over the year before.
In comparison to ours, China’s economy is still booming. The good news? Many of the major credit card companies used there are American.
*The above figures are from the People’s Bank of China.