Debit card usage increases in South Africa

Benefits with debit cards

The use of debit cards in South Africa has risen by more 18% a year for the past three years, whereas internationally debit card usage has increased by 13%. According to data released by Visa, debit card spending on clothing, food and beverages increased by 19% over the past year, while there has been significant growth in online debit card purchases. However the fastest growing retail segment for debit card purchases over the past year to June 2012 was fuel, with an increase of 150%. In addition, South African banks have decreased per transaction cardholder fees for using debit cards, which has resulted in fewer ATM withdrawals and more debit purchase transactions.

This growth is consistent with that in other industrialised markets,” said Herman Botes, director of consumer debit at Visa for sub-Saharan Africa. “Given that South African banks are now offering debit-card holders most of the same loyalty and other benefits associated with credit cards, so we expect to see this growth trend continue.”

Botes went on to state that people still do not understand the benefits of using debit cards over cash. These benefits include various promotional offers, convenience and security.

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