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March 22, 2013

Contactless cards gain momentum in Turkey

Turkish banks have succeeded in developing new products and services that appeal to the Turkish public, as contactless cards reach an all-time popularity high.

By Sandra Nielsen

Turkish banks have succeeded in developing new products and services that appeal to the Turkish public, as contactless cards reach an all-time popularity high.

The usage of contactless cards has been analysed by BKM (Interbank Card Center of Turkey). According to the data, contactless transactions below €15 are becoming more and more popular, allowing the number of contactless cards to exceed 10m in Turkey, a 61% increase since 2010.

Dr.Soner Canko, CEO of BKM, stated that "1.4 million of them (contactless cards) are prepaid debit cards whereas the remaining 8.9 million are credit cards."

And the popularity of contactless cards is clearly visible when BKM analyses shopping transactions in Turkey. The number of contactless shopping transactions, made with debit cards, has increased by 141% in 2012 and reached 18.2 million from 7.5 million transactions in 2011. Similarly the number of transactions with credit cards has also increased by 122% and reached 8.4 million transactions.

The contactless trend also revealed that debit cards may be on the verge to replacing coins. BKM’s data showed that there is a difference in the purposes of using debit and credit cards, as the former has replaced coins with their average transaction amount, equal to 0,7 Euro, whereas credit cards were preferred for higher amounts.

The small expenditures on contactless cards helped uncover which industries took the lead in contactless spending. Visibly, 67% of shopping made with the cards occurred in supermarkets, were the shopping amounts to smaller average amounts.

Likewise the travel sector is expected to benefit from contactless payments more than any other sector, with the cards appealing to customers in need to pay small amounts, quickly.According to BKM’s research cash payments are completed in 26 seconds and payments with credit or debit cards are completed in 16 seconds, but the payments made with contactless cards are completed only in 9 seconds. Enticing many Turkish customers to opt in for the faster, easier option.

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