South Korea has secured top ranking in credit card use among major countries, according to figures released by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute (KFTC).

KFTC compared 18 countries whose central banks are members of the Bank for International Settlement’s Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems.

The KFTC findings showed that South Korea’s total number of credit card usage reached 7.35 billion in 2012, up from 1.88 billion in 2003.

A South Korean consumer on average carried out 147 purchases using credit card during 2012, followed by Canada with 89.8, and the US with 83.5.

Additionally, the data revealed that South Korea’s per-capita credit card spending ranked third in 2012 with $8,625 per person, after Australia with $11,000 and Canada with $10,000.

The report was cited by as saying, "The government encourages people to use debit cards, which leads to more rational consumption than credit cards. The debit card spending will continue to rise."