E-payments up by record 20 percent. Rising interest rates on loans makes cards a form of lending - Lebanon

E-payments up
by record 20 percent
Rising interest rates on loans

makes cards a form of lending

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Electronic payments registered record growth of a 20 percent in 2018, compared to the previous year, according to Visa.

Part of this growth is attributed to the increase in the number of payment cards in circulation, which registered a six percent growth last year, compared to the preceding year, according to the Central Bank. More residents and non-residents are using payment cards at local terminals.

The growth in payment cards is attributed to the banks’ targeted efforts to reach youth.

“The growth of e-commerce is boosting electronic payments,” said Ramzi Saboury, Chief Commercial Officer of Areeba. The growth in online payments exceeded 60 percent last year, according to Visa.

Rising interest rates on consumer and personal loans have increasingly made credit cards a form of lending for limited amounts, according to the payment cards article published in the May issue of Lebanon Opportunities.

“Cardholders are replacing consumer loans to a large extent, because they are an accessible payment solution, therefore they offer more convenience,” said George Aouad, Director of the Consumer Banking Division at Bank of Beirut. Purchases made on payment cards are essentially loans without collateral and do not need bank approval.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 17, 2019