Costa Rica: Credit Card Slow Down

In April 2013 the credit card portfolio in the country grew at a rate of 24%, well above the 10% growth recorded in the same month this year.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The slowdown in economic activity, greater awareness in the use of debt and changes in the regulations requiring risk ratings from the banking system are some of the reasons behind the decline in the growth rate of the number of plastic cards circulating in the country. reports that "... The credit card industry was divided into a total of 14 banks at the end of January, offering about 330 types of cards, according to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC). If looked at by the portfolios of individual banks, the results show two nuances: profits were very stable and the pace was considerably reduced "

"... The credit card business continues to be profitable for issuers of these cards, but a minor force in its annual change continues to be a warning. According to the same entities, some of the effects in this market are being felt because of the enactment of changes to the regulation Sugef 1-05, known as the Regulations for Borrower Classification, in September last year. "

More on this topic

Costa Rica: Credit Card Debt Up 11%

February 2018

The number of cards in circulation grew by 13% between October 2016 and the same month in 2017, and the balance of the debt increased by 11% in the same period.

The last quarterly study of credit and debit cards for 2017, as of October 31, 2017 and carried out by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), registered an increase in the debt balance of ¢59.6 billion ( 5.24%), with respect to the previous quarterly study, for a total amount of ¢1,196,995 million (approx.$2 billion), which represents around 3.68% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Costa Rica: Plastic Money Market

March 2015

72% of the credit and debit cards circulating in the country have interest rates in colones ranging from between 40% and 50%, while the default interest varies from 24% to 65%.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC):

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC), through the Directorate of Economic and Market Research, presented a study on debit and credit cards in which it was determined tha 72% of cards existing in the market have interest rates in colones, ranging from between 40% and 50%.

Market for Credit and Debit Cards in Costa Rica

June 2014

Up to April 30, 2014 the number of cards in circulation amounted to 1,764,609, 2% more than at the end of January of the same year.

From a press release issued by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade of Costa Rica:

According to data from the latest survey by the Directorate of Economic and Market Research of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), defaults decreased by 3%, corresponding to a delay of payment over 90 days, compared to the previous study.

New rules for credit cards in Costa Rica

December 2008

Congress is studying the "Credit and Debit Card Market Regulation" proposed law.

One of the elements of the new law is to provide better information on interest rates and charging conditions, like not charging interests when complains are being resolved.

According to the article: "Advertising, marketing practices, detail on balances and interests, contractual changes and internet shopping are some of the aspects of credit cards that may face regulation, should the law be approved... It will be the first law to regulate this activity in Costa Rica, and would put the country up to date with similar laws that exist in other nations".

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