Less Debit Cards in Costa Rica

Between January and April 2019, the number of debit cards circulating in the country fell 5%, from 6.03 million to 5.71 million, and the accumulated balance of accounts associated with these plastics fell by 3%.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Based on the information reported by the companies, up to April 30, 2019 there were a total of 5,719,387 cardholders in the domestic market. When comparing this amount with the data from the previous study, a decrease of 311,505 cardholders is registered, informed the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC).

The report states that "... In addition, there are 227,906 (two hundred twenty-seven thousand nine hundred and six) additional plastic cards, understood as those that the issuer gives to persons authorized by the account holder. A decrease of 26,103 (twenty-six thousand one hundred and three) additional debit cards was recorded in relation to the previous study.

Adding holders and additional cards registered up to April 30, 2019, a total of 5,947,293 (five million nine hundred and forty-seven thousand two hundred and ninety-three thousand) plastics in the market is obtained, with a decrease of 337,608 (three hundred and thirty-seven thousand six hundred and eight) equivalent to 5.37% with respect to the previous study.

The accumulated balance of the accounts to which these plastics are associated, up to April 30, 2019, reached the sum of ¢4.237.434.282.674,46 (four billion two hundred and thirty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-four million two hundred and eighty-two thousand six hundred and seventy-four with forty-six cents). Compared to the previous study, there has been a 2.65% decrease in this item."

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More on this topic

More and More Credit Cards

March 2019

Consistent with the behavior of recent years, up to October 2018 the number of credit cards circulating in Costa Rica totaled 2.98 million, 14% more than in the same month of 2017.

From the report of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC):

The last quarterly study of credit and debit cards, as of October 31, 2018, conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), through the Directorate of Economic and Market Research, determined that in nine years, the number of credit cards in the country increased 125%, representing a total of 2,984,769 plastics in circulation of which 1,976,522 are holders and 1,008,247 are additional plastics, i.e. linked to a cardholder.

Credit Card Debt up 15%

November 2018

In Costa Rica, the balance of credit card debt increased 14.6% in the last year, measured as of July 2018, rising from $1.880 million in July 2017 to $2.155 million in the same month of this year.

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), reported that according to the latest study of the credit card market, compiled by the Directorate of Economic and Market Research, Costa Ricans increased their debt balance by ₡166 billion ($275 million) in one year, representing a 14.6% growth.

Market for Credit and Debit Cards in Costa Rica

September 2014

Up to July 31st 2014 the number of cards in circulation amounted to 1,817,845, 5% more than at the end of April of the same year.

From a press release issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Costa Rica (MEIC):

San Jose 03 September 2014. The third quarterly survey of credit cards up to July 31 shows that there are 28 issuers, 394 types of cards, 1,817,845 cards (plastic) in circulation, representing an increase of 86,172 cards from the previous study (5 %) as well as a balance of effective debt of 836,118 million colones (up 3.1% over the balance of 30 April).

Plastic Money in Costa Rica: Report up to July 2013

October 2013

Credit card debt grew by 1.5% to a total of $1.482 billion, while the number of cards in circulation up to July 31, 2013 was 1,731,673.

A press release from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade of Costa Rica reads:

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) through the Department of Economic and Market Research has conducted its latest study on debit and credit cards.

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