Credit cards get a May workout
The number of electronic transactions in South Canterbury in May was up 4.5 per cent on the same month last year, from 1.26 million to 1.3 million.
Figures released by Paymark showed that, in terms of volumes, South Canterbury lagged behind the national growth figure of 5.8 per cent.
Paymark Head of Customer Relations Mark Spicer said that after a rapid first week of trading, spending evened out and finished up at an overall growth rate of 8.7 per cent for the month.
"Stronger trading throughout May can be explained by a number of factors. Paymark has had a 3.5 per cent increase in the number of merchants using our network - and it also looks as if there has been an improvement in spending within most of the sectors we report on - though not all."
Another factors that might play a part in the strong spending data was that May had five Saturdays, whereas last year there were four.
"With Saturday being the day of the week that typically results in the highest volume of transactions processed through our network, this will have impacted on the data and trends we've seen in May."
The trend of credit card spending outstripping debit cards had continued, as more and more contactless cards came into the market and merchants enabled their terminals to accept this payment method, he said.
The rise in transactions in May resulted in the amount of dollars spent through the Paymark network - which processes more than 75 per cent of electronic transactions in the country - increasing by 8.3 per cent.
Paymark figures showed trading was strong for those operating in the hospitality sector, with a 14 per cent increase year on year. Food and liquor stores also recorded an increase of 12.3 per cent in spending from the same month last year.
Kiwis swiped and/or tapped their cards just under 90 million times during May - and the surge was especially notable during the first seven days of the month, when spending was up 9.1 per cent compared with the same week of trading last year.
- The Timaru Herald