Card payments reached 170 million euros last year
Last year, Albanians carried out bank card payments in amount of 21.3 billion ALL or about 170 million euros. Bank of Albania’s statistics show that card payments increased by 16% in 2018. The growth is even higher, calculated as a number of transactions. Of the 2.9 million for 2017, the number of card payments reached 3.6 million last year. These figures refer only to direct card payments through electronic sales points, excluding cash withdrawals from ATMs.
Using the card to attract money continues to dominate, which is understandable for a high-cash cash economy like the Albanian one. Last year, around 16.5 million withdrawals from ATMs were carried out, for a total value of 194 billion ALL or about 1.6 billion euros. Despite this, the market has a positive trend towards increasing non-cash payments. This is apparent from the increase of electronic payments, but also the number of credit cards, which are an instrument mainly used for non-cash payments.
At the end of last year, Albanian banks had 105,000 active credit cards. In the last three years, the number of credit cards has risen by an average of 10% a year. In total, the number of cards has reached about 1.1 million, most of which are debit cards linked to the current accounts of individuals.