Colombians are Doing A little to Remove the use of their Credit Cards in the Midst of the Pandemic

Colombians removed the cards and left 541,35. Colombians are doing a little to remove the use of their credit cards in the midst of the pandemic, because while they have reduced their consumption considerably with these, they are also canceling them in bulk, in part, to avoid the temptation of pay for purchases with this means and not get into debt in the face of rising unemployment.

Last April alone, 541,353 credit cards went out of circulation, at a rate of 18,045 each day, bringing the number of these to close to 15.8 million in that month, this is an amount similar to what there was in October of last year.

However, in March 2020, when the country was just beginning to face the pandemic, a maximum close to 16.4 million active plastics had been reached, according to recent figures from the Financial Superintendency.

From this point on, not only the cancellation of cards by their holders became more evident, but also the issuance of new plastics by the entities.

From 350,793 credit cards that were issued last January, it went to 262,570 in March, when the pandemic in Colombia became evident. But just a month later (April), that volume reached just 53,205 new cards issued, reflecting a drop of close to 81 percent.

In April, the number of temporarily blocked credit cards also rose to 82,146, to 1.94 million, among other reasons, due to reports of theft or loss and late payment of the monthly fee.

This effect has been felt by the main emitters of plastics in the country. In Bancolombia, the placement of new credit cards has fallen 50 percent in the first months of the quarantine.

The data on the reduction of active cards in the market adds to the sharp drop in consumption with these, since in the same month the billing (purchases and cash advances) fell by 50 percent, from 5.66 trillion at the end of March 2.81 trillion just 30 days later.

The year had started with a fairly high consumption rate with cards, since in January there was an expenditure of 7.4 trillion pesos, the highest seen in the country at the beginning of the year, reveal official data.

However, as the year progresses, that spending by households with their cards has been easing amid the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, which, in turn, has caused the country to have its highest unemployment rate since when this measurement is made, 21.4 percent in May, as revealed by the Dane.

Thus, while in April purchases by credit card fell 44.2 percent compared to March and 58.5 percent compared to January this year, cash advances did so at a rate of 66.9 and 72.6 percent. hundred, respectively.

It is worth saying that last January the cardholders obtained liquidity for 1.86 trillion pesos with their plastics, a figure that fell to only 510,000 million at the end of April.

Containment strategies
Although the situation for thousands of households remains critical amid the pandemic, the entities have not stood idly by and are beginning to deploy their strategies to try to contain and regain lost ground on this front.

At Scotiabank Colpatria, for their part, they adjusted the value proposition of their cards, offering free transfers to medical appointments for older adults, redesigned processes so that clients could carry out their transactions through digital channels and domiciled the payment of public services and private charged to the credit card through the website.



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Colombians are Doing A little to Remove the use of their Credit Cards in the Midst of the Pandemic

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