The COVID-19 pandemic caused card purchases to significantly increase with people opting to shop online and preferring contactless methods of payment. Accordingly, the amount of shopping charged to debit and credit cards in Turkey reached TL 1.61 trillion ($217.91 billion) for the first time in 2020.
The amount was revealed Tuesday in "Pandemetre 2020," a report by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) under the title "Debit Card and Credit Card Spending."
The research was conducted to analyze the effects of the pandemic on several sectors.
The research benefited from data provided by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey’s (CBRT) debit card and credit card spending amounts, which revealed that total card expenditures have recorded a 13% increase compared to the previous year.
In 2020, 15 of the 23 sectors recorded an increase in debit and credit card payments in their sales. Card spending on travel agencies, airlines, accommodation, jewelry and in the catering sectors, meanwhile, decreased.
Last year, the five sectors with the highest increase in card expenditures were the electrical, electronic equipment and computer sector with an increase of 81%, contracting works with an increase of 52%, markets and shopping centers with an increase of 41%, building materials and hardware stores with an increase of 35% as well as telecommunications with an increase of 31%.
In 2020, online shopping with cards increased by 40% and exceeded TL 265 billion.
Commenting on the research’s results, ITO Chairperson Şekib Avdagiç told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they have entered 2021 with hope and believe that the world can keep the pandemic under control even if it cannot be completely eliminated worldwide.
He said that he expects 2021 to be a year of "recovery" for the world economy and that “especially in our industrial sectors, we believe that 2021 will be a breakthrough year for our companies working toward foreign demand.”
Highlighting that the world economy is expected to grow by 4.8% this year, Avdagiç said: “According to estimates, the world trade volume will expand by 7.2%. These figures are important because the course of the world trade volume will determine the level of our exports.”
Saying that worldwide trade trends and logistics preferences have changed, Avdagiç said Turkey has an important advantage.
“The QIMA research with more than 200 global value chains has made this clear,” he said, adding that global brands prefer Turkey, especially European brands.