Figures from Brazil’s Central Bank point to a 16.2% decline in total credit card grants to individuals in April, to BRL 85.8 billion – the lowest level since June 2018. If only purchases which are fully settled within a month are considered, the drop reaches 23.5%, as Folha de S. Paulo reported.
“We saw a big drop in the use of the card in the first weeks of the crisis. The volume is gradually recovering, but is still below the period prior to the isolation measures”, Itaú Unibanco bank director Fernando Amaral told the newspaper.
He also noted a change in behavior: purchases are less frequent, but more expensive: the average ticket rose 6% compared to the same month of 2019.
According to the Brazilian Association of Service and Credit Card Companies, even though the drop in retail transactions exceeds 50%, people have used less paper money in the pandemic. The result is that, now, the entity expects the card to accelerate its participation in household consumption – which reached 43% in 2019.