The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that 18.1 million credit cards were in circulation by the first quarter of 2014 (Q1 2014), signalling a 3.3 percent increase from the same period last year.
The central banking authority also reported that 117 million credit card transactions were made in Q1 2014 and the total value of credit card transactions stood at HK$137.3 billion (US$17.7 billion) for Q1 2014. These figures represent a 6.3 percent and 8.8 percent increase from the same period in 2013 respectively.
As debit cards in Hong Kong may carry more than one debit card brand, the HKMA was unable to provide a definite figure to the total number of debit cards in circulation. However, it managed to report that there were 29.3 million debit card transactions in relation to retail sales and bills payments, amounting to HK$65.7 billion (US$8.5 billion) in Q1 2014. When compared to the same period in 2013, the total number of transactions increased by 2.9 percent while the total value rose by 5.2 percent.
The payment card statistics were compiled from data on credit and debit cards issued in Hong Kong by authorised institutions and non-authorised institutions under the credit and debit card schemes of eight payment card scheme operators. The card operators include American Express International, Inc., China UnionPay Co. Ltd. (CUP), Diners Club International (HK) Ltd., EPS Company (Hong Kong) Limited (EPSCO), JCB International Co. Ltd., Joint Electronic Teller Services Ltd. (JETCO), MasterCard International Inc., and Visa Hong Kong Limited.
According to a statement on its website, the HKMA said that it aims to "enhance transparency of the payment card industry in Hong Kong" by publishing payment card statistics on a quarterly basis.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.