Credit card spending in Taiwan spiked last November: FSC

Taipei-Credit card spending in Taiwan rose last November to the second highest level for 2017, largely as a result of sales promotions by e-commerce operators, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

FSC data showed that credit card spending totaled NT$233.7 billion (US$7.92 billion) in November, an increase of NT$17.9 billion from the previous month and second only to the NT$295.1 billion registered in June.

One of the main contributing factors was a Double 11 (Nov. 11) sales promotion initiated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which attracted strong online buying though credit card payments, Chuang Shiu-yuan, deputy director of the FSC's Banking Bureau, told the press.

She said some major department stores in Taiwan were also running anniversary sales promotions in November.

In the first 11 months of 2017, the aggregate credit card spending in Taiwan was NT$2.39 trillion, up 8.4 percent from a year earlier and close to the NT$2.42 trillion recorded for the whole of 2016, according to the FSC data.

The FSC estimated that the figure for the entire 2017 will be a record NT$2.6 trillion, taking into consideration the fact that December is usually peak period for consumption.

As of the end of November, a total of 41.67 million credit cards issued by 36 banks were circulating in Taiwan, up from 41.51 million at the end of October, the FSC said.

Despite the increase in credit card spending in November, the FSC said, the non-performing ratio of the 36 banks in terms of credit card spending stood at 0.23 percent on average as of the end of the month, down 0.02 percentage points from the end of October.

Meanwhile, the bad loan ratio fell 0.03 percentage points in November from a year earlier, the FSC said.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council