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South Korea’s overseas plastic card spending rises in 2021

SEOUL (XINHUA) – South Korea’s overseas plastic card spending logged the first growth in three years last year due to the online overseas purchase using credit cards, central bank data showed yesterday.

The overseas payment through credit, debit and cheque cards by local residents amounted to USD12.23 billion in 2021, up 18.6 per cent from the previous year, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The figure almost halved to USD10.31 billion in 2020 from USD19.12 billion a year earlier amid the sharp fall in overseas trips, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of locals going abroad tumbled from USD4.28 million in 2020 to USD1.22 million in 2021, but the online direct purchase in the global market went up rapidly, the BOK noted.

The online direct purchase outside South Korea reached USD4.49 billion in 2021, up 29.7 per cent from the prior year.

The number of plastic cards used for overseas purchases was 46,443,000 in 2021, down 5.8 per cent from a year ago.

The average amount of overseas spending per plastic card gained from USD209 in 2020 to USD263 in 2021.


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