Use of plastic money, electronic transactions soar in Greece: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-30 05:07:12|Editor: huaxia
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ATHENS, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The use of plastic money and electronic transactions in Greece have soared after the capital controls, according to a survey released in Athens, as two years since the introduction of the measure were marked on Thursday.

On June 29, 2015, Greeks woke up to closed banks and were able to withdraw up to 60 euros per day from ATMs. The government imposed controls on bank transfers to avert a bank run during negotiations with the country's international lenders before eventually signing the third Greek bailout since 2010.

Two years later, after the difficulties of the first months, the controls have slightly relaxed. Greek enterprises have adjusted to the new standards, and citizens' payment habits have changed significantly, according to an e-mailed press release from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).

Debit and credit card transactions have increased by 58 percent in the past two years compared to the past, and internet and mobile banking transfers risen by 29 percent and 82 percent respectively, according to the ESEE's survey.

Around two in three Greek consumers (68 percent) are currently using plastic money, a debit, credit or prepaid card, in their transactions, it said.

According to officials and analysts, the shift to the plastic money and electronic transactions has a positive effect, as it helps efforts to combat tax evasion.

Following the conclusion of the second review of the current bailout earlier this June, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other cabinet ministers have said that soon the capital controls could be further relaxed or even lifted, without elaborating on timetables. Enditem