Number of Credit Cards in Turkey Increased by 30% in Five Years


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Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Posted: August 4, 2014
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Do you think Americans are the only ones with a propensity to use credit cards when they want to buy something? Well, think again.

According to data from the Interbank Card Center, the number of credit cards in use in Turkey has increased by 30 percent in just five years.

There were 43.4 million credit cards in circulation in Turkey in 2008. That number has risen to 56.4 million as of May 2013.

With a population of around 74 million people living in Turkey, that’s not quite one credit card per citizen of the country.

Compare that with the total number of credit cards in use in the U.S. of around 610 million, and a population of 314 million. That equates to almost two cards for every man, woman and child in this country.

But the story here is the rate of growth in credit card use in Turkey.

The 30 percent increase in cards issued compares with an actual decline in credit cards issued in the U.S. over the same period. This is due in large part to the poor economic conditions we’ve experienced over the past five years.

Of course Turkey has also experienced economic hardship, which begs the question: What would the increase have been if we’d had good economic conditions around the world?

The total cost of transactions has also increased in Turkey in the past five years. In fact, the average cost per transaction has actually eclipsed the 30 percent growth rate in the number of cards.

From 2008 to 2012, the total transaction cost per card grew from 4.5 million Turkish Lira to 6.8 million and rising. This is an increase of nearly 50 percent.

The biggest rates of growth are expected to be in the emerging market countries and the developing world.

With this being the case, many of them may soon catch up to U.S. consumers.

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