In recent years, banks have made a significant shift in their strategy regarding credit cards. The Bank of Spain published data in the last week that shows that credit cards saw a 5.42% increase to 39.41 millions in the first quarter, while credit cards saw a 0.53% drop. debit cards to 48.79 millions. Experts believe this is because the major banks offer deferred payment credit cards that provide them with certain interest benefits.
In the first quarter 2022, card payments at point-of-sale (POS) terminals saw an increase of around 28%, both in terms of their number and in volume. The number of POS terminals also increased by 7.8% in the first quarter of 2022 to 2.25 million, which is the highest recorded total.
Another change in credit cards is the reduction of cash. According to the Bank of Spain's updated data, the ATM network suffered a 7.5% reduction since the Spanish coronavirus pandemic. In that time, there were 3,777 terminals gone.
At the height of the health crisis in March 2020, Spain had 50,251 ATMs. In the next twelve months, 1,485 (2.96%) of these ATMs disappeared. This coincided with the push given by the pandemic to online banking channels, the launch of job adjustment processes, and offices of different financial entities.
At the end of the first quarter 2022, Spain had 46,473 ATMs, which is 2,293 fewer than one year ago (-4.7%), and 3,777 fewer than at the beginning of the pandemic.
Cash withdrawals suffered a 31.25% drop in 2020 due to lower activity and confinements. In 2021, however, they rebounded to 4.51% after the restrictions were lifted.
According to the latest data, ATM use increased in the first quarter 2022 with 152.9 million transactions between January and March. This is 7.34% higher than the previous year. Also, the volume of withdrawals increased to 111.131 million euros, 10.63% higher than in 2021's first quarter.