Despite the war in the North, shopping purchases using Isracard credit cards rose 11.5 percent in 2006, benefiting from an improved economic situation.
"The second Lebanon War did not have an impact on the volume of expenditure in the consumption sector," said Haim Krupski, CEO of Isracard. "The improvement in the economic situation was probably the force lifting the consumer's mood, which also increased the comfort of consumption and going out."
Credit card transactions for current consumption items such as home shopping, culture and leisure, as well as, electrical appliances, electronics and computer equipment were the main contributors to the gains, Krupski noted. Credit card purchases for electric and electronic appliances were up 10% in 2006 compared with the previous year, while credit card shopping in the computer sector saw an increase of 11% during the same period.
Consumers increased their credit card usage in coffee places and restaurants by 17% in 2006 on a year-on-year comparison, while payments via credit card for government authorities and infrastructure rose 17%. Even in the tourism sector, credit card transactions rose by 9%.
Women's purchases were mainly on cosmetics, beauty treatments, presents, clothes and shoes. Their male counterparts spent more on cars and computers. But, still, 52% of the credit card purchases in 2006 were carried out by men, unchanged from the previous year, while average credit card- spending by men was 20% higher than by women, such that 56% of the total volume of credit card purchases was generated by men.
When looking at who makes purchases by credit card, Isracard found that 43% of the transactions in 2006 were carried out by customers who were between 36 and 55 years old, spending an average of NIS 253 on a transaction. Those between 26 and 35 years, who made up 27% of the total transactions in 2006, spent an average of NIS 104.