SEOUL: Overseas credit and debit cards spending by South Koreans hit a record quarterly high in the first quarter as more people traveled abroad on holidays, central bank data showed Thursday.
South Korean consumers spent 4.02 billion U.S. dollars overseas with credit, debit and check cards in the January-March quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK), reports Xinhua.
It was up 7.4 percent from the previous quarter, topping the 4 billion-dollar mark for the first time.
Consumers refrained from spending money in the domestic market, but they were willing to open their wallets in other countries on the back of strong demand for overseas trips on holidays.
The number of South Koreans who left on a trip overseas reached 6.51 million in the first quarter, up 14.3 percent compared with the previous quarter. The Lunar New Year holidays helped increase the number.
Demand for credit and debit cards usage abroad got strong due mainly to its settlement convenience.
Credit card settlements increased 6.7 percent over the quarter to 2.91 billion dollars in the quarter, with those for check card growing 9.6 percent to 1.03 billion dollars. The figure for debit card added 2.4 percent to 88 million dollars.