Taipei, Credit card spending in Taiwan totaled nearly NT$1.44 trillion (US$46.91 billion) in the first half of this year, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
Data compiled by the FSC, the top financial regulator in Taiwan, showed that credit card spending for the six-month period was up NT$138.8 billion from NT$1.3 trillion recorded over the same period of last year.
The credit card spending in the six-month period was equivalent to about 54 percent of the total NT$2.62 trillion recorded for the whole of 2017, according to the data.
The spike in the six-month spending came after Taiwanese consumers recorded the highest-ever monthly credit card spending of NT$298.2 billion in June, ahead of NT$295.2 billion in June 2017 and NT$263.5 billion in June 2016, the data shows.
The June figure for 2018 was up NT$47.1 billion from a month earlier, the data indicates.
Wang Li-chun (???), deputy director of the FSC's Banking Bureau, said more and more consumers used their credit cards during the tax season.
Citing the figures, Wang said June has become a peak season for the local credit card business.
So far this year, except February, when credit card spending totaled NT$198.1 billion, the monthly spending amount topped the NT$200 billion mark in Taiwan.
As of June, a total of 42.61 million credit cards issued by 34 banks were circulating in Taiwan, up 0.42 percent from a month earlier and also up 3.62 percent from a year earlier, the FSC said.
Despite the increase in credit card spending in June, the FSC said, the non-performing ratio of the 34 banks in terms of credit card spending stood at 0.23 percent on average as of the end of the month, down 0.01 percentage points and unchanged from the end of May, according to the FSC.
Meanwhile, consumers in Taiwan spent NT$11.4 billion through the three major foreign mobile payment systems -- Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay -- in the first half of this year.
The average monthly spending of the three major digital wallet services totaled NT$1.9 billion, up from NT$1.25 billion seen in the second half of last year, the FSC said.
Apple Pay started providing payment services for credit card holders in Taiwan March 29, 2017, making it the first of the major foreign mobile payment platforms in the world available in Taiwan.
Samsung Pay and Google Pay launched services in Taiwan in early May and June of last year, respectively.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel