Barbadians are increasingly swiping their debit cards instead of paying cash, making $1.2 billion in purchases last – though cash remains king, according to the Central Bank of Barbados.
But credit card payments dipped slightly last year, it said.
Its just-released 2018 Financial Stability Report showed continued growth in debit card usage, with 9.7 million transactions.
It said: “The value of payments via the point-of-sale portals grew by 6.7 per cent to represent 46 per cent of total transactional value of debit cards.
“Additionally, the value of transactions conducted through automated teller machines grew by 2.3 per cent and remained the major use of debit cards in terms of value, accounting for 54 per cent.”
Credit card use declined by one per cent, compared to the 1.7 per cent decline in 2017, the report said.
Cash use continued to grow the Central Bank said, as currency in circulation grew by 4.5 per cent to represent $784 million or 7.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of last year.
“This is high compared to most of its regional counterparts and highlights the key role cash continues to play in Barbados’ payment system,” said the 77-page document.
In June, Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes acknowledged that cash is still the main way transactions are settled in Barbados, but warned that alternative transaction methods are on the increase.
“In the future as we seek to increase efficiency through the use of electronic payments, cash may no longer be the king, but will remain in the mix,” he predicted then.