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Card transactions amounted to over one billion euros last year

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The trend of increasingly using cards instead of cash has long been popular worldwide, and according to data provided by the Central Bank (CBCG), it is evident that the citizens of Montenegro are also embracing this trend.

According to these data, the number of active cards amounts to almost half a million.

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“The total number of payment cards in Montenegro issued by payment service providers, i.e., credit institutions, regardless of the number of functions on the card, as of December 31st, 2023, was 490,637. It is worth noting that all credit institutions operating in the Montenegrin market, 11 of them, operate with payment cards or issue payment cards,” emphasized the Central Bank.

The supreme monetary institution also states that at the end of 2023, or until December 31st of the previous year, there were a total of 508 ATMs and 16,310 POS terminals on the market in Montenegro, i.e., devices for using cards installed at the point of sale or at the counter of payment service providers.

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“According to the latest available data, the total number of payment transactions in Montenegro made with payment cards with payment function, during the period January – December 2023, amounted to 48,398,494, with a total value of 1.02 billion euros, while in the same period of 2022, the number of these transactions was 39,839,849, with a total value of 913.64 million euros. The data show that, compared to the same period in 2022, there was an increase in the number of transactions by 21.5%, and the value of realized transactions by 11.6%. CBCG does not have data on transactions carried out with cash,” state the CBCG.

However, despite the significant increase in card payments, there is still a considerable number of establishments where citizens cannot pay by card but only with cash. This problem is particularly pronounced on Sundays when many stores are closed. POS terminals are not available at newsstands, many bakeries, and often in smaller shops. Moreover, there is a significant number of cafes that do not accept card payments.

When it comes to the leader in non-cash payments, Sweden stands out in Europe. The coronavirus pandemic a few years ago accelerated the process, so in that country, it is no longer possible to pay in cash in public transport, and the trend then spread to numerous restaurants, hotels, museums… As for the demographic structure of the population using non-cash payments in that country, almost 75% of young people do not use “live” money, and only 16% of the youngest save their pocket money in banknotes.

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