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Pandemic Getting Under Control, Credit Card Transactions This Year Expected to Increase

Pandemic Getting Under Control, Credit Card Transactions This Year Expected to Increase

Banking credit card transactions in 2021 are still not able to return to the conditions before the Covid-19 pandemic. The reason is, traveling activities move, especially for traveling abroad. 

However, this year banks are optimistic that credit card transactions will improve and grow positively in line with increasingly controlled pandemic conditions.

PT Bank Negara Indonesia Tbk (BNI) for example still recorded a decrease in credit card transaction volume sales by 6% year on year (YoY) to Rp 26.7 trillion throughout 2021. However, outstanding or bank credit card debit balance has been recorded positive where per quarter III alone rose 1.2% YoY. 

General Manager of BNI Card Business Division, Grace Situmeang said, pandemic improvement will have an impact on credit card business with increased transactions in the consumptive sector, including the travel category. "The growth in credit card sales volume this year we project to grow more than 2.75%," he said on Friday, January 14, 2022.

BNI continues to strive to improve the business in a sustainable manner and provide benefits for cardholders. Grace said credit card transactions will be focused on increasing the volume of new life style experience transactions, travel related, e-commerce transactions and increasing VCN transactions.

In addition, BNI will also continue to develop new My Credit Card features and services at BNI Mobile Banking, as well as optimize partnerships with strategic merchants both nationally and regionally. BNI credit card also provides ease of applying for credit cards digitally.

Although 2022 is still affected by pandemic conditions, BNI is optimistic that the outlook for credit cards in 2022 will improve, with the ease of applying for credit cards digitally, the ease and convenience of transaction services, and various innovations and attractive program offers. Outstanding credit cards are expected to grow above 1% compared to the end of 2021.

Similarly, PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk (BRI) is also optimistic that its credit card business this year can grow positively. Until the end of the third quarter of 2021, outstanding bank credit cards have grown 26.6% to Rp 4.2 trillion. When compared to the conditions before the pandemic (December 2019), the growth was recorded at 55%.

"We are optimistic that credit card transactions in e-commerce will still grow large. Pandemics have driven societal change towards more digital lifestyles. This can be seen from the significant increase in Traveloka Paylater Card credit transactions through e-commerce channels," said Aestika Oryza Gunarto, BRI Corporate Secretary.

To develop the credit card business, BRI continues to innovate, including the development of digital-based credit card acquisition through digital signature mechanisms.

BRI targets BRI credit card business will continue to grow in a healthy manner with several strategies including increasing co-brand cooperation to serve various segments and increasing more aggressive penetration as digital lending products.

BRI has experience as the first Bank in Indonesia to issue a co-branding credit card with API services integrated with partner co-branding platforms. "We realize how big the business potential of this open banking cooperation scheme so that in the future BRI will still open opportunities for cooperation with other e-commerce," he concluded.

Executive Director of the Indonesian Credit Card Association (AKKI) Steve Marta said, credit card transactions have not returned as in the conditions before the Covid-19 pandemic because the traveling sector which has been the largest contributor to transaction volume has not returned to normal.

"If we look at it lately, local travel has improved after the pandemic was brought under control. We expect credit card transactions on this domestic trip will rebound. But the problem is, international travel has not improved. Currently credit card transactions are still about 85% from the point before Covid-19," said Steve recently.

AKKI estimates that if the pandemic is controlled and Covid-19 cases do not increase after the year-end holiday is over, then credit card transactions in 2022 will return to the point before the pandemic sticks out. 

Steve said, making the current estimate is difficult because it will all depend on the pandemic situation. The existence of a new variant of Covid-19 is still a concern in looking at the prospects for credit cards going forward.

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