Cash barely recovering after pandemic in Alicante

months have passed bars are fullbilling shops It’s getting close to what it recorded in 2019, and most companies have managed to recover nearly all of their operations, if not increase. Finally, what money circulates again and to pass it by, it just no longer does it the same way it did before covid. One of the lasting consequences left by the coronavirus is lower cash usagefor the benefit cardIt has definitely become the preferred means of payment for citizens.

At least this is inferred from the data provided by Sabadell Bank on the number of operations registered in its network in the province, which confirms the figures presented at the national level by Bank of Spain for the whole country.

In this way, after falling to 33% during 2020, cash withdrawals and receipts It continues to this day in the offices and ATMs of the organization, which has the largest market share in Alicante. 27% below pre-pandemic levels. Specifically, revenue transactions continue below 34% and withdrawals below 22%.

A trend that contradicts the evolution of number Payments made via POS -card payment terminals- bank-managed and already established in the region 49.66% above From those recorded in 2019.

A data source for entities

The development of electronic money provides businesses with significant advantages beyond what they get in return for the use of POS terminals. Card payments allow banks to know where that money is going, and therefore the tastes and needs of their customers, making it easier for them to sell other products or, for example, to make loans with knowledge of their background.

And as in other aspects, the pandemic has served to speed up the process. digitization of moneyA change that Sabadell already considered irreversible was also reflected in the decrease in the number of ATMs due to the low demand for this service.

A customer pays with a card at a store. JOHN RUZ

In this way, in these two pandemic years almost 2,900 terminals disappeared from the map It’s across the country and not just because of the gradual closure of branches, according to the Bank of Spain. According to industry sources, ATMs are becoming increasingly difficult to find in places like shopping malls, where organizations compete for top spots because it is no longer profitable to maintain that presence.

On the contrary, at the same time Active POS increased more 268,000, up to 2,210,994. As a result, card paid volume reached 195,246 million, compared to 111,131 million withdrawn from ATMs in Spain last year, which has already surpassed cash withdrawals since 2016.

President of the Heart of Alicante Merchants Association and vice-president of provincial Facpyme, Vincent Armengol, Recognizes that the pandemic means a complete change of mindset for both customers and traders themselves, and definitively broke the taboos, like demanding a minimum payment to accept cards. Pointing out that “depositing money directly into the account” is a convenience for businessmen in this sense, Armengöl admits that the rise of cards is the same. facilitates impulsive purchases. “If you’ve ever seen something worth 25 and only had 20, you weren’t buying it. Now you take out the card,” he emphasizes.

Of course, the downside is, costs According to Armengöl, the service required is high and continues to be higher in a time like today when many stores look at the penny with the effect of inflation.

In any case, this further use of electronic money and therefore, less need to go to the office This is one of the reasons why banks keep cutting their networks. Thus, according to the latest data from the Bank of Spain, at the end of the first quarter of the year only 629 operating brancheswhat it means 110 less in 2021 than in the same date and 64% less than before the housing bubble burst.

Less debt and less deposits in the bank

Over the past year, the people of Alicante have drastically reduced their indebtedness volumes, although they have seen the balance they hold in their current accounts decline. According to the latest data from the Bank of Spain, the outstanding balance of loans extended by financial institutions at the end of the first quarter amounted to €33,952 million, representing a notable decrease of around €6,000 million according to data from financial institutions. one year ago.

On the one hand, a decrease will be due to the return of some of the ICO loans that many companies requested and did not use during the pandemic, as well as the amortization of the mortgages that many citizens prefer. expectation of an increase in interest rates.

The downside to this decline in indebtedness is that the amount of money the people of Alicante have saved in the bank has also fallen, meaning 36,847 million, almost 3,500 million less than in March 2021.

Source: Informacion


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