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Chinese own 2.95b bank cards

Updated: 2012-03-20 10:55


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BEIJING -- Every Chinese had more than two bank cards on average at the end of last year as more people in the world's second-largest economy turn to non-cash transactions, according to a report by the central bank on Monday.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), or the central bank, said in a report on the country's banking payment service that banks and financial institutions issued an aggregate of about 2.95 billion bank cards at the end of 2011, up 22.1 percent from a year earlier.

Last year, a total of 33.83 billion transactions worth 1,104.35 trillion yuan ($175.1 trillion) were made through non-cash payment instruments such as commercial bills and bank cards, according to the PBOC report.

Among those bank cards issued, the number of debit cards rose 21.9 percent year-on-year to reach 2.66 billion, while credit cards totaled 285 million at the of 2011.

PBOC data shows the total lines extended to credit card holders increased 30 percent year-on-year to 2.6 trillion yuan, with a combined credit balance outstanding jumping 81 percent year-on-year to 812.96 billion yuan.

Further, credit card loans that were more than six months overdue rose 43.5 percent year-on-year to hit 11.03 billion yuan at the end of last year, or accounting for 1.4 percent of the total credit loans outstanding.