JOHANNESBURG - A survey by BankservAfrica has shown that holiday spend in December surpassed the previous year’s as the volume of point-of-sale (POS) transactions processed grew by 10 percent year-on-year to reach 117 million, up from 106 million in 2018.
BankservAfrica said on Monday that the total value of these was also higher at R69 billion, which represents a 16 percent growth on the R59bn in the previous year.
Data showed that South Africans mostly swiped their cards at grocery stores, service stations (fuel) and eating places and restaurants.
Executive head for payments business at BankservAfrica, Martin Grunewald said: “The higher volume and values for December comes shortly after the annual increases in the 2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It seems the year-end retail results were better than expected.
He said South Africans prioritised essential items suggesting that many chose to use their money on the usual items but with higher spend due to the holiday period.
The last minute shopping rush led to Christmas Eve showing a high volume of transactions of 4 853 234.
This was a 4.5 percent growth on the same day in the previous year.
“Although overall spend picked-up over this busy holiday period, there is the real risk that the majority of these took place on credit given that most households continued to be affected by the economy throughout 2019,” Grunewald said.