Increase in the number of “plastic money” users

The number of cardholders in the Dominican Republic, if it continues as it is, will represent a significant increase this year in relation to the behavior it had years ago, since as of June of this year there were more than 5.2 million debit card users and more than 2.6 million credit card users, including additional ones.

As of that date, there were also 206,212 prepaid cards and close to 1.9 million cardholders benefiting from government subsidies.

According to statistics from the Payments Department of the Central Bank (BCRD), in 2020, there were 5.5 million debit card users and 2.4 million credit card users. In that period there were no users with state-of-the-art technology for contactless cards, a process that has been growing this year.

Of the 5.2 million debit card users, there are more than 1.6 million using contactless technology, a growth that is also seen in credit card users. In prepaid cards there are only three registered users as of last June.

Financial technologies
Users of financial services are increasingly opting for services offered through digital channels, and the Dominican Republic has been making progress in this regard.

According to data from the Payments Department of the Central Bank in July of the year there were more than 1.4 million transactions registered by mobile, growth that is observed if one takes into account that all of 2019 had registered 1.08 million people who made their payments through cell phones and that the same in all of 2020 1.019 million users were registered.

Platforms
As of June of this year 2021, the Payments Department of the Central Bank had registered more than 5.056 million users of financial services that make transactions through the Internet.

By that date, users made more than 5.2 mobile payment transactions for an amount exceeding RD$5, 320 million during the first half of the year.

By December 2020, 11,888,451 transactions for a value of RD$11,226.9 million had been registered for the whole year.

Meanwhile, last July alone, 869,388 operations carried out by users through the electronic platforms with a value of more than RD$142,883.36 million were recorded, transacted with ncargo on account in pesos and dollars.

The total volume traded as of July of this year was 5,435.36 operations for a value of RD$898,355.5 million.

Inclusion
In terms of inclusion, the financial intermediation entities have been increasing the facilities for the placement of ATMs and sub-agents where they do not yet have physical plant.

The most recent data from the BCRD’s Payments System Department indicate that out of 1,741 ATMs in 2020, 3,291 were available and active.

Last year, users made 100 million withdrawal transactions, for an amount of RD$467,109 million. While in the case of deposits, 7 million operations were transacted for a value of RD$56,225 million.

In the Dominican Republic, stratified by zones, there is evidence of a greater availability of ATMs for the use of financial customers in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, with 40% of these machines; and the North zone with 39%.

These are followed by the Eastern zone with a 15% share of ATMs, and finally the Southern zone with 7%.

Sub-agents
The Superintendency of Banks has registered 15 financial intermediaries as sub-agents.

Transactions
Although sub-agents operate in physical premises and beneficiaries go in person to withdraw funds, depositors generally use digital teller machines.

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