Korea Global No. 1 in Plastic Spending

Korea ranked highest among major economies when it comes to credit and debit card spending compared to GDP.

The Bank of Korea in a report on Monday said the proportion of plastic spending to GDP was 45 percent as of 2012, the highest rate among the 23 members of the Bank for International Settlements.

Second was China (40 percent), followed by the U.K. (33 percent). The proportion was 30 percent for Canada and 27 percent for the U.S.

Yoon Tae-ghil at the BOK said, "In advanced countries such as the U.S., where the use of personal cheques is common, people tend to use credit or debit cards less often."

But Koreans mostly used credit cards, and usage of debit cards was lower than elsewhere at seven percent to GDP, compared to the average eight percent at the 23 BIS member nations.

The proportion was 23 percent in the U.K. and 15 percent in the Netherlands.

The BOK pointed out that credit card fraud is also on the rise. There were 56,000 illicit credit card transactions last year, a 1.8-fold increase from 2010.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 19, 2014 12:17 KST