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Card payments in Turkey see strong rebound amid pandemic

Card payments in Turkey see strong rebound amid pandemic

Card payments in Turkey have experienced a rapid recovery period parallel to the normalization process as consumer spending picked up after the country emerged from the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Payments surged 18% year-on-year as of the last week of August, rebounding from a 10% year-on-year decline from March through May, marked by a 12-week lockdown period, according to research by payments technology company Visa and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

The research analyzed various industries and changes in card spending, contactless transactions and e-commerce transactions between March and August.

Comparing the spending data to that of Sweden and Italy, the research said Turkey has managed to overcome the process with less damage compared with Europe and that its industries recovered faster.

Italy and Sweden followed opposite approaches during the outbreak. Italy was the first country outside Asia to be overrun by COVID-19 and went into national lockdown in early March while unlike most countries in Europe, Sweden never imposed lockdown, largely keeping businesses operating.

Ankara halted intercity travel, imposed weekend lockdowns, shut schools, restaurants, bars and closed certain factories to slow the spread of the pandemic before most restrictions were lifted in June.