According to the debit card system manager, this decrease in the number of transactions in the network was accompanied in the week between March 16th and 22nd.
The number of purchases paid using card readers and cash withdrawals fell to about half last week from the daily average before the first case of Covid-19 in Portugal, card manager SIBS said on Tuesday.
According to the debit card system manager, this decrease in the number of transactions in the network (a fall of 44 to 49 percentage points in purchases and withdrawals, respectively) was accompanied in the week between March 16th and 22nd by an increase in the average value spent on each purchase and the amount of money withdrawn in each operation.
The average value of purchases in the Multibanco Network, according to the SIBS, has shown a progressive tendency to increase, and in the period under review, it rose to €42.1, compared to €37.4 in the previous week (+12.5%) and €34.7 of the average verified before the confirmation of cases of the novel coronavirus in Portugal (+21%).
The average value of withdrawals increased to €84.5, 25% more than the average of €67.8 registered before the announcement of cases.
In the same way, purchases through MB Way increased compared to the one registered before the confirmation of the first case of Covid-19 in the country, the SIBS added.
“A development that highlights the convenience of using the MB Way for purchases, since it allows all payments to be made contactless with the payment terminal, whatever the amount, complying with the recommendations of the health authorities to prevent contagion,” it said.
As in previous weeks, the SIBS has seen a concentration of purchases in super and hypermarkets and pharmacies, with these sectors now accounting for more than half (54%) of purchases made in Portugal in the last week.
As for purchases of Portuguese abroad, the SIBS data reflect a reduction of 56 points in the week of March 16th to 22nd.
The purchases from foreigners in Portugal suffered a decrease of 69 points.
The novel coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 360,000 people around the world, of whom around 17,000 have died.
After it broke out in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, which led the World Health Organisation to declare a pandemic situation.
The European continent is where the largest number of cases is currently emerging, and Italy is the country in the world with the most deaths, with 6,077 deaths in 63,927 cases. According to the Italian authorities, 7,024 of those infected have already been cured.
In Portugal, there have been 30deaths and 2,362 confirmed infections, according to the latest figures by the Directorate-General of Health.