September 25, 2018 / 4:44 PM / a year ago

Card transactions climb in Brazil as more abandon cash

SAO PAULO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Credit and debit card transactions in Brazil grew 13.6 percent in the first half of the year from a year earlier, as more Brazilians used cards instead of cash to pay for goods and services, card industry group Abecs said on Tuesday.

Card transactions totaled 720 billion reais ($175 billion) between January and June, according to Abecs. In the first half of 2018, Brazilian families paid for 34 percent of their consumption by card, up 2.3 percentage points from the same period a year earlier.

Abecs forecast that card transactions would reach 60 percent of families' consumption in four years. It also predicted that transaction fees will keep getting cheaper for merchants.

Amid the higher card usage, new card processing companies such as PagSeguro Digital Ltd and Stone Pagamentos SA have entered the market, increasing competition and decreasing transaction fees.

($1 = 4.12 reais)

Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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