The payment of food with credit cards has its highest level since 2019

The payment of food with credit cards has its highest level since 2019

Between March and April of this year, there were 47,354 credit card payments in supermarkets. The data represents a 25.1% higher use compared to the first two months of 2022 and 39.1% more compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico).

BBVA Mexico recently warned that given the increase in food prices, people are turning to credit.

“People are using the card for current spending, but we hope it will not be sustainable,” said Carlos Serrano, BBVA Mexico’s chief economist. The specialist explained that this trend could last this year, once inflation decreases.

Purchases made in supermarkets during March and April of this year even exceeded the number of purchases made in the Good End offers and promotions and the 2021 Christmas season.

Since November 2021, headline inflation has been above 7% and Banxico estimates that it will remain at these figures during the second and third quarters of the year. It will be from the fourth quarter of 2022 when a downward trajectory begins.

The central bank has a constitutional mandate to keep inflation at 3%, although it can have a range of variability of one percentage point up or down. Inflation is expected to reach these ranges by the second quarter of 2023.

The foods that increased in price the most between March and April were corn tortillas, avocados, tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers and eggs, according to Inegi data.

The amounts paid with credit cards in supermarkets also saw an increase in the second two months of this year compared to 2021. While between March and April of this year 22.4 million pesos were paid with credit, last year, they were 17.6 million. .

Mexicans like to pay months without interest

Although paying for food with credit is a bad practice, Mexicans like this form of financing. Nu, the largest issuer of new credit cards in the country, has found that this is people’s favorite way to pay.

In an interview, Emilio González, general director of the firm, said that more than 50% of its clients defer their purchases to months without interest.

“When we realized that most of our clients use credit cards to finance themselves, we launched fixed payment and deferred purchase functionalities so that people can understand how interest is charged. Our clients tend to spend more than the average in digital services (such as Mercado Libre, Amazon, Uber or Didi). Outside of that, we see a lot of spending on self-service stores and restaurants,” the manager stressed.

Nu is a neobank of Brazilian origin that arrived in Mexico in 2019, with almost three years in the market, the firm already has 2.1 million clients in the country.

In the first three months of 2022, Nu issued about 200,000 plastics a month, and Gonzalez said the percentage of customers using some form of financing for interest-bearing purchases has increased.

When asked if he was concerned about a lower placement of cards or a drop in the use of plastics due to the increases that Banxico has made to the interest rate, the manager said that, on the contrary, they expect greater dynamism and transactions.

“If the economy is not so strong, the income of families can be affected and therefore what they are spending, but, on the other hand, the fact that inflation is also higher, and that we are at a of 7%, to buy the same products the amount that families have to use goes up,” he added.



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