Cardholders use debit cards at the point of sale or in the internet to make purchases debited to their account or at an automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw cash from their account. Unlike in the case of credit cards, the cardholder’s account is debited immediately.
Some 11.6 million debit cards are currently circulating in Austria (the most commonly used debit cards are Maestro and Debit Mastercard). They can be used at 9,069 ATMs and 184,000 POS terminals. In 2020 around 885.6 million debit cards transactions with a total value of 32.7 billion euros were processed. This averages out to EUR 37 per debit transaction.
Credit card payments are debited at regular intervals. Cardholders receive a credit card billing statement, usually once a month, listing all purchases, and their cost, during that period. Cardholders may pay the amount on the billing statement in full either immediately or after a certain period (charge cards), or they may pay the amount in installments (revolving cards). Cardholders are thus granted a credit with a very short maturity for the period between the purchase and the due date of the bill.
Some 3.69 million credit cards are currently circulating in Austria (MasterCard, VISA, Diners and American Express), 2.39 Mio of them are charge cards and 1.30 Mio are revolving cards. In 2020 around 218.7 million credit card transactions with a total value of 14.8 billion euros were processed. This averages out to EUR 68 per credit card transaction.