The credit card market in Panama has experienced steady growth over the past few years, driven by increasing consumer spending and a rising number of active credit cards. According to recent data, the market size reached USD 2,480.27 million in 2022, a notable increase from USD 2,378.52 million in 2021. Furthermore, the market is expected to continue its upward trajectory, with a projected size of USD 3,000 million by 2025, under the most likely scenario.
Credit Card issuers in Panama
Highest year-on-year market share growth ranking
Credit Card outstanding receivables in USD
One of the key indicators of the market's growth is the number of active credit cards. In 2022, there were 698,431 active credit cards in Panama, compared to 661,283 in 2021. This rise indicates the increasing popularity of credit card usage among consumers in the country. Moreover, the average purchases made by each cardholder in 2022 amounted to USD 67,138.15, slightly lower than the previous year's average of USD 74,505.50. This decline in average purchases may suggest a shift in consumer behavior or changes in spending patterns.
Despite a slight decrease in the average purchases per card, the number of transactions made with credit cards remains substantial. In 2022, there were 46.99 million credit card purchase transactions in Panama, a slight decline from the 49.3 million transactions recorded in 2021. These figures demonstrate the continued reliance on credit cards as a convenient and widely accepted form of payment.
When examining the market share of credit card issuers, it becomes evident that a few key players dominate the industry. As of March 2023, the top five issuers accounted for a significant portion of the credit card outstanding receivables. BAC held the largest market share at 27%, followed by BANCO GENERAL at 24.1%. BANISTMO, BANESCO (Panamá), and THE BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA rounded out the top five, with market shares of 13.2%, 7.1%, and 6.2%, respectively.
The credit card market in Panama has witnessed consistent growth in recent years, as reflected in the increasing market size and the number of active credit cards. Although there has been a slight decline in average purchases per card and the number of transactions, credit cards remain a popular payment method among consumers.
The market is expected to maintain its positive momentum, with a projected size of USD 3,000 million by 2025 (neutral forecast scenario). As the market continues to evolve, it will be interesting to observe how consumer preferences and technological advancements shape the future of credit card, debit cards, BNPL apps and eWallets usage in Panama.