Caution urged in credit card use
A banker is warning Barbadians to be very careful in their use of credit cards and never use them to supplement their falling incomes.
The advice has come from managing director and chief executive officer of Republic Bank Barbados Ltd, Ian De?Souza, as he revealed that credit card debt was now featuring heavily as people sought to consolidate their debts.
De Souza, who said the bank’s limit for credit card delinquency was set at a national level of six per cent and this was monitored closely, said the bank promoted responsible credit card use.
Current delinquency levels were near the six per cent mark, he noted.
“This is a time where a credit card is something you have to be absolutely careful with how you use it because it is something that can get you into trouble and, very often, what we see whenever a customer comes to us, who is in a spot of difficulty, and they need some debt consolidation, the credit card is featuring heavily inside of there,” De Souza said.
He stressed a credit card should never be used to supplement income because it was one of the most expensive debts.
“As much as we would like to see the cards being used, the customer also has to be very, very careful at a time like this.”
De Souza made the point as he revealed the bank would soon be introducing a new chip and pin credit card, which will effectively do away with the magnetic strip cards currently in use.
He went on to reveal that Republic Bank would be launching, near year- end, in its range of VISA credit cards, a new line of cards using chip and pin technology.
“This is a very exciting form of technology that reduces the fraud aspect of the credit card business so that you will no longer be as dependent on the magnetic strip at the back of the card which is an area that leaves us exposed to the fraudsters,” he said.