13 Apr '11, 4am

Credit cards trump cash in South Korea

Credit cards trump cash in South Korea

SEOUL: "Do you have any of the credit cards listed here? You can get up to 20 per cent discount," a restaurant cashier asks a diner settling her bill, indicating a wall chart. Kim Lee-Soo, 22, shuffles quickly through a stack of cards in her bulging wallet. After passing on five or six of them, she finally finds one that matches the list and claims the full discount. It's a typical scene in South Korea, where people use plastic to pay for everything from a highway toll to a single cup of coffee -- earning a variety of discounts and even income tax rebates in the process. "I use credit cards most of the time and the small amount of cash I carry is only for emergency use," said businesswoman Lee Chae-Hwan, 38. Office worker Moon Seon-Young, 42, uses cash only in places like traditional markets. The process began in 1999 as part of a government drive to fight corruption and t...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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