It has been stated that constraints on credit card usages did not structurally change the spending frequency and amount. The experts said that legal changes have been made in four different periods, and lastly, starting from 1 February 2014, the number of instalment payments was limited to 9 months and even that did not change the spending habits of citizens. The study titled, “Are the Constraints on Credit Cards Effective?” conducted by Prof. Dr. Hakan Yetkiner, Vice Dean of IUE Faculty of Business and Dilara Kılınç, Ph.D. Student of Department of Economics, indicated that credit card use increased despite the restraints.
Prof. Dr. Hakan Yetkiner remarked that starting from 1990’s, use of credit and debit cards, especially in consumer shopping increased. He said, “Policy makers aimed to gradually decrease unrecorded economy through extensive use of credit and debit cards. This aim had positive outcome. But medallion has two faces. First of all, uncontrolled use of credit cards caused households to spend more than their earnings. They chose to pay debt with debt. They continued to spend more than they earned. And a major group of household practiced consumption rules not over exceeding their incomes, and special savings decreased significantly”.
‘Habits did not Change’
Prof. Dr. Yetkiner stated that the government, who had to generate income through indirect taxes, had major gains in tax collection in this way, and with easy access to credit cards, the households started making more expenses. Prof. Dr. Yetkiner indicated that several measures were taken due to the global financial crisis that started in 2008 and he stated the following:
“4 legal decisions were taken since the 2000’s. These were credit card limits, minimum payment, constraints on cash advances, and less number of instalment payments. However, despite all these constraints, the amount and frequency of credit card usage did not change structurally. The increase in credit card usage by households continues. The habits have not changed. Credit card transaction volume in 2013 was 25.3 billion TL and this May, only 3 months after the constraints, it reached up to 26.1 billion TL. Likewise, the frequency of credit card usage was 226.5 million in August 2013; it went down to 202.4 million in February 2014 when the change went into effect, but only a month later, in March 2014 it reached up to 228.2 million. And it reached 236.4 million as of June 2014.”