Electronic Card Transactions - Value and number of transactions by division and industry (Quarterly) 2000 Q1–2021 Q1

Stats NZ


Retail series: includes the core retail series plus the motor vehicles and fuel industry groups.
Core retail series: includes consumables, durables, hospitality, and apparel industry groups.

Consumables: Includes food and liquor retailing
Durables: Includes furniture, hardware, and appliance retailing; pharmacy, cosmetic, and toiletry retailing
Hospitality: Includes accommodation, bars, cafes and restaurants, and takeaway retailing
Apparel: Includes clothing, soft-goods, and footwear retailing
Motor vehicles: Includes automotive parts and accessories; vehicle and tyre retailing
Fuel: Automotive fuel retailing
Services: Includes personal and household services, including hire and repair; automotive electrical and repair services
Non-retail (excluding services): Includes travel and health, and wholesaling

Cash out: cash taken out at a point-of-sale terminal, with or without a purchase.
Debit card: card used for debiting money directly from a bank account. Also commonly referred to as eftpos, cash, or ATM card.
Debit transactions: where the purchaser uses the cheque or savings buttons on the point-of-sale terminal.
Eftpos: electronic funds transfer at point of sale.
Card-not-present transactions: purchases made using a credit card, via telephone, mail order, Internet, or credit card direct debit where the card is not present for the transaction.

Data calculation/treatment

Seasonally adjusted series: Stats NZ use the X-13ARIMA-SEATS package to produce the seasonally adjusted estimates and trend estimates for the three series: total, retail, and core retail ECT. Seasonal adjustment aims to eliminate the impact of regular seasonal events (such as annual cycles in agricultural production, winter, or annual holidays) on time series. This makes the data for adjacent months more comparable. There is no specific adjustment made for leap years in these series.
The March 2020–November 2020 seasonally adjusted monthly data is of lower quality due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the usual seasonal spending patterns. Please use caution when making inferences from this data.
The hospitality industry is yet to see a clear seasonal pattern return to it and so Stats NZ have decided not to publish either the monthly or quarterly series until they have confidence in the quality of these series.
Due to the effects of COVID-19 on spending, they may change more than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not possible to estimate current trend levels to Stats NZ’s usual quality standard until the full effect of COVID-19 on the time series is known. Once the series stabilises, Stats NZ will estimate the COVID-19 effect on trend.

For more information

Limitations of the data

One of the respondent companies includes cash-out data, but the other excludes them.
One of the respondent companies includes manual, voucher-based credit card transactions, but the other excludes them.


  • all debit, credit, and charge card transactions with New Zealand-based merchants
  • card-present transactions at the point of sale, whether authorised by PIN or signature
  • card-not-present transactions (eg payments of invoices; mail order, telephone, and Internet sales via credit card; or direct debit from credit cards) where the card is not presented directly at a point-of-sale terminal
  • GST.


  • all credit card transactions with non-New Zealand-based merchants (eg via the Internet, telephone, or mail order)
  • transactions by New Zealand card-holders while overseas
  • cash, cheque, or hire purchase transactions
  • automatic payments or direct debits from bank accounts
  • Internet bank account payments
  • withdrawals from ATMs.

Changes to data collection/processing

Due to the effect of COVID-19 on tourism, Stats NZ are unable to release seasonally adjusted figures for the hospitality industry. As such, only the actual hospitality values are presented for the March 2021 publication.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Electronic Card Transactions: March 2021



How to find the data

At URL provided, download 'Electronic card transactions: March 2021 – CSV' under the Download Data heading.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Electronic Card Transactions: March 2021

From the dataset Electronic Card Transactions: March 2021, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 13,222-17,695
  • Column: 3
  • Provided: 3,454 data points

Dataset originally released on:

April 13, 2021

Purpose of collection

Electronic Card Transactions (ECT) is a monthly series that covers all debit, credit, and charge card transactions with New Zealand-based merchants. This information can be used as an indicator of the change in the level of consumption expenditure and economic activity in general.