The number of times Bay of Plenty people swiped their cards last week was down by close to 50 per cent since the same time last year.

Paymark released its annual comparison reports today showing a grim week for the retail sector.

In the last seven days, there were 1.04 million transactions at a value of $62.3 million.

The number of transactions was down 44.6 per cent, while the value was down close to 30 percent compared to the same period last year.

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Spending through Paymark nationwide dropped a huge 72 per cent below year-ago levels on Thursday, the first day of level 4 lockdown.

This spending remained down for the rest of the week.

A few retailers, such as electricity companies and consumer finance suppliers were still taking payments that were exceeding last year's levels.

However, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable shops, pharmacies, gas suppliers, among others still had significant volumes of spending.

Many merchants were barely transacting any payments now, these included travel companies, entertainment firms and parking services.

Some were even going into negatives as they had to pay money back to customers.

The spending splurge before lockdown came in was not enough to offset the losses.

Paymark is New Zealand's leading electronic payment company.

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