Payment card market in Belgium is well-developed, with penetration of 2 cards per inhabitant. Improved payment infrastructure, a strong banked population, a gradual shift from cash to card-based transactions, and the expansion of retail and e-commerce markets have supported this growth. Belgian consumers are very comfortable with established payment instruments, with domestic payment method Bancontact the most commonly used card scheme in the country.
E-commerce recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 16% between 2013 and 2017, supported by rising internet penetration, the increased proliferation of smartphones, and a shift in the shopping behavior of consumers. Credit cards account for a quarter of total e-commerce spending. Credit cards are heavily used online despite only being held by a minority of Belgian consumers, implying credit card holders are more engaged in e-commerce purchasing.
Most Belgians are banked, and have at least one debit card. To accelerate a shift towards electronic payments in Belgium, banks are also launching mobile-only banking models, including Hello bank! by BNP Paribas, allowing consumers to conduct banking transactions entirely via their mobile phone. In addition to commercial banks, bpost - Belgium’s leading postal operator - also offers banking and retail services in Belgium. bpost offers debit and credit cards to its customers in association with Mastercard.
Debit cards account for more than 80% of total payment card transaction value in 2017. With Belgian consumers typically more cautious towards debt, debit cards will remain the preferred payment card over the forecast period. Growth in bank accounts, a tax reduction for pension accounts, a cap on cash transactions, and the introduction of contactless-enabled debit cards have all contributed towards debit card growth.
The report "Payments Landscape in Belgium: Opportunities and Risks to 2021", provide top-level market analysis, information and insights into the Belgian cards and payments industry.
In particular, this report provides the following:
- Current and forecast values for each market in the Belgian cards and payments industry, including debit and credit cards.
- Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, cheques, direct debit, cash, and payment cards. It also, includes an overview of the country's key alternative payment instruments.
- E-commerce market analysis and payment methods.
- Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing the Belgian cards and payments industry.
- Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit and credit cards.
- To boost contactless payments in the country, Bancontact - the dominant scheme provider in Belgium - enabled contactless payments on its mobile app in October 2017, allowing users to store their Bancontact card details and make contactless payments at NFC-enabled terminals. The app is now supported by 20 banks in Belgium, making the service available to 99% of Bancontact card holders in the country. More than two thirds of payment terminals in Belgium already support NFC technology. All terminals in the country should be able to offer contactless payments by 2018.
- Alternative payments are gaining prominence in Belgium, with rising adoption of local and international payment solutions. Android Pay was launched in Belgium in March 2017, and allows users to make in-store, in-app, and online payments. The solution is now supported by major schemes including Mastercard and Visa, as well as card issuers including BNP Paribas Fortis, Fintro, and Hello bank!. The solution allows users to load their card by taking a picture of it using their mobile phone. Meanwhile, in June 2015 Masterpass was launched by Mastercard in Belgium. It allows users to store multiple card details and billing addresses for faster checkout. Once details are saved, users can skip the process of entering card and shipping details for all future payments.
- The emergence of mobile-only banks is likely to accelerate a shift towards electronic payments in Belgium. BNP Paribas launched mobile-only bank Hello bank! in Belgium in 2013, allowing consumers to conduct banking transactions entirely on their mobile phone. Similarly, French telecom provider Orange plans to introduce its mobile-only bank, Orange Bank, in Belgium in 2019.
- Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Belgian cards and payments industry and each market within it.
- Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Belgian cards and payments industry.
- Assess the competitive dynamics in the Belgian cards and payments industry.
- Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Belgium.
- Gain insights into key regulations governing the Belgian cards and payments industry.
Payments Infrastructure & Regulation