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 about 16.5% 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 in Belgium 2017: What Consumers Want", ”examines the consumer payments market in Belgium, considering payment cards, online payments, P2P payments, and newer payment technologies such as mobile wallets and contactless. The report also examines the main regulatory players overseeing the market.
In depth, this report provides the following:
- Analyzes consumer attitudes to financial services by lifestage.
- Analyzes the major payment card types in terms of both card holding and usage.
- Identifies the major competitors in card issuing and how their position in the market has changed over the last five years.
- Considers consumer attitudes towards P2P tools, mobile payment tools, and contactless cards, and how companies in Belgium are deploying these tools to meet customer needs.
- Explores the online payment market in Belgium by merchant type and payment tool, as well as providing a five-year forecast for the development of the market.
- Belgium was the first country to issue electronic purse cards through the Proton scheme and standardize a unique system of credit transfer messages for bill payments.
- Belgium’s debit card market is dominated by the Bancontact scheme. Maestro also has a presence in the debit card space, but its card are co-badged with Bancontact debit cards.
- In August 2017, Bancontact partnered with payment service provider myPOS. The partnership enabled Bancontact to reach out to small- and medium-sized merchants, allowing them to accept both online and in-store payments made with Bancontact cards using the myPOS payment acceptance solution.
- Understand the key facts and figures in the consumer payments market in Belgium.
- Learn what trends drive consumer behavior at the macro level and plan your strategy accordingly.
- Find out what products the major competitors are launching in the market.
- Discover consumer sentiments towards various payment tools in the Belgian market and use this knowledge to inform product design.
Payments Infrastructure & Regulation