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Payments Landscape in Poland: Opportunities and Risks to 2022

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  • 78 Pages
  • February 2019
  • Region: Poland
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 4751678
Payments Landscape in Poland: Opportunities and Risks to 2022


Poland is one of the most advanced and innovative markets in Europe, offering consumers broad access to the latest technology in electronic payments. Nevertheless, cash is still very popular, accounting for 58.3% of the total payment transaction volume in 2018. Payment card use is rising as consumers enthusiastically embrace new technologies, moving from cash to payment cards to contactless. The Polish government has taken several initiatives to promote paperless and cashless transactions, such as the establishment of the Cashless Poland Foundation in July 2017, which aims to increase card acceptance in the country.

Although cash is very much the dominant means of payment, there was huge growth in the volume of card payments during the review period (2014-18e); this has increased over four times in between 2014 and 2018, as consumers are increasingly preferring card-based payments. Despite the increasing preference for electronic payments, the country’s mobile proximity payments market is underdeveloped. However, recent developments in mobile proximity payments by the likes of ING, Bank Pekao, Santander and Eurobank - as well as the introduction of international brands such as Apple Pay and Google Pay - will see these payment options gain traction among Polish consumers.

Debit cards were used 129 times for payments on average in 2018 - almost double that of pay-later cards, and remain the preferred card type, accounting for 84.7% of the total card payments value in 2018. The high banked population, coupled with an aversion towards debt, has made debit cards the preferred card type in Poland. Banks are offering low-cost and customized bank accounts designed for specific customer segments, supporting debit card adoption.

Poland is one of the major markets in Europe for contactless payments. The number of contactless cards increased from 25.7 million in 2014 to 34.0 million in 2018. This growth was mainly supported by major banks such as Bank PKO Polski, mBank, Bank Pekao, ING Bank and Citibank now offering contactless cards. According to the central bank, there were 514,000 contactless terminals in Poland by September 2017, equivalent to over 80% of the total POS terminals in 2017.

The relatively low cost of operating an online store is incentivizing companies to launch online shops in Poland. The Polish e-commerce market grew strongly during the review period, recording a CAGR of 14.2%. High internet and smartphone penetration, combined with a preference for online shopping, drove this growth. The Polish e-commerce market is further anticipated to benefit from the ban on Sunday trading; effective from March 2018, brick-and-mortar merchants are restricted to open for just two Sundays per month.

The report "Payments Landscape in Poland: Opportunities and Risks to 2022" provides top-level market analysis, information and insights into the Polish cards and payments industry, including -
  • Current and forecast values for each market in the Polish cards and payments industry, including debit, credit, and charge cards

  • Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, cheques, direct debits, cash, and cards. It also includes an overview of the country's key alternative payment instruments

  • E-commerce market analysis

  • Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing the Polish cards and payments industry

  • Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit, credit, and charge cards

Companies mentioned: PKO Bank Polski, mBank, Bank Pekao, Santander, ING Bank, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, Citibank, Alior Bank, Millennium Bank, Visa, Mastercard, EVO, PZU, First Data, Elavon

  • To foster the adoption of POS terminals among smaller merchants, in January 2018 the Cashless Poland Foundation launched the Cashless Payment Support Program in collaboration with Mastercard, Visa and the Polish Bank Association. As part of the program participating merchants were offered a free POS terminal and fee waiver on payment services for the first 12 months, which was later extended until August 2021. During the first four months of the project, 25,000 POS terminals were installed in 4,000 towns. Furthermore, in August 2018, the Cashless Poland Foundation partnered with KIR (the Polish automated clearing house) to enable contactless payments at public sector institutions.

  • To further push the use of contactless payments, the Polish central bank passed a new regulation in May 2018 increasing the contactless payment limit. Effective from Q2 2019, consumers can make contactless payments of up to PLN100 ($28.71) without needing to enter their PIN. The current limit for contactless payments in Poland is limited to PLN50 ($14.36). Contactless usage is anticipated to grow further, with major Polish cities now enabling contactless card payments for public transport. In March 2018, an open ticket payment system was implemented in the public transportation vehicles of Wrocław. The system was launched by Mennica Polska in partnership with First Data, enabling commuters to make payments using their Visa and Mastercard contactless cards. Similar systems were also introduced in smaller cities such as Jaworzno, Rybnik, Świebodzice and Łódź.

  • Digital-only banks also made inroads into Poland during the review period. The German-based mobile-only bank N26 launched operations in the country in November 2018. The bank offers a free standard account for individuals and an N26 business account for corporate customers, along with a free Mastercard debit card. It also plans to launch its premium cards such as N26 Black and N26 Metal in the country. Banks such as Alior Bank and Orange Bank also revealed plans to launch digital-only banks in the country.

Reasons to Buy
  • Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Polish cards and payments industry and each market within it.

  • Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Polish cards and payments industry.

  • Assess the competitive dynamics in the Polish cards and payments industry.

  • Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Poland.

  • Gain insights into key regulations governing the Polish cards and payments industry.

Table of Contents

  • Market Overview

  • Executive Summary

  • Card-based Payments

  • Merchant Acquiring

  • E-commerce Payments

  • Mobile Proximity Payments

  • P2P Payments

  • Bill Payments

  • Alternative Payments

  • Payment Innovations

  • Payments Infrastructure & Regulation

  • Appendix

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • PKO Bank Polski

  • mBank

  • Bank Pekao

  • Santander

  • ING Bank

  • Credit Agricole

  • Societe Generale

  • Citibank

  • Alior Bank

  • Millennium Bank

  • Visa

  • Mastercard

  • EVO

  • PZU

  • First Data

  • Elavon