The Cards and Payments Industry in Poland: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2019

Date: 2015-11

“• Poland was one of Europe’s early adopters of contactless technology, and consumers are among the highest users of contactless payments, behind the UK and France. Contactless is seen as an area of huge potential in Poland, especially by Visa, which sees the advance of contactless as highly successful. Visa is heavily promoting contactless payment cards in Poland, and growth has been so impressive that Poland is now Visa’s largest contactless market in Europe. Use of contactless cards is dependent on infrastructure being in place, investment in which is starting to bring results. There were 10,000 terminals that could accept contactless cards in 2011, and according to Visa Europe, 354,000 terminals supported contactless payments as of March 2015.

• Banks are launching a range of new products to capitalize on the growing popularity of contactless mobile payments (m-payments). In April 2015, Bank BPH, in partnership with MasterCard, T-Mobile and Orange, introduced contactless m-payments for credit cardholders, allowing them to make contactless payments of up to US$15.9 (PLN50). In January 2015 nine Polish banks – ING Bank Śląski, mBank, Bank Millennium, Raiffeisen Polbank, Getin Bank, Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczości, Bank SMART and Eurobank – announced plans to commercially launch Visa cloud-based contactless m-payment services by the end of 2015.

• Banks in Poland are moving slowly towards the low-cost banking model to reduce overheads associated with traditional branch banking. Poland’s first digital bank, Alior Sync, was launched by Alior Bank in June 2012. The bank targets active internet users, and offers banking services through Facebook and other social networking sites. The bank also developed apps to encourage online and mobile banking. Similarly, Citibank launched a virtual branch for Polish consumers in September 2010. The growth of online banking model could pose a real challenge to traditional banks, if operators can turn the low-cost model into a money-saving option for consumers.”

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