Card transactions more and more popular

The National Bank of Poland publishes quarterly information on payment cards in Poland. It has recently released the data collected for 3Q2015. The report presents and analyses all major figures regarding cards and card holders. The report is compiled based on the statistical information obtained from card issuers and acquirers.

In summary, Polish people are more and more inclined to use bank cards. The numbers of the issued cards remains fairly stable, while the number of transactions carried out using the cards has been rising for several quarters. The third quarter of 2015 was not dissimilar in this respect.

At the end of 3Q2015, the total number of payment cards in Polish wallets reached 34.7 million (Polish population is 38.4 million). This constitutes a 1.1% increase in comparison with the previous period. 26.5 million of these were debit cards (76,4%), while the number of credit cards was 5.9 million (16.9%).

In 3Q2015, Poles made 4.3% more card transactions than in the previous period. An average card holder used his or her card 25 times, but they were more likely to withdraw cash from ATMs (64.4% of transactions) than to pay for purchased items (35.6%).

The vast majority of cards in Poland (over 95%) used chip and PIN technology. 79.4% of cards in Poland allowed for contactless transactions. 83.2% of card terminals accepted this type of payments.

As to payment service providers, the market in Poland was divided between two global players: Visa and Mastercard. The former had the upper hand, with 58.7% market share.

The number of ATMs in Poland rose by 516. The larger number of cash machines did not however translate into more cash withdrawals. While the number of ATMs increased, the number of operations fell by 3.1%.

If you compare the third quarter of 2015 with the same period of 2014, you will notice a sharp rise in the number of non-cash transactions made with a single card. The number grew by astonishing 40%.

The rise in the number of transactions went hand in hand with the decline in the average transaction amount. In other words, Polish people are more likely to pay for their small purchases with their cards.