Payment cards in 4Q2016

The National Bank of Poland (NBP) presented its quarterly report on payment cards in Poland. The number of cards on the Polish market has been steadily growing since 3Q2015.

In the third quarter of 2016 there were 36.3 million of bank cards, 27.9 million of which were debit cards. The number of credit cards also went up. In September 2016, there were almost 6 million of them in the hands of Poles. Polish people not only have more bank cards, but also tend to use them more and more often. In 3Q2016 an average person used their card more than 20 times, while three years ago the number was little over 10.

79.3% of payment cards in Poland can be used for contactless transactions. Contactless technology, introduced a few years ago, is getting more and more popular. In the course of the quarter, the number of contactless payments exceeded 1 billion. Over 80 percent of transactions carried out with cards were cashless, i.e. other than those involving withdrawals from ATMs or the so-called cash back service. The number of POS terminals in Poland passed half a million units. Almost all of them have contactless capacity.

As to cash machine withdrawals, the number went slightly down, while at the same time the value of cash withdrawals was higher than in the previous quarter. Cash back service is growing in popularity in Poland. Poles withdrew 23 million PLN from their accounts, which is 8% more than in the previous period. The number of shops allowing cash back has also increased.

The biggest card issuers in Poland are Visa and MasterCard. Only 0.9% of all payment cards in Poland have been issued by other card providers. 0.7% of cards are the so-called virtual cards. They are used for online shopping, but cannot serve as a payment instrument at a brick and mortar store.