Payments Landscape in Slovakia: Opportunities and Risks to 2022

Payments Landscape in Slovakia: Opportunities and Risks to 2022


The introduction of an EU-wide cap on interchange fees has also encouraged payment card acceptance among merchants. The average annual spend per card in Slovakia is the highest, compared to peers including the Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. However, cash remains the dominant payment instrument in Slovakia, accounting for 64.3% of total payment transaction volume in 2018. Cash is mainly used for day-to-day low-value transactions, though despite its dominance, consumers are gradually shifting towards card-based payments. The rise in card adoption is supported by government financial inclusion initiatives, restrictions on cash transactions and improvements to the payment infrastructure.

Debit cards remained the preferred card type among Slovakians, with a penetration of 83 debit cards per 100 individuals in 2018; this is mainly supported by the government’s financial inclusion initiatives. Debit cards are also increasingly being used for payments, accounting for 89.4% of the total card payments value in 2018. The frequency of payments by debit card registered significant growth, increasing from 56.9 in 2014 to 92.0 in 2018, at a CAGR of 12.7%.

Slovak consumers have embraced contactless technology, and it is being increasingly used for payments. According to the central bank, over 90% of the total payment cards were contactless in 2017, and 245.2 million contactless card payments worth €4.7bn ($5.4bn) were made during the year. Contactless acceptance is also high in the country, with over 80% of POS terminals supporting contactless.

Online shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also playing their part in the growth of e-commerce market. The availability of alternative payment solutions such as Google Pay, PayPal and Masterpass are further expected to drive e-commerce growth. The Slovak e-commerce market registered robust growth, increasing from €385.0m ($441.0m) in 2014 to €597.4m ($684.3m) in 2018, with electronics and media, clothing and footwear, and cosmetics being the popular purchase segments.

The report Payments Landscape in Slovakia: Opportunities and Risks to 2022, provides detailed analysis of market trends in the Slovakian cards and payments industry. It provides values and volumes for a number of key performance indicators in the industry, including cash, cards, credit transfers, direct debits, and cheques during the review-period (2014-18e). The report also analyzes various payment card markets operating in the industry, and provides detailed information on the number of cards in circulation, transaction values and volumes during the review-period and over the forecast-period (2018e-22f). It also offers information on the country's competitive landscape, including the market shares of issuers and schemes. The report brings together research, modeling, and analysis expertise to allow banks and card issuers to identify segment dynamics and competitive advantages. The report also covers details of regulatory policy and recent changes in the regulatory structure.

The report provides -

  • Current and forecast values for each market in the Slovakian cards and payments industry, including debit, credit, and charge cards
  • Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, direct debits, cheques, 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 Slovakian cards and payments industry
  • Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit, credit, and charge cards
Companies mentioned: Slovenská sporiteľňa, CSOB, VUB Banka, UniCredit Bank, OTP Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, TrustPay, PayPal, Tatra banka, Visa, and Mastercard,, N26, Visa, Mastercard, Google, paysafecard

  • The advent of mobile-only banks is likely to accelerate a shift towards electronic payments in Slovakia., a Slovakia-based digital-only bank, was commercially launched in November 2018, after the completion of a pilot phase for six months. The bank offers a free account which comes with a Mastercard contactless debit card. In December 2015, the Germany-based mobile-only bank N26 also launched operations in the country. Account holders are offered a Mastercard that can be used to make payments both in-store and online. The bank also launched its premium account, the N26 Black, in Slovakia in November 2017, which comes with an N26 Black Mastercard debit card.
  • To promote electronic payments in the country, the Bank Card Association (ZBK) initiated the Cashless Day project in 2017, in partnership with Ministry of Finance, as well as companies including Visa, Mastercard and Samsung. The project aims to educate Slovak consumers about various modes of electronic payments and promote their usage. As part of the project, ZBK conducts a competition every year, offering prizes upon the usage of payment cards. In 2018, the campaign was held in November, and Samsung Galaxy S9 mobiles were presented to the winners of the competition. To participate in the campaign, one has to make an in-store or online payment using their debit, credit or prepaid cards during the campaign period.
  • The growth in the debit card market was in part due the financial inclusion initiatives taken by the government and central bank. One such initiative is the introduction of a law on basic bank accounts. Effective from February 2016, all Slovak banks were mandated to offer free basic bank accounts for individuals whose monthly income is less than €400 ($458.22), and at a cost of €3 ($3.44) for individuals earning above the limit.
Reasons to buy
  • Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Slovakian cards and payments industry and each market within it.
  • Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Slovakian cards and payments industry.
  • Assess the competitive dynamics in the Slovakian cards and payments industry.
  • Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Slovakia.
  • Gain insights into key regulations governing the Slovakian cards and payments industry.

Market Overview
Executive Summary
Card-based Payments
E-commerce Payments
Alternative Payments
Payment Innovations
Payments Infrastructure & Regulation

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