Number of payment cards in the European Union 2010-2018

Payment cards are defined as all cards that are issued by financial institutions. The value of payment card transactions in the Euro area reached almost 1.82 trillion euros in 2018. During the same year, card payments in Europe decreased by over 20 percent. (The values for card payments in 2018 do not include the data for the United Kingdom (UK) )

Debit over credit

Across most of Europe, payment cards almost exclusively consist of debit and credit cards. In 2018, debit cards accounted for approximately 42 billion payments in the European Union. The rise in cashless payments across Europe has continued to rise, as people enjoy the ease associated with non-cash transactions. (The values for cashless payments in 2018 do not include the data for UK)


With the rise of non-cash purchases, the need for more point-of-sale terminals has increased. As of 2018, there were over 12.5 million POS stations, processing payments across the European Union. (The data for number of POS stationsin 2018 does not include UK data). On the other hand, as the need for physical cash has become less dominant, so has the need for ATM’s. Across the EU, the number of ATM’s has seen an annual decrease from 2014.

Total number of payment cards* in the European Union from 2010 to 2018**

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Release date

July 2019



Survey time period

2010 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Except cards with an e-money function only.
Figures were rounded.
Data prior to 2013 was collected from previous reports.
**The source mentions that at the time of publication, data for the UK for 2018 was not available. Thus, the EU values for 2018 do not include UK data.

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Statistics on "Payment instruments - France, Spain and Italy"

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