Credit card penetration among in CEE region 2019, by country

The credit card market in the CEE region has seen growth over time, when together with its accelerating relationship with Western Europe, the demand for a variety of financial services on the market has also increased. The payment cards sector has been among the first to grow, but the dynamic of that growth was different in different countries. For many markets listed, the regulatory and financial support afforded by the European Union membership provided strong potential for sustained credit card market growth. For example, for Czechia, the penetration of credit cards was 25 percent in 2019. However, a relatively high penetration (in the context of the region) was also observed in two of the non-EU economies of the region: Russia and Ukraine.

Credit card ownership in Europe

In 2017, the share of the adult population in European countries with a credit card varied between eight percent in Albania to as high as 71 percent in Norway. Using a credit card allows the cardholder to pay for goods and services with the agreed promise to the card issuer that they will repay the amount borrowed either in installments or as a single payment. In Europe, the main form of electronic payment is using a debit card.

Card payments in Europe

In Europe, the rise in payment cards has continued to go from strength to strength. As of 2018 (excluding the UK), the number of card payments in Europe was almost 55 billion. 2016 saw the highest annual increase in card payments in Europe.

Credit card penetration in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as of 2019, by country

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Release date

March 2019



Survey time period


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