Poland is one of the most developed countries in Europe in terms of using modern technologies for non-cash payments, and the share of cash payments in relation to non-cash payments is decreasing year by year. In 2021, 64 percent of Poles made payments by card, while the proportion of those making cash payments amounted to 22 percent. More than 22 million Poles actively used online banking in 2022, and 19.3 million used mobile applications. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic suddenly changed the payments market picture. During the lockdown, most transactions were cashless. The e-commerce market developed, making electronic payments even more popular.
Popular electronic payment methods
More than 21.7 million Poles made digital payments in 2022. They mostly used financial services through banks, e-commerce, and sales platforms, with over 43 billion U.S. dollars in annual transaction value.
Payment cards and quick transfers are still the most popular non-cash transaction methods. Not including cash payments, payment cards are the most popular payment method in brick-and-mortar stores, but they are equally often used when shopping online. Still, when shopping online, Poles were most likely to use quick transfers through payment services like Przelewy24 or PayU in 2022.
Another modern and popular payment solution via internet bank account is the Express Elixir system introduced by the Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa (KIR). It allows completing transactions between two accounts in different banks in seconds.
Poles are also willing to use contactless terminal card technology. At the end of 2021, the number of contactless payments at point-of-sale (POS) terminals amounted to over 1.12 million.
Mobile payments and BLIK
Thanks to Near Field Communication (NFC) and Host Card Emulation (HCE) technologies, the system of payments via smartphone and wearable devices such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, or Garmin Pay has strongly developed in Poland. Every third Pole made a payment via a contactless-enabled wearable device such as a watch, a fitness band, or a ring in 2021.
One of the fastest-growing mobile payment services in Poland is BLIK. Polish payment standard BLIK was created in 2015. Its purpose is to make payments available by transferring money to a phone number, withdrawing cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) without using a card, or making quick payments using payment terminals. BLIK is a universal and ubiquitous service. As of the end of 2022, BLIK had nearly 13 million active users, achieving growth of over 84 percent in two years. The number of e-commerce, peer-to-peer (P2P), ATM, or POS transactions exceeded 1.2 billion in 2022.
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