Once a rather unexciting part of the financial world, the payment card industry has made tremendous growth in the recent years. It is now seeing many new and innovative changes and is fast becoming a profitable prospect in most countries.
Emerging trends of payment card industry in four major markets:
Nigeria’s government is committed to giving a boost to its cashless payment card industry. For this, they have put some measures in place to limit cash transactions and encourage card transactions. Banks like UBA, Zenith Bank, First Bank, etc. have reduced cash withdrawal limits and have signed agreements with prominent players like Unified Payments to encourage cashless payments. NFC technology based mobile payment solutions are being promoted for use at contactless POS terminals and ATMs.
As a result, the future looks very promising for the cards and payments industry in Nigeria.
Digital-only banks are increasing in Spain, leading to a rise of a strong electronic cards and payments industry in the country. This trend is being supported by small merchants who are offering mobile POS, and solution providers who are offering cheaper terminals. Such low-cost solutions act as good incentives for merchants to support electronic payments, thus helping Spain’s cards and payments industry.
Additionally, mobile-only banks and digital wallets such as BBVA Wallet, Orange Cash, iupay, etc. have also launched in Spain. In this, banking services are provided solely through mobile and social media. Such innovative development is sure to propel the cashless payment card industry in the country.
Poland was among the first in Europe to adopt contactless payments, and its number of users are among the top 3 in the continent just after UK and France. Major players like Visa believe that Poland’s contactless payment card industry has great potential for growth. Visa is giving huge support to Poland’s cashless payments making Poland its biggest market in Europe. A big sign that the electronic payments in Poland have a bright future is that in less than four years from 2011 to 2015, the number of contactless terminals increased from 10,000 to 354,000. Banks are also playing a big role in supporting the electronic Cards and payments industry in Poland by launching new products, schemes, and services that support contactless payments.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) is promoting electronic payment card industry in the country by means of initiatives like a new electronic payment system ‘mada’, and compulsory deposit of all wages directly in banks. The Saudi Payment Network (SPAN) connects all POS terminals and ATMs in the country to a central payment switch. This is expected to increase the use of cards and promote Saudi’s contactless cards and payments industry. Saudi’s first contactless debit card was launched in May 2015 by Riyadh Bank Debit MasterCard – a big step for its payments industry.
Thus, we see that the cards and payments industry is not just active but blooming in these countries as well as across the globe. In order to serve the increasing customer base, the industry needs to quickly anticipate and act on the customer preferences by adopting contactless payment technologies such as NFC that make payments fast, saving valuable time from customers and enable businesses to offer better services.