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Main Card Market Trends in 2020: Contactless Payments and Online Settlements

Main Card Market Trends in 2020: Contactless Payments and Online Settlements

Due to the pandemic, noncash card settlements in Ukraine continue to grow. The main 2020 trend on the Ukrainian card market is active transition of Ukrainians to contactless payments and online settlements.

Noncash transactions account for the most payment card transactions.

In 2020, the total number of transactions (cashless payments and cash withdrawals) involving payment cards issued by Ukrainian banks was 5,997.1 million totaling UAH 3,957.3 billion. Such operations increased in number by 18.6%, and in value – by 10.6% yoy.

At the same time, noncash payment card transactions are gaining popularity among Ukrainianі.

Last year, noncash transactions accounted for almost 87% of payment card transactions. The value of noncash transactions made 55.8% of all card transactions (in 2019 – 50.3%).

Five years ago, these indicators were much lower, at 70% and 35% respectively.

In general, in 2020 the number of noncash payment card operations increased by 25% to 5,211.2 million yoy, and the respective value – by almost 23% to UAH 2,208.7 billion.

Thus, withdrawals decreased by 11.7% in number and by 1.7% in value in 2020.

At the same time, in 2020 Ukrainians altered their payment habits,  considering the average amounts of noncash transactions with payment cards. For example, the average amount of card-to-card transfer decreased by 10.3% to UAH 1,444 yoy; the average amount of POS-terminal transaction – by 5% to UAH 229. Payment card holders are more likely to use cards for small purchases in stores and fund transfers.

Also, the average online payment increased by UAH 338 proving that Ukrainians are more likely to pay online, including bigger amounts.

The amount of online payments increase was the fastest  in 2020 (by 31% yoy). In general, in 2020, one out of three noncash payment card transactions was made online (36.5%), making  almost UAH 642 billion over the year.

Half  of noncash payment card transactions (49.8%) were transacted in POS-terminals. These transactions account for a quarter (26.9%) of all noncash transactions in value. While in 2019 the respective amount was UAH 5 billion, in 2020 it came to UAH 595 billion (a 16% increase yoy).

In 2020, the majority of noncash payment card transactions were attributed to card-to-card transfers (42.8%) in value (as the previous year and the year before), though in number these transfers accounted only for 12.6%.

Over the year, the amount of card-to-card transfers rose by almost a quarter (24%) to UAH 945 billion. However, the increase is three times less than 64% yoy growth in 2019).   

Half of POS-terminal transactions were contactless.

In 2020, the number of payment cards in Ukraine grew by 8% to UAH 73.4 million, whereof 55.1% (40.4 million) cards were used in December 2020 for debit transactions.

Last year, contactless cards as well as smartphones and other NFC devices were broadly used for contactless payments. These payment methods are popular because they are secure, rapid and convenient.

In 2020, the number of active contactless cards grew more than 1.5 times* to 13.2 million cards.

57% of transactions in terms of value and number were executed in contactless POS-terminals.

At that, one out of five POS transactions was made using a smartphone or a different gadget.  In 2020, the value of these transactions was more than UAH 109 billion.

Payment Infrastructure Expanding

Despite the quarantine restrictions, the payment infrastructure changed greatly in the last year.  Over the year, the number of business entities accepting payment cards increased by more than a third (36.1%) to about 326,900.

POS-terminals network in Ukraine expanded by 12% to 375,000 terminals. About 87% of POS terminals have the contactless payment capability.

In general, over the last five years the number of retail payment terminals almost doubled from 199,800 to 375,000.

As of 1 January 2021, the total number of POS terminals (both contact and contactless) per one million Ukraine’s residents** was 9,400 terminals (8,400 terminals per 1 million residents in 2019).

The POS network remains unevenly distributed across Ukraine. The highest ratio of terminals per capita is reported in Kyiv city, Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Kharkiv oblasts. The lowest ratio is in Zakarpattia, Chernivsti, Ternopil, as well as Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.

At the same time, in 2020, Ternopil oblast reported the highest growth rate of POS terminals. In 2020, the ratio of terminals per 1,000,000 people increased by almost a quarter (23%) yoy.

For reference:

As of 1 January 2021, 70 participants in card payment systems were registered in Ukraine.

*as compared to January 2020

** According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.


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