Growth in online shopping and m-commerce leads Finland’s cards and payments industry forward.
Despite having one of the smallest populations in the eurozone, Finland is miles ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of card awareness and usage levels. The country has the highest usage of card payments in terms of transactions per person, which is more than that of the UK and the Netherlands, reveals a new report from Timetric. The rise of smartphones and apps combined with lower prices, improved search engines and price comparison sites has resulted in the growth of m-commerce and e-commerce in recent years. E-commerce sales increased from EUR8.85 billion in 2009 to EUR10.4 billion in 2011, and according to a survey conducted by AddValue on behalf of operator DNA in 2013, 60% of Finns own a smartphone, 76% own a laptop and 18% own a tablet. The increasing market for online and mobile commerce, combined with a positive economic outlook have been the main drivers for growth in the Finnish cards and payments industry – an industry that has been growing marginally in terms of both volume and value since 2008. Finland’s overall card industry rose from 13.7 million cards in 2008 to 15.6 million in 2012 at a CAGR of 3.86%. According to Timetric, this positive trend is set to continue. By 2017 the number of cards is expected to reach 17.1 million. Debit cards has the largest market share with 82.32% in 2012. In terms of transaction volume there was 1.3 billion transactions in 2012. It is anticipated that this number will grow at a CAGR of 0.65% to reach 1.4 billion transactions by 2017.
Contactless payments on the rise
Contactless and NFC payments are also being introduced in Finland. K-Plussa, the largest and most-diverse loyalty program launched a contactless card in February 2012. So far, the card has been used by more than 300,000 K-Plussa customers. Elisa, one of the largest mobile networks in Finland, in association with MasterCard and the student-owned benefit and discount card Lyyra, issued prepaid NFC (near field communication) stickers to students in the third quarter of 2012. These stickers were issued to more than 100,000 students and can be used in college canteens and at other stores where contactless terminals are installed.
Timetric’s report: ‘Emerging Opportunities in Finland’s Cards and Payments industry: Market Size, Trends and Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape’ was published on the 19th April 2013.