Payment trends in Euro Area countries

Contactless Card Payment According to a study carried out by European Central Bank (ECB), Euro Area consumers made 157 billion point of sales (POS) payments, amounting to 2.84 € trillion in value. The survey results showed that in 19 Euro Area countries in 2016 cash was the dominant payment instrument at POS. In terms of number, 79% of all transactions were carried out using cash, amounting to 54% of the total value of all payments. Cards were the second most frequently used payment instrument at POS; 19% of all transactions were settled using a payment card. In terms of value, this amounts to 39% of the total value paid at POS.
The use of cash and cards differs according to country, place of purchase, transaction value and consumers’ demographic characteristics. In terms of number of transactions, cash was most used in the southern euro area countries, as well as in Germany, Austria and Slovenia, where 80% or more of POS transactions were conducted with cash. Cash was least used in the Netherlands, Estonia and Finland, where its share in the number of transactions ranged between 45% and 54%.
When looking at the demographic characteristics of euro area consumers, it can be concluded that men tend to use cash more often than women. Furthermore, consumers aged 40 and over use more cash than younger age groups, whereas cash usage appears to be relatively homogeneous across different levels of education.

On average 43% of consumers in the Euro Area prefer to pay by card


In terms of value, the share of cash was highest in Greece, Cyprus and Malta (above 70%), while it was lowest in the Benelux countries, Estonia, France and Finland (at, or below, 33%).

Average value of card transactions at POS by country stood at ~€36
Atsiskaitymas kortele

Average value of cash transactions at POS by country stood at €12.38

grynieji pinigai

Although the share of contactless payments in many countries is still low, the survey results suggest that the speed with which such payments have been embraced in some countries may mean that once payment cards and POS terminals are enabled with contactless technology on a wider scale, the share of contactless payments could increase significantly.

Up to 35% of payments were for amounts lower than €5.
~65% transactions were for amounts lower than €10.


Source: ECB Occasional Paper Series

QR code payments solution by mobile phone were launched in Ukraine

Qr code In Ukraine, one of the largest retail chains “Auchan”, EPS LT, in cooperation with VISA, implemented the QR code payments solution by mobile phone. This solution allows to pay for goods using a mobile phone application for reading a QR code on a card reader screen. Card reader, after receiving information about payment amount from cash register, generates and displays a dynamic QR code on the reader’s screen. The customer reads the QR code with a mobile application on smartphone and initiates the payment. The cash register receives the confirmation of the payment transaction from the bank or e-money service provider and the reader displays a message that the payment has been successfully completed.
The biggest advantage of the solution is that it operates quickly and easily, and in order to launch the service, there is no need to change software of cash register, as a card reader is used for generating and displaying the QR code.
We are glad to have possibility to implement innovative solutions in cooperation with the “Auchan” retail chain operating in Ukraine. Five years ago, when Lithuania was still preparing for contactless payments, EPS LT already deployed contactless card readers in the merchant’s shops. Currently, when QR codes payment solutions in our country are only taking the first steps, we can enjoy a successfully working service.
In this video VISA representative in Ukraine demonstrates how the solution works.

Contactless payments for parking services

Machine parking Recently Kaunas city has started operating parking machines that accept contactless payments. This innovative solution has been implemented through partnership between companies “EPS” LT, “Technologinių paslaugų sprendimai” and public institution “Automobilių stovėjimo aikštelės”. More than 100 parking machines are already in use, and 50 more are planned to be install in the nearest future. Some of the machines were upgraded by integrating NFC module to the existing Ingenico iUC180b card reader. Other parking machines are new and innovative as use a renewable energy source – solar energy.
In Lithuania, contactless payments are increasingly gaining in popularity; over the year, their volumes have grown more than 20 times. Along with the growing number of contactless payment cards, we believe that such a payment method will become a great alternative to cash when paying not only for parking on the street, but also on the parking lots.

More possibilities for contactless payments

Woman paying with NFC technology on credit card in supermarket We are glad, that more and more our clients can accept payments by contactless payment cards. As for now all newly installed card readers have contactless payment possibility and we are updating readers software remotely for existing customers. The updated version of software includes not only contactless payment function but also more convenient reader‘s menu management. The new thing is that now the amount of payment should be entered first and only then, depending on the type of card (contactless or chip), the customer should approach or insert payment card. The updated card reader‘s user manual is available on our webpage.
To pay by contactless payment card is easier and faster, as in most cases there is no need to enter PIN code. Although payments are not confirmed by PIN code, transactions and card data are completely safe. The higher limit for contactless payment and more convenient way  to pay encourage customers to pay by card more often. The positive thing is that more and more small business are offering a possibility to pay by card in those trading venues where cash is traditionally dominated, i.e. markets, fairs and food trucks.

Increased contactless payment limit

Basic RGBContactless cards are just more than a year in Baltics, but the number of contactless payments is steadily growing every month. To encourage customers make purchases faster and more convenient, the contactless payment limit is increased up to 25 €.
The new limit will be applicable for all MasterCard contactless cards in Lithuania and Estonia. For VISA contactless cards the current limit of 10 € will remain in effect. Customers with MasterCard contactless cards will have possibility to pay for purchases up to 25 € without entering the PIN code from October 13th and in some point of sales already starting from October 6th.
While paying for higher value purchases, or in order to ensure additional card security requirements, payments shall be confirmed, as usual, by entering PIN code.

Contactless payments in all Baltic countries!

Contactless Visa Card Close Up As we already wrote in our news section, at the end of November the possibility to pay by contactless payment cards was offered for customers of “Rimi” and “Maxima” in Latvia. In December the new way of payment was implemented in Lithuanian retail chains stores. We are glad to announce that this solution already works in Estonian and from now on “Maxima” and “Rimi” stores customers can use the same payments methods in all Baltic countries.
Contactless payment sign on card reader’s screen informs customers about the possibility to pay by contactless payment card. It is enough to approach the payment card to the reader in order to make a payment. After customer taps the card, there will be heard an audible beep, the green lights appear on the reader and text “approved” is displayed on the screen. If the purchase sum does not exceed the amount of limit set by card-issuing bank, customer will not be asked to enter a PIN code. To confirm payment with PIN code is needed for higher value purchases or for security reasons in order to ensure that the card is used by its true owner.
Merchants admit that small purchases up to 10 euros represents a significant part of the total payments, therefore it is expected that a more convenient and frequently faster method of payment will improve shopping experience and encourage customer to pay by card rather than cash.
Understanding that the speed and convenience is particular important for merchants serving large flow of customers, first of all this service was implemented in the biggest retail chains. We are planning to offer the possibility to pay by contactless payments cards for other merchants’ customers in the nearest future.

Payments by contactless cards already in Latvia

Woman paying with NFC technology on credit card in supermarket We are glad to announce that customers of Latvia‘s „Maxima“, „Rimi“ and „SuperNetto“ stores have possibility to pay by using contactless payment cards. As for now customers for low value purchases (up to 10 euro) can pay just by tapping the contactless payment card to the card reader.
Payments by contactless cards are processed faster as customers in most cases do not need to enter PIN code. The new way of payment is secure as regular payments, but once in a while customer needs to enter PIN code even when the payment sum is under 10 euro according to VISA, MasterCard and banks security requirements.
The quick and convenient way of payment is very important both for customer and merchant, thus we believe that this innovation will quickly become regular customers’ payment method. We are pleased that during the first week of service provisioning there were made more than 5 000 successful contactless payment transactions.
In the nearest future we are planning to offer possibility to pay by contactless payment cards for customers of “Rimi” and “Maxima” in Lithuania and Estonia.

Swedbank Card Payment Forum 2016

Swedbank Card Payment Forum (web) (124)(2) On 3rd of November EPS LT participated in the 8th Swedbank Baltic card payment forum that was held in Riga.
During the event Swedbank representatives and guest speakers shared their experiences and insights about:
– innovation in payment services market;
– contactless payment technology;
– regulation of payment market and related changes;
– overview of the economic situation in Baltic region and forecasts for 2017;
– future technologies in the retail market.

EPS LT team this year introduced the following solutions:

– the possibility to pay tips by bank card;
– product tree solution implemented and used by the Customs of Lithuania and Kaunas City Municipality;
– fuel card solution that allows to create a partnership between several service providers operating in different countries.

This event provides an excellent opportunity for the participants to get acquainted with the newest bank’s partner’s services and innovative equipment and share relevant information.
(Photo by Joanna Jõhvikas)

News in card payments services market

Contactless Payments on Highway Signpost. As we have already announced in our news column, solution to pay tips by a bank card while paying the bill was implemented in Čili restaurants chain at the beginning of this year. More news in payment area is expected this fall when the first contactless bank payment card in Lithuania will be issued.
This innovation ensures more convenient and faster customer service as contactless payment cards are used without inserting them into the card reader. Moreover, for low-value transactions PIN entering is not required. At the same time, contactless payments are as safe as using chip cards.
New electronic card readers that can accept contactless payments are already being installed at our clients’ stores. EPS LT software enables to read different types of contactless cards –payment, loyalty, fleet, etc. As an example, Rimi customers who have new contactless loyalty cards are already using contactless technology in RIMI retail chain stores. In order to use loyalty card, it is enough to approach it to the card reader. Compared with the magnetic card reading, this is a faster and more convenient way of using the card for both the customer and the cashier.
EPS LT has nearly 3 years of experience working with contactless payment solutions, servicing international clients. Our client, one of the largest international retail chains „Auchan“, operating in Ukraine, has been using contactless solutions developed by EPS LT since the end of 2013.

New way for tips payment in Čili restaurants chain

Waitress Charging Customers Bill

Čili and EPS cooperation has started in 2015. Currently mobile card readers are used for accepting card payments in the restaurants. In the beginning of 2016 another innovation, expanding possibilities of card readers, has been implemented – the possibility to grant tips while paying by bank card.

Although the tips functionality is not novelty in other countries, solution proposed by EPS LT is the first practically implemented in Lithuanian restaurants and cafes.

Solution operation is based on the identification of employee and individual accounting of received tips. The waiter has unique identifier to unlock the functionality. As waiter enters the amount due, the customer chooses whether to pay tips or not and specify the amount. Before confirming the payment by entering PIN code, the customer sees on card reader’s screen two amounts – the bill and tips.
Information about the payment, tips amount, place and time is stored at EPS LT server and in real time is transferred to Čili book-keeping system. Individual accounting allows calculate each employee’s accumulated tips and respectively to pay the taxes.
We believe that making tips granting more available and convenient is beneficial for HoReCa service providers and their employees, as well as their clients. We hope that other companies will also show interest in this solution because of its innovativeness and benefits.