Finland on track to become cashless payments market, says GlobalData

Large banked population, growing awareness of electronic payments and a well-developed payment infrastructure are driving Finland towards a less cash-dependent society. As a result, payment card instrument transaction values in the country are set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% from €50bn in 2018 to €59.9bn in 2022, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Payments Landscape in Finland: Opportunities and Risks to 2022’ states that while the transaction volume of cards are set to register a CAGR of 4.9% between 2018e and 2022f, the volume of cash transactions will witness a CAGR of -0.8% during the same period.

Sowmya Kulkarni, Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Finland is proving to be a pioneer when it comes to electronic payments, with cashless transactions in the country accounting for almost three quarters of overall payment transaction volume. In addition, the emergence of e-commerce and rising adoption of contactless payments will drive the payment cards market over the forecast period.”

The report further reveals that payment cards have become an integral part of day-to-day payments in the country, with nearly 80% of Finns preferring to pay with cards at merchant outlets. Debit cards are the most preferred card type for payments in Finland, with debit card payments accounting for 78% of overall debit card transaction value in 2018.

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Contactless payments have become de facto for cashless payments. There were 8.3 million contactless cards in circulation in 2018 – more than four times the number recorded in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of contactless payments grew twofold from 2016 to reach 376 million in 2017. The technology has also been extended beyond cards and is now being integrated with mobile phones and wearables such as smartwatches.

Sowmya concludes: “Finns’ fondness for cashless payments, coupled with continued innovation expected in this space through the implementation of the Revised Payment Services Directive, will further drive Finland towards its goal of becoming entirely cashless by 2029.”

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