Introduction of instant payments system and rising adoption of contactless technology set to reduce cash dependency in Slovenia, says GlobalData

The launch of Slovenia’s first instant payments clearing system–RealTime24/7–by Slovenia-based payments company Bankart and Nordic payment processor Nets earlier this year is expected to drive electronic payments adoption and reduce consumers’ dependence on cash over the next five years, observes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report, Payments Landscape in Slovenia: Opportunities and Risks to 2022, states that cash remains the preferred method of payment in Slovenia, accounting for 52.9% of total payment transaction volume in 2018. However, with the introduction of RealTime24/7, coupled with growing adoption of contactless payments, the share of cash within the overall payment volume will drop to 47.5% in 2022.

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RealTime24/7, which went live in February 2019, enables immediate fund transfers between accounts opened with different banks within Slovenia.

Kartik Challa, Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The implementation of Nets’ instant payment system coupled with the rising preference for contactless payments and the emergence of digital-only banks such as N26 is expected to drive the government’s vision of a digital economy.”

In line with other European counterparts, Slovenia is also gradually embracing contactless technology. The number of contactless cards reached 2.4 million in 2018, up from 1.4 million in 2016. In addition to payments at retail outlets, these cards are widely accepted for transport payments.

GlobalData forecasts contactless adoption to drive overall card payments in the country. Card payment value recorded a healthy compound annual growth rate of 7.1% during 2014–18, rising from €4.8bn ($5.5bn) to €6.4bn (US$7.3bn). This figure is set to reach €8.6bn ($9.9bn) in 2022.

Challa concludes: “While cash will continue to occupy a large share of the overall payment landscape, electronic payments will gain ground over the forecast period.”

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