The digital payment revolution, which started as a trend in our country a long time ago, and intensified during the coronavirus pandemic, undoubtedly changes payment habits and influences the payment culture. Namely, the citizens in the last quarter of 2021 also used the benefits and convenience offered by the digital payment channels, as well as the established infrastructure for making payments, the National Bank announced on Thursday.
With 2.1 million payment cards in circulation at the end of 2021, of which 68%, regardless of brand and function, are cards based on contactless technology, the citizens of the country were able to make payments in a solid and secure way in a solid infrastructure consisting of 30,061 devices at physical outlets in the country, of which as many as 84% supported contactless technology. Thereby, the number of cards based on contactless technology registered an annual growth of 10%, at the same time an annual growth of 7% on the devices of the physical points of sale that support the contactless technology.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, the payments of the citizens with the payment cards in the trade in the country registered a high annual growth of 25% in the number and 21% in the value of the realized transactions. At the same time, high annual growth in the number and value of transactions of 21% and 33%, respectively, was registered in the payments of citizens with credit transfers (so-called payment orders). Although citizens still initiate payments by credit transfers, mostly at bank counters (69%), the gradual change of habits using the benefits of electronic banking is visible in the last quarter of the year with a high annual growth of 10% in the number and 23 % of the value of electronically initiated payments. For the execution of electronic payments, a high annual growth of 26% is observed in the use of mobile applications by citizens, which again indicates a further change in payment habits in addition to the use of more convenient digital payment channels.