The Payments Ecosystem in Poland – New Opportunities for Commerce Providers

Vistula river bank - Warsaw2013 saw the rise of a number of interesting developments in  payments in countries like Poland and the other 149 countries VeriFone serves. Specifically in Poland, the decision to lower interchange fees opens up opportunities in the payments ecosystem like never before. In this blog post, Tomasz Wejcman, Country Manager at VeriFone, comments on events of the passing year.

2013 was extremely interesting from the perspective of electronic payments development. The number and value of cashless transactions has been systematically rising. The number of ATMs and cards (especially proximity ones) has also increased. Although Poland is still behind other European Union countries when it comes to card acceptance and number of cards, current changes like the rising popularity of proximity payments and laws driving down interchange fees shows that the market for electronic payments in Poland is still developing and has very interesting perspectives in front of it.

The potential for development is significant. Here is some interesting data from a recent study by the National Bank of Poland:

  • 25% of cardholders in Poland do not make a single payment in a month using their card.
  • 29% of respondents state that the ability to pay with the card at more locations would make likely increase the use of their cards.
  • Speed and comfort of transaction are elements cited as being influential in respondents’ decision on making an electronic payment.

Changes in the e-payment market, many happening just recently, may significantly overcome those barriers. Lowering of interchange and proximity cards and mobile payments expansion will boost the speed and usability of transactions in 2014 and beyond.

Lowering the costs on merchants should result in an increase in the number of commerce and service accommodations accepting cards. We expect that it will be especially strong motivation for small companies that historically offered electronic payments with significant limits or did not offer them at all.

The upcoming change opens, among other things, the possibilities for payment device expansion in rural areas, where cash has been preferred up to this point. Farmers, apart from the unemployed and seniors, were the group in which cash payments were most popular. Poland is one of most rural countries in the European Union, which provides significant room card payment expansion.

Mobile Payments

As with much of the world now, mobility is a very significant trend in both Polish payment market. In the second half of the year we have observed the debut of numerous applications enabling electronic payments in selected retail chains and those offered by banks. Payments using emerging technologies like NFC have not gained significant traction, but the trend is still an important development direction.
The trends we have observed in recent months will continue to grow in adoption and usage as 2014 progresses. And as more consumers and merchants adopt electronic and mobile payments, VeriFone will continue to monitor and respond to the market’s needs both in Poland and around the world.




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  6. I always found the payments landscape fascinating in Poland. So many good innovations and a hunger to find better solutions. At the same time a fundamental backdrop constraint that many of the population do not trust the banks. Sounds like a perfect environment for a bit coin society, whatever that really is!

    • Thank you for the comment Adrian. We feel the same. Looking forward to some great things there.

  7. Can you tell us what companies are major players in the Polish mobile payment landscape?

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