Payment Statistics for 2014

15 October 2015

The European Central Bank (ECB) has today published the 2014 statistics on non-cash payments, which comprise indicators on access to and use of payment services and terminals by the public, as well as volumes and values of transactions processed through payment systems. Statistics are published for each EU Member State, in addition to EU and euro area aggregates and comparative data. Several enhancements were brought to the data thanks to an enhanced methodology, also taking into account the effect of the fuller implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

The total number of non-cash payments2 in the EU, increased by 2.8% to 103.2 billion in 2014 compared with the previous year. Overall, card payments accounted for 46% of all transactions, while credit transfers accounted for 26% and direct debits for 21%. The relative importance of each of the main payment services continued to vary widely across EU countries in 2014 . While the number of direct debits in the EU decreased in 2014 by 6.6% to 21.9 billion, the number of credit transfers remained unchanged at 27.0 billion. The importance of paper-based credit transfers continued to decrease, with the ratio of paper-based transactions to transactions initiated electronically standing at around one to seven.

The number of cards with a payment function in the EU increased in 2014 by 0.9% to 766 million. With a total EU population of 509 million, this represented around 1.5 payment cards per EU inhabitant. The number of card transactions rose by 8.8% to 47.5 billion, with a total value of €2.4 trillion. This corresponds to an average value of around €50 per card transaction. In 2014, the total number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the EU increased by 12.4% to 0.49 million, while the number of points of sale (POS) terminals increased by 11.1% to 10.1 million.

Retail payment systems

Retail payment systems in the EU handle mainly payments that are made by the public, with a relatively low value, a high volume and limited time-criticality. In 2014, 42 retail payment systems existed within the EU as a whole. During the year, almost 50 billion transactions were processed by those systems with an amount of €38.3 trillion. 23 of these systems were located in the euro area, where they processed nearly 37 billion transactions in 2014 (i.e. 74% of the EU total) with a value amounting to €27.2 trillion (i.e. 71% of the EU total).

There continues to be a notable degree of concentration in EU retail payment systems in 2014. The four largest systems in terms of number of transactions (CORE in France, STEP23, BACS in the United Kingdom and RPS in Germany) processed 66% of the volume and value of all transactions processed by EU retail payment systems.

Source: ECB

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