Euro Sign in Frankfurt (by Stephan Rückert)Euro Sign in Frankfurt, Willy Brandt Platz (by Stephan Rückert)

ECB Reports a Surge in Non-Cash Payments in Euro Area for First Half of 2023

Frankfurt, Germany – The European Central Bank (ECB) released key data on Wednesday regarding non-cash payment trends in the euro area for the first half of 2023, revealing significant shifts in consumer payment behaviors.

According to the ECB, the total number of non-cash payments in the euro area experienced a 10.1% increase, reaching 67.0 billion in the first half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. However, the total value of these transactions saw a 4.5% decline, amounting to €111.4 trillion.

Card payments dominated the non-cash payment landscape, accounting for 54% of the total number. Credit transfers constituted 22%, direct debits 15%, and e-money payments 7% of the total number of non-cash payments.

A notable trend highlighted in the ECB’s report is the substantial rise in contactless card payments. These increased by 24.3% to 20.9 billion transactions in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022. The total value of these contactless transactions also saw a significant increase of 25.9%, reaching €0.5 trillion.

The number of payment cards in circulation at the end of the first half of 2023 also grew by 4.7% to 669.5 million, compared to the first half of 2022. This growth indicates an average of 1.9 payment cards per inhabitant in the euro area. The average value per card transaction hovered around €40.

Additionally, retail payment systems in the euro area processed approximately 29.8 billion transactions during this period, with a total value of €23.6 trillion.

The ECB’s report underscores a continuing trend towards digital and contactless payment methods in the euro area, reflecting changes in consumer preferences and technological advancements in the payment industry.

Background Context:

The shift towards non-cash and contactless payments has been accelerated by factors such as technological innovation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and changing consumer habits. The ECB’s payment statistics are crucial for understanding these trends and shaping monetary policy and financial regulation in the euro area. These trends also have significant implications for banking, retail, and the payments industry, as they adapt to evolving consumer behaviors and technological advancements.

In the first half of 2023, the total number of non-cash payments in the euro area increased by 10.1% compared to the same period in 2022. However, the total value of these payments declined by 4.5%. Card payments accounted for 54% of non-cash payments, while credit transfers, direct debits, and e-money payments accounted for 22%, 15%, and 7% respectively. The number of contactless card payments increased by 24.3%, and the number of payment cards outstanding increased by 4.7%. Around 29.8 billion transactions were processed by retail payment systems in the euro area, worth €23.6 trillion.

By Silvia Orfeo

Silvia Orfeo is a Sr. Politics and Economics Reporter at Nobot.News

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