Finland Cards and Payments Industry Expected to Reach 17.05 Million Cards By 2017 in New Research Report at

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Despite having one of the smallest populations in the eurozone, Finland is miles ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of card awareness and usage levels. It has the highest usage of card payments in terms of transactions per inhabitant, with the average usage per capita exceeding that of the UK and the Netherlands. Younger consumers are more comfortable with various types of electronic payment methods, and typically use more than one payment method when paying at the point of sale (POS), although debit cards are the predominant method.

The overall card industry exhibited nominal growth during the review period (2008–2012) at a CAGR of 3.86%, rising from 13.36 million cards in 2008 to 15.56 million in 2012. The industry is expected to register a slight growth over the forecast period with a CAGR of 1.64%, rising from 15.98 million cards in 2013 to 17.05 million in 2017.

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Already mature market presents steady growth potential

The Finland cards and payments industry grew marginally in terms of volume and value during the review period. In terms of transaction volume, it grew at a CAGR of 1.8% from 1.21 billion transactions in 2008 to 1.30 billion in 2012. It is anticipated that the volume will grow further over the forecast period (2013–2017), at a CAGR of 0.65% to reach 1.35 billion transactions in 2017.

In terms of number of cards, the industry increased from 13.36 million in 2008 to 15.55 million in 2012, at a CAGR of 3.86%. It is expected to reach 17.05 million in 2017, growing at a CAGR of 1.64% over the forecast period. Debit cards had the largest market share of 82.32% in 2012.

Strong growth of mobile commerce

The increasing capabilities of smartphone devices, an exponential rise in mobile device applications and falling prices have been instrumental in driving mobile commerce (m-commerce). According to a survey conducted by AddValue on behalf of operator DNA in 2013, 60% of Finns own a smartphone, 76% own a laptop and 18% own a tablet. Factors driving growth in m-commerce are lower prices, improved search engines, price comparison sites and the rising penetration of smartphones, leading to the growth of the cards and payments industry in Finland.

Growth of contactless and NFC technology

Contactless and NFC payments are also being introduced in Finland. K-Plussa, the largest and most-diverse loyalty program to provide benefits to customers, launched a contactless card in February 2012. The card has, thus far, been used by more than 300,000 K-Plussa customers.

Growth of e-commerce

The growing market for online trade in Finland is one of the primary factors responsible for the expansion of the country’s cards and payments industry. E-commerce sales increased from EUR8.85 billion in 2009 to EUR10.4 billion in 2011. This growth can be attributed to benefits offered by online retail such as low cost and convenience, and promotional offers and discounts, and is expected to further increase debit and credit card ownership.

Consumer preference directing the cards and payments industry

Finnish consumers, as part of a well developed economy and financial system, assign more importance to safety and security services than they do to convenience and price. Corporate customers consider cost to be the major deciding parameter when obtaining travel, incentive or entertainment cards.

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