The Cards and Payments Industry in Austria: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2020

Published: December 2016
No. of Pages: 50
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The Cards and Payments Industry in Austria: Emerging trends and opportunities to 2020


Cash remains the preferred mode of consumer payments in Austria, accounting for 48.3% of the total transaction volume in 2016. This is primarily due to consumer preference for the convenience of cash, and the low acceptance of cards for small-value payments. However, the use of payment cards has increased since 2013, in line with the improving economy and a growing banked population. The frequency of use for payment cards in Austria was 70.6 in 2016 - higher than Luxembourg (63.8) and Greece (28.4), but lower than Switzerland (72.8), Belgium (81.8), Portugal (105.9), the Netherlands (127.1), and Ireland (137.9).

Austrian consumers have traditionally used debit cards as a preferred means of payment. Most Austrian consumers are banked and have at least one debit card, as highlighted by a debit card penetration of 1.5 cards per individual in 2016. With the European debt crisis and uncertain economic conditions, many Austrian consumers prefer to use debit cards for purchases, to keep expenses in check. A unique feature of Austrian debit cards is the Quick function, which allows Maestro card holders to load up to USUS$420.90 (EUR400) at any ATM or specific terminal, which is debited to the card holder’s account.

Several banks in Austria are increasingly using digital channels to offer banking services to their customers. Erste Bank in September 2014 introduced a new service allowing
Austrian consumers to open bank accounts online. Individuals need not visit a branch, as customer identification is carried out through an online payment transfer from an existing account with an Austrian bank. Once approved, the account is activated within two working days.

The fast growing e-commerce market is in turn driving growth in Austria’s payment cards market. E-commerce registered a CAGR of 12.71% during 2012-16, growing from US$5.4bn (EUR5.1bn) in 2012 to US$8.7bn (EUR8.3bn) in 2016. Conventional instruments - including payment cards - remain the preferred mode of payments for e-commerce transactions, accounting for 68.5% of the total e-commerce transaction value in 2016.

The report "The Cards and Payments Industry in Austria: Emerging trends and opportunities to 2020" report provides top-level market analysis, information and insights into the Austrian cards and payments industry.

In particular, this reports provides the following -
- Current and forecast values for each market in the Austrian cards and payments industry, including debit, credit and charge cards.
- Detailed insights into payment instruments including credit transfers, cheques, cash, direct debit and payment cards. It also, includes an overview of the country's key alternative payment instruments.
- E-commerce market analysis and payment methods.
- Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing the Austrian cards and payments industry.
- Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit, credit and charge cards.

Companies mentioned in this report: Raiffeisen Bank, Bank Austria, BAWAG PSK, Erste Group, Volksbank, Ober Bank, Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express.


- Contactless payments are gaining prominence in Austria, with all major banks in the country - including Erste Bank, BAWAG PSK, and Volksbank - offering cards with contactless functionality. Overall, the number of contactless cards in the country rose from 3 million in 2013 to 12 million in 2016, and is expected to reach 16 million by 2020. In addition, contactless mobile payments (m-payments) are also gaining prominence. In June 2016, Erste Bank launched a range of NFC payments in the country. Users can make payments using enabled wristbands, stickers, or mobile apps launched by the bank. In addition to in-store payments, the method can be used to withdraw cash at NFC-enabled ATMs.
- The Austrian Supreme Court made one-off loan-processing fees lawful in June 2016, allowing banks to include processing fees, payments, and commissions which must be paid by borrowers in addition to the principal loan amount. This fee depends on the total loan amount rather than the actual expenses incurred in processing a loan, which is sometimes inconvenient for consumers. Charging a one-off loan-processing fee is a common practice that has been applied by banks for decades in Austria, and the Supreme Court’s ruling will further encourage banks to continue this exercise. This may lead consumers to look for other low-cost borrowing options such as credit cards.
- The uptake of alternative payments is gradually increasing in Austria, with the availability of various payment solutions. The latest is the launch of the Seqr mobile payment app in July 2016, which enables consumers to make online and retail purchases using Quick Response (QR) codes. In August 2015, PayPal expanded its One Touch instant checkout service to Austria, which can be activated from the PayPal website and can be used to skip the login process at eligible websites to accelerate the payment process. Other alternative payment solutions, such as Sofort, Klarna, Paysafecard, and Skrill, are also available in Austria.

Reasons to buy

- Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to the Austrian cards and payments industry and each market within it.
- Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in the Austrian cards and payments industry.
- Assess the competitive dynamics in the Austrian cards and payments industry.
- Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Austria.
- Gain insights into key regulations governing the Austrian cards and payments industry.

Published By: GlobalData
Product Code: Timetric2681

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