The pandemic has boosted online spending, as wary consumers are staying home and using online platforms to avoid exposing themselves to potential disease vectors. Overall, ecommerce value stood at PLN91.9bn ($24.6bn) in 2020 – an increase of 19.5% for the year. This has also boosted the use of payment cards online.
Ravi Sharma, Lead Banking and Payments Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While cash has traditionally been the most preferred payment method in Poland, consumers are now gradually embracing electronic payments. Government financial inclusion initiatives (such as mandatory availability of basic banking services along with a debit card with zero or minimal costs), improving payment infrastructure and a gradual rise in consumer preference for non-cash payments has driven the growth of card transactions during the past few years. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer spending, it has also highlighted the importance of digital payments, which will push the use of card payments in the country.”
When shopping in store, consumers have shifted from cash payments to digital payments, particularly contactless cards. In March 2020, the Polish Government raised the contactless payment limit in the country from PLN50 ($13.39) to PLN100 ($26.77) so that consumers could make payments without coming into close contact with POS terminals.
Mr Sharma adds: “The COVID-19 outbreak hindered the constant strong growth of the card payments market in Poland in 2020. However, with the gradual economic recovery, improving payment infrastructure and rising contactless and e-commerce adoption, card payments are expected to rise by 14.3% to reach PLN463.4bn (US$124.1bn) in 2021.”