The latest survey published by Lafferty Group – an international research and consultancy company – puts ERB Retail Services as market leader both from the point of view of the credit cards portfolio and of point of sale credit.
Approximately 10 years ago ERB Retail Services was launching, through the EuroLine credit card, the first point of sale credit solution on the Romanian market. It was an optimistic investment at a time when the exercise of using a credit card was almost nonexistent. Today EuroLine – now EuroLine American Express® – is probably the most sold credit card, throughout time over 780,000 Romanians using it for purchases made for a more comfortable home – consumer electronics, white goods and DIY materials.
On a market still dominated by debit cards, the credit card is gradually starting to enjoy the Romanians’ attention. “We are permanently focusing on three strategic directions: the relationship with the client, the relationship with partner merchants and the product. We are running projects through which we are educating the Romanian consumer and showing him the advantages of the proper use of the credit card. We have created a complete product that combines the benefits of consumer credit with those of a classic card to which we have added, on a yearly basis, new manners of usage such as the Interest-free Installments and Light Installments systems. We have developed permanent loyalty systems such as the cashback program, but also seasonal campaigns in relation to the most important moments in the lives of Romanians. At the same time, we have collaborated with our merchant partners, important international or local retailers, in order to stimulate the use of credit cards in more than 8,000 stores,” Mr. Aris Papathomas, ERB Retail Services general director, stated.
For ERB Retail Services the results of a long-awaited change in behavior are starting to show. According to Papathomas, a significant change in the share of POS transactions in overall transactions has been noticed. While in 2009 only 1 in 7 transactions was a POS transaction, today the shares of payments and cash withdrawals are equal. One reason for this shift is that EuroLine American Express® cardholders choose more and more to benefit from the purchases with different interest-free or light instalments, instead of withdrawing cash which is more expensive. More importantly maybe, the large client base has ensured for ERB Retail Services a critical mass that allows it to register, even during a period of crisis, a total rise of approximately 55 per cent in the use of credit cards volume-wise in 2012 compared to 2011.