One in five Romanians uses their card for purchases of under RON 10, according to a MasterCard study, which analyzed cardholders’ behavior in Romania. The most frequent card payments are low-value transactions, with three quarters of the surveyed affirming they usually use their card for purchases of under RON 75.
This trend is encouraging, underlining a change of mentality in the local market: the drive from cash to electronic payments is gaining traction amongst Romanian consumers, given that 85% of those surveyed indicate they pay by card for the usual purchases. The study has also shown that 4 out of 5 Romanians are keen on using their cards because, in doing so, they avoid carrying cash, whereas 67 pc of the respondents appreciate the simplicity and ease with paying by card.
According to the study, cards are increasingly utilized for daily purchases. Last year, in December, the number of those that affirmed they pay by card on a daily basis was 45 pc larger than in March 2015. The result underpins an encouraging evolution in the market, supported by the growth in terms of number of cardholders locally, which reached 95 pc among adults living in the urban areas of Romania and are internet users.
Last year’s boom in the Romanian cards market characterizes the contactless segment. Fast, simple and secure, contactless payments are becoming one of the favored payment methods for cardholders. In-between March and December 2015, the percentage of the respondents saying they pay contactless increased by 160 pc. As such, in December 2015, 4 out of 10 respondents were familiar with contactless payments, confirming the growth in popularity of this particular payment solution.
“MasterCard campaigns in Romania in 2015 revealed the benefits of card payments, both for consumers and for the economy, overall, and we are delighted to see their results – the growth rates are booming, indicating that more and more Romanians adopt card payments. We have concentrated our efforts on financial education and we will continue to do so hereon, simultaneously with implementing innovations that further make paying by card ever more simple, convenient and secure” has stated Cosmin Vladimirescu (photo), General Manager, Romania, MasterCard
The financial education campaigns are already showing a visible return, with results such as a mere 12 pc of the respondents in the study claiming they either do not know how or are unused to paying by card. As such, the low levels of card penetration in the local market can be largely attributed to the poor acceptance infrastructure, with 41pc of the respondents naming this reason above all others, when asked to single out a reason for not paying by card.