Payments by credit transfer and by card increased, while cheque payments continued to decline in popularity. In 2017, cards issued in Finland were used as means of payment about 1.65 billion times, an increase of 7.6% on 2016. At the same time, Finnish residents made 0.94 billion credit transfers, an increase of 3.9% on the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of cheques redeemed in Finland declined from 0.07 million to 0.04 million.
Measured by value, most money changes owner by credit transfers. In 2017, Finnish residents made credit transfers to the value of approximately EUR 2,786 billion and card payments to the value of EUR 47.9 billion. The value of credit transfers increased by about 2% and the value of card payments by about 4.6% on 2016. Cheques were redeemed to the value of approximately EUR 1.2 billion, a decrease of 47% on the previous year.
At the end of 2017, there were 1,498 cash withdrawal ATMs in Finland, and 429 credit transfer ATMs. During the year, cash to the value of slightly over EUR 12 billion was withdrawn from ATMs.
Almost every fourth card payment made using contactless payment function
At the end of 2017, there were approximately 9.9 million cards in use in Finland. Of these, slightly over 3 million were combination cards, i.e. cards with a debit function combined either with a delayed debit or a credit function. As many as 7.1 billion cards are already equipped with the contactless payment function.
The ratio between the use of debit and credit cards remained unchanged from the previous years: 90% of card payments were made with debit cards, while in value terms debit card payments accounted for about 80% of all card payments. Hence, credit cards are used for larger payments, on average.
Contactless card payments continued to grow strongly in popularity. In 2017, there were already 376 million contactless payments made in Finland, a two-fold increase on the previous year. At the same time, the number of card payments verified with a PIN code, i.e. card payments at contact terminals, declined for the second consecutive year, to just over 1,207 million. Contactless payments already account for 23% of all card payments, while the share of card payments at contact terminals has declined from 97% to 73% in the period 2014–2017. In value terms, contactless payments totalled EUR 3.3 billion, or 7% of the value of all card payments. The value of card payments at contact terminals, in turn, totalled EUR 41.4 billion, or 87% of the value of all card payments (95% in 2014).
Besides contactless card payments, remote card payments also increased further in 2017. Remote card payments refer to card payments not conducted at a retail checkout, but e.g. over the Internet or by telephone. In 2017, there were almost 70 million such payments. In value terms, remote card payments totalled EUR 3.2 billion. The average value of remote card payments decreased to around EUR 46 in 2017, from slightly over EUR 50 in the previous year. The average value of card payments made via contact payment terminals was approximately EUR 34 in 2017 and that of contactless card payments about EUR 9.
In addition to remote card payment, online purchases can also be made using an online (or Web) payment button. In 2017, there were over 88 million such payments, which is markedly more than the number of remote card payments in 2017. In value terms, payments made using an online payment button totalled almost EUR 7 billion, over double the value of remote card payments.
Of credit transfers abroad, highest number to Estonia, the Netherlands and Germany
In 2017, there were 932 million domestic credit transfers made in Finland. As in the previous years, they accounted for 99% of all credit transfers. In value terms, domestic credit transfers totalled EUR 2,334 billion, i.e. 84% of the value of all credit transfers. In terms of the number of individual credit transfers, most credit transfers abroad went to Estonia, the Netherlands and Sweden. In terms of value, the most went to the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden.
Of all credit transfers, approximately 924 million, or almost 98% were SEPA credit transfers within the parameters of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) standard. In value terms, SEPA credit transfers totalled about EUR 1,937 billion, accounting for approximately 70% of all credit transfers. Payments can also be made via the correspondent bank network, without payment systems. In 2017, there were about 1.7 million such payments, which is around 0.2% of all credit transfers. In value terms, correspondent bank payments amounted to approximately EUR 383 billion, or just under 14% of all credit transfers. About 48% of correspondent bank payments went outside the EU. By currency, most of these payments were in euro, US dollars and Swedish kronor.
For further information, please contact:
Matti Hellqvist, tel. +358 9 183 2377, matti.hellqvist(at)bof.fi
Timo Iivarinen, tel. +358 9 183 2275, timo.iivarinen(at)bof.fi