Eastern Europe offers unique opportunities for card providers

Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries with less developed banking systems, labour markets and IT and communications infrastructures can leapfrog over the established banking and payment infrastructures present in other parts of Europe to become more entrenched in smart card based payment methods, according to new analyses from Frost & Sullivan.

Leapfrogging Traditional Payment Methods - Opportunities in Eastern Europe to Deepen Use of Smart Card Technology in Payment Applications, find that Central and Eastern Europe provides growth momentum within EMEA for smart card payment revenues. The seven-year (2008-2015) compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Central and Eastern Europe stands at 12 per cent, which is more than double that of EMEA at 5.2 per cent. This study focuses on the opportunities in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

“Payment trends in Poland and other Eastern European countries lag behind other parts of Europe partly due to economic history,” says Frost & Sullivan Analyst Yiru Zhong. “While Eastern European countries have played catch up to converge towards EU levels, the situation presents an opportunity for smart card players to help financial institutions in this region to reach out to the underbanked.”

Various stakeholders are keen to take advantage of the under developed banking infrastructure in order to gain end user touch points. The presence of non-traditional bank issuers, such as retailers and closed loop communities, also raises the stakes in the market by actively stimulating end user demand and habits.

Smart card industry players can tap into the card portion in the short term and benefit from the low entry barriers for new players to enter the IT systems and services segment in the medium term. Vendors seeking new entry should identify credible local partners to establish strong local delivery capability.

The supplier landscape in Central and Eastern Europe encourages the coexistence of strong global companies with a vibrant local in-country system integrators (SI) sector. The successful participant is one who leverages core expertise with the best product and service fit to local characteristics to widen and deepen adoption.

“The structural transformation of the payments market offers opportunities for smart card players who enable the transition from a relatively low monetisation society to one that relies on smart card technology,” concludes Zhong. “More importantly, this will also allow smart card players to establish strategic partnerships with local integrators to guarantee a sustainable pipeline of new businesses in these growth markets.”

More info:

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.