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Finland Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: August 2019


A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Finland. GDP growth is estimated to increase gradually during the forecast period. Key growth levers should be Finland's rejuvenated labour market, increased domestic consumption levels and exports.
Finland's payments ecosystem is highly advanced; use of cash is in constant decline while the penetration rate of electronic payments is increasing. Contactless payments are growing in popularity with 80 percent of all cards having contactless functionality at the end of 2018.
Finland lacks a fully functioning instant payments infrastructure – unlike Denmark and Sweden, for example.

What you will learn from this Finland card market report:

Why credit card profitability in Finland remains high.
How interchange caps have affected the profit pool in Finland.
Which regulatory moves are impacting the market – and payments infrastructure.
How Finns, through apps such as Siirto, are using payment methods.
Where foreign players have been finding market opportunities.


  • Finland has a well-developed and established payment cards market with similar usage levels to the other Nordic countries. Finnish adults made, on average, 413 card payments each in 2018.
  • Contactless is being rapidly adopted by Finnish cardholders. One in three card transactions were contactless in 2018, up from one in fifty in 2015.
  • Debit cards are preferred to credit cards among most consumers, accounting for over 80 per cent of total card spend in Finland.
  • The Finnish credit cards market remains profitable, however, thanks to extremely high credit quality. Loss rates on credit cards are among the lowest in the world.
  • Bank transfer is the most popular payment method for online transactions. A total of $9 billion of online purchases was paid for by bank transfer in 2018, compared to $4 billion by card.
  • Payment by invoice is also popular in Finland, where official bodies have been accepting electronic invoices since 2010, and e-invoicing between private companies is widespread.
  • Mobile payments are growing in popularity, but Finland, unlike other Nordics, lacks a clear leader. Danish platform MobilePay has gained the most traction in the market but competes with the domestic service Siirto among others.
  • A real-time payments working group was established in 2018 to examine Finland's instant payments options. There is currently no fully operational real-time payments platform in the country.
  • OP Financial is cooperating with five other banks in the region to create a pan-Nordic payments infrastructure. The project, named P27, is expected to be operational in 2020.
  • Finland has an unusual merchant acquiring model: almost all credit and debit card acquiring is processed by Nets, which has an effective monopoly in the country.

Finland Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Finnish cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendices: Payment Card Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Finland credit card data numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Finland debit cards metrics
  • Appendix IV: Mobile payments
  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Finland profit pool

Appendix VI: The card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Finland Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Employment has increased sharply, and unemployment levels are at their lowest since 2011. Wages have been recovering too, a trend reflected in a 2% increase in average wage levels for 2018.

Payments Environment
Credit transfers are the most popular payment method in Finland, whilst card payments continue to increase, particularly contactless card payments as transactions increased 68% and billed volume 75% respectively on the previous year.

Cards market
Using payment cards for online transactions has gained in popularity, with an increasing number of Finnish consumers purchasing goods and services online. Although most online purchases are funded directly from bank accounts, card payments are also on the rise.

Mobile Payments
Danish offering MobilePay is the market leader in the space, and there are also several local payment apps available. Some banks, such as Nordea, OP and S-Bank, have their own offerings.

Profit Pool
Finland has an established credit card market, which compares favourably with its Nordic neighbours. Despite a consumer preference for debit cards and other forms of consumer credit, market profitability is strong and stable.

Card Networks
Finland's credit cards market is represented in the main by three international brands: Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Visa is the principal debit card network in Finland: at the end of 2018, it had a share of about 85% in terms of card numbers and 77% in terms of billed volume.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
The leading issuer of credit cards is Nordea, while OP Financial Group is the largest issuer of debit cards in Finland. The top quartet of issuers dominates the market with an estimated 81% of credit cards in issue between them at the end of 2018.

Acquiring and Processing
Nets has an effective monopoly on all merchant acquiring for internationally-branded payment cards in Finland (with the exception of American Express); its merchant services comprise acquiring services for card payment transactions, settlement and payment terminal services and related customer services.

Online Acquiring
Finland is the smallest e-commerce market in the Nordic region. According to payment gateway Paytrail, it makes up 17% of the Nordic e-commerce market, lagging behind Sweden (37%), Denmark and Norway (both 21%).

Regulatory and Markets Information
Most of Finland's financial regulation is EU based. The union's objective is regulatory harmonisation throughout member states, under the guidance of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) based on the framework provided by Basel III.

Finland Payments Report | Entities Referenced

Aktia Wallet
American Express
André Oscar Wallenberg
Apple Pay
Bank Norwegian
Basel III
Checkout Finland
Competitiveness Pact
Consumer Protection Act
Danske Bank
Diners Club
Diners Club International
Discover Global Network
Elisa Lompakko
European Banking Authority
European Supervisory Authorities
Federation of Finnish Financial Services
Finance Finland
Financial Supervisory Authority
Finnish Payments Council
Finnish-Financial Supervisory Authority
Google Pay
Municipality Finance
Nets Holding
Nordea Bank
Norwegian Air Shuttle
OP Financial Group
OP Pivo
OP Pohjola Group
Parliamentary Commerce Committee
Payment Highway
Payment Institutions Act
Payment Services Act
Pohjola Bank
Project 27
revised Payment Services Directive
Savings Bank Group
SEB Kort
SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme
Single Euro Payments Area
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken
Sony PlayStation
Statistics Finland
Strong Customer Authentication
Suomen Verkkomaksut
Visa Electron

More Nordic Card Payments Reports

Detailed research reports on the payments and card markets in the following:


Reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

See more European country reports or explore cards & payments research reports for markets worldwide or view our latest reports.

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