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A comprehensive overview of Romania's cards, payments and consumer banking market.
Economic growth in the country is among the highest in the EU, driven mainly by strong industrial exports and growing domestic demand.
The overall performance of the banking sector continued to improve in 2015 and 2016. Romania's retail banking market is dominated by five banks: Banca Comercialâ Românâ (BCR), Banca Transilvania, BRD-Groupe Société Générale (BRD), UniCredit Bank and CEC Bank.
Cash remains the predominant payment mode in Romania. Though card penetration has increased considerably, Romanians still use their payment cards for cash withdrawals rather than using them as a means of payment. Billed volume using payment cards at the POS stood at $11.2 billion in 2016, whereas ATM cash withdrawals reached more than three times that figure.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:
Demographics and Economy
The population of Romania has been declining since 2000. It reached 19.6 million at the end of 2016, a fall of 12% when compared to 2000. Of the total population, 49.1% were men and 50.9% were women. The trend is estimated to continue.
Economic growth in Romania is among the highest in the EU. The country's economy is driven mainly by strong industrial exports and growing domestic demand. The country's main export partners include Germany, France, Turkey, Hungary and Italy.
BCR is the leading bank by assets, with a market share of 16%, followed by Banca Transilvania with 13% market share. The top five banks accounted for 61.3% of the country's total banking assets at the end of 2016.
Consumer Finance Market
Romania's consumer finance market is relatively underdeveloped compared with European
standards. At the end of 2016, the ratio of total consumer credit to personal disposable income stood at an estimated 20%.
Cash remains the predominant payment mode in Romania. The value of banknotes and coins in circulation as a percentage of GDP stood at an estimated 7.3% in 2016. The Romanian government and the NBR have been taking steps to reduce cash in circulation and encourage payment card use.
Some significant players offering online payment services in Romania include 2Checkout, Braintree, Paymill, Skrill, Authorize.net, GoCoin, and PayPal Express Checkout.
In Romania, credit cards are generally positioned as a transactional instrument designed for shopping. Despite this marketing effort, customers use their credit cards predominantly for ATM cash advances, even though these transactions incur additional charges.
Visa and Mastercard dominate the Romania credit cards market; Mastercard narrowly leads the credit cards market with a share of 50.4% in terms of the number of cards, compared with Visa's 49.6% share. The Romanian debit cards market is fairly evenly split between Visa and Mastercard, with no national scheme in operation.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers
At the end of 2016, the top three players in the credit cards lending market, in terms of credit card outstandings, were Raiffeisen Bank, Credit Europe Bank and Banca Transilvania, together
representing an estimated market share of 51%.
Acquiring and Processing
Merchant acquiring in Romania is dominated by the country's largest banks, including BRD, BCR, Raiffeisen Bank and Banca Transilvania. Card processing and acquiring processing services are dominated by Romcard (previously an interbank organisation and currently owned by Wirecard, a German payment-processing solutions provider) and Euronet, a US-based payment processing solution provider.
Romania is one of the fastest-growing emerging markets for e-commerce in Europe. It is estimated that about 6.8 million Romanians shopped online during 2016.
Regulatory and Markets Information
Romania is the third country in the world whose banking system introduced 'display cards' to the market. A display card looks and functions almost exactly like a regular credit, debit or ATM card, but features an embedded LCD display and touch-sensitive buttons.
Reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.
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