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Slovakia Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: August 2020


A comprehensive overview of Slovakia's cards, payments and consumer banking market, with clearsighted commentary backed by relevant data.
The launch of a real-time payments system is set for early 2022, a timely development given that mobile payments are growing rapidly (accelerated by near-universal contactless acceptance) and e-wallets are ensconced as the fastest-growing e-commerce payment method.
Purchase volume is set to increase during 2020, fuelled by debit card purchases as the number of credit cards has been declining, with issuers needing to persuade consumers more energetically and not let a government levy on liabilities dim their enthusiasm for lending.

What you will learn from this Slovakia card payments report:

How mobile payments are ripe for development.
Why credit cards are relatively underdeveloped.
What Slovak issuers need to do to challenge overdrafts.
Why bank creativity is key to profitability.
How e-commerce has performed in Slovakia.


  • From a 2018 peak, economic growth in this market slowed to 2.4 percent in 2019 and, due to the pandemic, is now expected to shrink by nine percent in 2020.
  • Cash continues to be the dominant payment mode. However, the use of payment cards has grown significantly since the country joined the eurozone in 2009.
  • Debit card usage has grown, at least in part, because of the financial inclusion initiatives taken by the authorities, including the introduction of a law making it easier for those on low incomes to open a basic bank account.
  • Card purchase transactions grew at an average rate of 19 percent from 2014 to 2019. Growth is expected to continue out to 2023 but at a more moderate rate.
  • Contactless cards have reached saturation point, with Slovakia enjoying one of the highest penetration levels in Europe.
  • At the end of 2019, almost all cards and POS terminals in the country were contactless-enabled.
  • Credit cards face strong competition from overdrafts, the most popular form of short-term borrowing in the country.
  • Mastercard leads Visa as the principal credit card network, while the situation is reversed when it comes to debit cards.
  • VUB Banka is the leading institution in credit cards in issue and outstandings, followed by Tatra Banka.

Slovakia Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Slovakian 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: 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
Credit card numbers
Total credit cards metrics
Credit cards profitability indicators
Debit cards numbers
Debit cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Mobile proximity payment metrics

Appendix V: Profit pool
Slovakian 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: Acquiring 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

Slovakia Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
The Slovak economy reached somewhat of a peak in 2018 and has begun to slow down somewhat since. Growth fell to 2.4% in 2019 on foot of shifts in the automotive sector and the impact of weakening demand for electronic and automotive products.

Payments Environment
The use of payment cards is growing significantly, driven by overseas spending using Slovakia-issued cards and improved acceptance facilities at merchants serving consumers from other euro-denominated countries.

Cards Market
Cash continues to be the dominant payment mode in Slovakia. However, since the country joined the eurozone in 2009, cash usage has declined, while use of payment cards has grown significantly.

Mobile Payments
With over seven million mobile phone subscribers in the country and the number of mobile cellular subscriptions standing at 133.4 per 100 inhabitants in 2019, Slovakia is a relatively small, though attractive, market for mobile payments.

Profit Pool
Profit per card reached an estimated $28 in 2019, its highest since 2014; Verisk Financial Research forecasts an increase to $37 in 2023, fuelled by an increase in billed volume and improved operating cost-to-revenue ratio among financial institutions.

Card Networks
The number of credit cards in issue has been decreasing since 2016, with just under 595,000 credit cards in issue in Slovakia at the end of 2019: this is a small credit cards market. As with credit cards, debit cards are dominated by Visa and Mastercard, with no national scheme in operation in Slovakia.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
There were 27 retail banks offering banking services in Slovakia at the end of 2019. The country's three largest banks (Slovenska Sporitelna, VUB and Tatra Banka) collectively accounted for over half of the total banking assets at the end of that year.

Acquiring and Processing
Although most issuing banks in Slovakia offer acquiring services, merchant acquiring was traditionally dominated by the country's three largest banks: Tatra Banka, VUB and Slovenska Sporitel'na (SLSP).

Online Acquiring
The popularity of e-commerce in Slovakia has been growing in recent years. At the end of 2019, there were around 3,600 online merchants in the country.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The country's central bank, NBS (National Bank of Slovakia), supervises the financial sector, including the capital market, banking, insurance and pensions.

Slovakia Payments report | Entities Referenced
American Express
Apple Pay
Austrian Airlines
Authorisation and Clearing Centre of Slovakia
Bank Card Association
Česka Spoitelna
Diners Club
European Central Bank
EuroProcessing International
First Data
First Data Slovakia
Global Payments
Global Payments, s.r.o.
Google Pay
Home Credit
Intesa Sanpaolo
J&T Banka
Kalixa Pay
KBC Bank
Kooperativa Insurance
National Bank of Slovakia
OTP Banka
Post Bank
Poštova Banka
Raiffeisen International
Samsung Pay
Slovak Savings Bank
Slovenska Sporitel'ňa
Telefonica O2
Transacty Slovakia
Vseobecná Úverová Banka


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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