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Slovenia Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: August 2017


A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Slovenia. Slovenia has a highly banked population with the vast majority of Slovenians holding a bank account. Slovenia's households are less indebted than their eurozone counterparts, with a debt to GDP ratio of 23 percent at the end of 2016.
The cards market in Slovenia is one of the most developed in the Central and Eastern European region. In Slovenia, retailer cards are very popular. Major retailers such as Mercator and Petrol issue proprietary cards, known as Pika and
Magna respectively.
Credit cards account for over three-quarters of payment card purchases in Slovenia but deferred debit and charge cards rather than revolving credit cards are dominant. Although the Slovenian payment cards market is relatively mature in terms of card ownership and usage, customer switching between issuers is not common.
Despite considerable growth in the e-commerce market, it is from a low base: turnover in Slovenia is one of the lowest in Europe. Slovenians make use of the internet to arrive at a purchasing decision but prefer to make the actual purchase in a brick-and-mortar business.


  • Slovenia experienced three consecutive years of solid economic growth following two years of recession in 2012 and 2013.
  • The government established a bad bank in 2013 to take on non-performing loans of the country's banks. The banking industry has also undergone a period of consolidation.
  • The performance of the banking sector has improved due to these measures, but non- performing loans remain an issue.
  • By European standards, consumer indebtedness is low in Slovenia: the average debt per household was less than $12,000 at the end of 2016.
  • Card use is well established, with card penetration and acceptance among the highest in Eastern Europe.
  • Revolving credit cards are a rarity; deferred debit and charge cards dominate the pay-later segment.
  • Both banks and retailers are active in credit card issuing. International networks compete with domestic schemes and private label cards.
  • Credit card profits are low in Slovenia largely due to the absence of any significant interest income. Annual fees are the main source of revenue for issuers.
  • Debit cards are used primarily to withdraw cash, and there has been little evidence of a shift towards the POS in recent years.
  • Merchant acquiring is carried out by the banks in Slovenia, while Bankart and Intesa Sanpaolo Card are the leading processors.

Slovenia Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our credit card data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume

Slovenia Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
With a decreasing birth rate, Slovenia has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in Europe. The number of people aged 65 years and older increased from 16.5% of the
population at the end of 2010 to 18.9% at the end of 2016.

The Economy
Slovenia's top exports in 2016 consisted of automobiles (17% of total exports), electrical machinery and equipment (11.1%), machinery -including computers (10.2%), pharmaceuticals (8.3%), plastic (4.4%) and fuels (4.2%).

Retail Banking
Slovenia has a highly banked population with the vast majority of Slovenians holding a bank account. At the end of 2016, there were 16 banks operating in the country. The top five retail banks in Slovenia in terms of asset value are Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB), Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (Nova KBM), Abanka, SKB Banka and UniCredit Bank.

Consumer Finance
Favourable market conditions and increasing consumer confidence have led to the improvement in household credit. In addition, this low level of household indebtedness has
also played a vital role in banks' decisions to approve more loans.

Cards Market
The cards market in Slovenia is one of the most developed in the Central and Eastern European region, with 262 payment cards per 100 adults at the end of 2016. Payment cards billed volume more than doubled over the last decade, reducing overall cash usage. However, cash still accounts for the majority of payments in Slovenia in terms of volume.

Prepaid cards are not yet popular in Slovenia. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Nova KBM and NLB are the key banks that issue prepaid cards. The cards are issued on both Visa Electron and Mastercard network with issuers targeting consumers over 15 years of age.

Profit pool
Credit cards account for over three quarters of payment card purchases in Slovenia but deferred debit and charge cards rather than revolving credit cards are dominant. Because of this, issuers depend almost entirely on fee-based income to drive profitability.

Pricing and Enhancements
Slovenia has three domestic card brands: Activa cards (co-branded Maestro, Mastercard, Visa or Electron), BA (Maestro cards) and Karanta cards (co-branded Mastercard). American Express and Diners Club also have significant market shares in payment cards in Slovenia.

Card Networks
Slovenia has a competitive credit cards market with four major international brands – Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club – having a presence. In addition, domestic network schemes such as Karanta and Activa also have a presence. Debit card penetration in Slovenia is high, with 148 debit cards per 100 adults at the end of 2016.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Slovenia's retail banking market is dominated by two banks, Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) and Nova KBM. These two banks jointly account for close to a third of banking branches, almost half of all debit cards and 41% of the country's current accounts.

Merchant Acquiring and Processing
In Slovenia, the leading banks dominate merchant acquiring; these include Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB), Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Abanka, Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor (Nova KBM) and SKB Banka. Three key players dominate the processing market in Slovenia: Bankart, Intesa Sanpaolo Card (acquired by Mercury UK Holdco in 2016) and Fidelity Information Services (FIS).

Online Acquiring
The e-commerce market in Slovenia is growing fast owing to factors such as the increase in internet and smartphone penetration. The top five acquirers leading the physical POS acquiring segment are also leading the online acquiring market.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The Bank of Slovenia is responsible for both central banking and the regulatory framework in the country. It is an integral part of the euro system, which consists of many central banks of the eurozone. The main objectives of the bank are to ensure price stability, safe payments and a stable financial system in the country.


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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