Bulgarian payment cards will likely hit 9 million cards-in-force (CIF) this year growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.08%. Transaction value is expanding at a CAGR of 7.33%, rising to BGN16.3 billion (US$8.7 billion) in 2014.
A new report from Research and Markets find the average transaction value (ATV) in Bulgaria for 2013 was US$85.5, which ranked fifteenth in the overall European region. Greece recorded the highest ATV, with US$227.6, while Estonia recorded the lowest with US$37.3.
Bulgaria ranked twenty-first in terms of card penetration, with 1.2 cards per inhabitant, while Luxembourg recorded the highest rate with 4.4 and Romania recorded the lowest with 0.6. Bulgaria ranked the lowest among other European countries in terms of frequency of use, with 18.7 transactions per card, while Finland recorded the highest frequency with 172.8.
Prepaid cards recorded a CAGR of 24.99% during the review period, increasing from 461,513 cards in 2009 to 1.1 million in 2013. These cards are more beneficial to the country’s unbanked population, as they do not require a bank account to use. Central Cooperative issues virtual prepaid cards that do not require an individual to have a physical card. This card is created online, and can be used for the payment of goods and services. This removes the requirement for customers to visit a bank to collect the card. The bank also issues Prepaid Gift Cards to customers, which can be personalized and can be used to give gifts on different occasions. With the increasing number of prepaid cards being distributed in the country, this segment is anticipated to undergo positive growth, with 2.1 million cards estimated to be distributed by the end of 2018.
Card fraud is increasing at a CAGR of 0.31% in Bulgaria, with various technological innovations to combat and prevent it. Banks in association with MasterCard and Visa now offer contactless credit cards, called PayPass and PayWave respectively. These cards provide more convenience at the time of the payment, as they require tapping the card in front of the card reader instead of entering the PIN. DSK Bank, Fibank and UniCredit Bulbank offer contactless cards.
2009: 7.7 million
2010: 7.9 million
2011: 8.1 million
2012: 8.3 million
2013: 8.5 million
2014: 8.8 million
2015: 9.0 million
Source: Research & Markets; CardData
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/q7mrr9/bulgarias_cards
For data, background and forecasts on the Global Card Market: Search CardWeb.com’s CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 archived articles; Access CardWeb.com’s CardData® for current and historical Performance, Portfolios, Profiles, etc. Visit RAM Research® (ramresearch.com) for quarterly and annual forecasts covering more than 150 metrics. [complimentary or deeply discounted access to CardWeb.com subscribers].
Additional database resources include CardWeb.com’s CardExecs® – comings & goings of payments movers & shakers; CardWeb.com’s CardWatch® – ears & eyes on marketing globally (57K items); and CardWeb.com’s CardPixes® – form & function of card design (7K items).