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Bulgaria%s Cards and Payments Industry: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape

  • March 2015
  • -
  • GlobalData
  • -
  • 82 pages

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Synopsis
The global economic crisis in 2009–2010 had a severe effect on the Bulgarian economy, with gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by 5.5% in 2009. The Bulgarian government and World Bank entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January 2012 in response. This represented an important step taken by the country’s government to draw on the World Bank’s expertise in developing and implementing strategies and programs to revive the country’s economy. GDP grew by 0.9% in 2013, and is anticipated to rise to 3.0% in 2018, which will be beneficial for Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry over the forecast period (2014–2018).

Bulgarian payment cards (including debit and credit cards) registered positive growth during the review period (2009–2013), recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.08%, and increasing from 7.7 million cards in circulation in 2009 to 8.5 million in 2013. In terms of transaction value, payment cards valued BGN15.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) in 2013, after registering a review-period CAGR of 7.33%. Rising consumer awareness for electronic payments and the adoption of advanced technologies such as contactless cards and EMV technology contributed towards the growth in payment cards during the review period, in terms of transaction value, volume and the number of cards in circulation.

In 2013, the average transaction value (ATV) in Bulgaria 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.

Summary
The report provides top-level market analysis, information and insights into Bulgaria's cards and payments industry, including:

- Current and forecast values for each category of Bulgaria's cards and payments industry, including debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards

- Comprehensive analysis of the industry’s market attractiveness and future growth areas

- Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing Bulgaria's cards and payments industry

- Detailed analysis of marketing strategies adopted for selling debit, credit and prepaid cards used by banks and other institutions in the market

- Comprehensive analysis of consumer attitudes and buying preferences for cards

- The competitive landscape of Bulgaria's cards and payments industry

Scope
- This report provides a comprehensive analysis of Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

- It provides current values for Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry for 2013, and forecast figures for 2018.

- It details the different economic, infrastructural and business drivers affecting Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

- It outlines the current regulatory framework in the industry.

- It details the marketing strategies used by various banks and other institutions.

- It profiles major banks in Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

Reasons To Buy
- Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry and each market within it.

- Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities within Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

- Assess the competitive dynamics in Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

- Gain insights into marketing strategies used for selling various card types in Bulgaria.

- Gain insights into key regulations governing of Bulgaria’s cards and payments industry.

Key Highlights
- Bulgarian payment cards (including debit and credit cards) registered positive growth during the review period (2009–2013), recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.08%, and increasing from 7.7 million cards in circulation in 2009 to 8.5 million in 2013. In terms of transaction value, payment cards valued BGN15.1 billion (US$10.7 billion) in 2013, after registering a review-period CAGR of 7.33%. Rising consumer awareness for electronic payments and the adoption of advanced technologies such as contactless cards and EMV technology contributed towards the growth in payment cards during the review period, in terms of transaction value, volume and the number of cards in circulation.

- In 2013, the average transaction value (ATV) in Bulgaria 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.

- 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.

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