Tourism Key Driver of Hungarian E-Payment Market

Fintech

The number of domestic payment card transactions increased by 16% quarter-on-quarter between April and July, and by 29% compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the statistics of the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) for the second quarter of 2022, the value of nearly 364 million domestic card purchases exceeded HUF 3 trillion, an increase of 31% year-on-year.

The unbroken popularity of electronic payment solutions is reflected in the double-digit growth of card transactions, with the number of domestic cash withdrawals initiated with domestically issued payment cards rising by only 3% and the amount by only 8% to HUF 2.300 tln compared to the same period last year.

The recovery of tourism is evidenced by the fact that the number of purchases made abroad with domestically issued cards increased by 24% year-on-year, but the value was also much higher, by 62%. The number of domestic transactions made with foreign-issued cards quadrupled, while their amount increased almost fivefold. The sharp jump may be explained by a boom in cross-border tourism and purchases by foreign nationals seeking refuge in the country from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The number of card acceptance points has also continued to grow: by the end of July 2022, more than 230,000 POS terminals were operating at nearly 150,000 acceptance points.

"The increase in the number of acceptance points and POS terminals shows that the sudden expansion in late 2020 and early 2021, explained by the legal requirement to provide electronic payment, has now been replaced by organic growth. At the same time, we can see that more and more customers are looking for shops where they can pay by card, so the changing consumer needs are also pushing merchants to adapt," said Noémi Hideg, head of card acceptance services and ATM management at OTP Bank.

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