More than half of Hungarians prefer digital payment methods


The study was commissioned by eService and other EVO Group entities. Visa acted as a partner of the study in the Central Eastern European region, including Hungary.

According to an international study entitled "Attitudes towards payment methods", more than half of Hungarians prefer paying digitally due to speed and convenience.

The study shows that while shopping 57 % of Hungarian consumers tend to pay with a payment card. One of the top reasons for choosing cash is when digital payments are unavailable at a given store or service point. That's the view of 18% of respondents who often pay with cash. It is worth noting that digital payments dominate as Hungarians’ preferred payment method for both in-store and online shopping. Some 44% of respondents paid for their last in-store purchase with a card or using phone, smartwatch or other device. When asked a similar question about their last online purchase, only 14% of respondents answered they paid cash on delivery.

"In March 2022 we conducted the ‘Attitudes Towards Forms of Payment’ Survey. This year it covered already 14 countries, not only Europe. The results allow us to track how the preferred form of money is changing before our eyes. Just as the exchange of products was once replaced by a more universal invention such as coin money and later paper money, it is now being replaced by even more convenient and safer electronic money. We observe the dynamics of this process in various countries, among which there are more advanced - e.g. Hungary, Poland, Ireland or the United Kingdom, as well as some where the evolution of payments is only just accelerating. However, everywhere it is clear that electronic payments have become an important part of the development of the economy and digital society," said Joanna Seklecka, President of the Board, eService.

Digital payment making shops more accessible for consumers

The study results show that stores that offer digital payment methods are perceived in a positive way by Hungarian consumers – as many as 84% of respondents believe they are modern and 31% of them feel safer there (it is more hygienic than other payment methods). There is still room for digital payments development in Hungary. When responders from Hungary have been asked to recall the last time they wanted to pay by card but couldn’t, 27% of them could not find such an option in store. Based on the survey results, digital payments are unavailable mainly at traditional marketplaces (41%). 

“We believe that an open and more connected world is the one where consumers and businesses enjoy greater choice and flexibility. That is why we are promoting a world with greater access to fast, secure, and reliable digital payments. In practice, it means that Visa supports the payment ecosystem in the CEE region, including Hungary, in a way that the number of terminals accepting card payments increases and consumer daily payment experience improves since new payment products and solutions are introduced on the Hungarian market in partnership with our partnering banks, acquirers and other financial institutions” said Ede Kiss, country manager at Visa in Hungary.

Hungarian consumers would like to be able to pay digitally everywhere, and these expectations developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the initiatives helping small and micro businesses go digital are even more important now. One such initiative is Visa's Tap to Phone solution, which transforms current generation Android smartphones into POS terminals without additional hardware, it is available in Hungary since May. The solution enables merchants to accept credit cards cost-effectively anywhere, anytime only using their phone and an internet connection.

Dreams and reality - how Hungarians deal with money

The study shows that money gives to Hungarians a sense of independence and freedom of choice, enabling comfortable life. Usually, Hungarians prefer to contact the bank remotely – 84% of respondents use internet banking at least 2-3 times per month and 78% of Hungarian consumers use their mobile banking just as often. They perceive banking services as a way to manage their money. Hungarians control and plan their expenses, based on the simple principle of not spending money impulsively.

To gain a better understanding of Hungarians attitudes towards money and how they may change, the researchers divided the respondents into six segments:
Skeptics – they do not like to invest or deal with money and they do not trust institutions, it's better for them to keep money at home.
Economical – they need to plan their expenses carefully. It happens that they almost immediately spend all the money they get. They have a limited budget and they are focused on surviving.
Affluent – they control their money and expenses, but money is only a means towards a goal – they have it, but they don't have to think about it all the time and worry about it.
Kings of life – they spend cash quickly on what they want, without control – after all, they are Kings of Life.
Dreamers – they would like to have a lot, but so far they do not have much, they do not manage money seriously.
Optimal – they consciously manage their money – they use promotional offers, plan they expenses and invest capital. They value the freedom of choice, so they do not reject any form of payment.

More than third of the Hungarians (36%) control or manage their money consciously as optimal and the affluent segments are equally distributed, accounting for 18% each.  A quarter of Hungarians are in the skeptic type, which means that they do not like to invest or deal with money.  


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