EU Non-cash Payments Grew by 4.6% in 2011, According to ECB

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the 2011 statistics on non-cash payments, which comprise indicators on access to and use of payment instruments and terminals by the public, as well as volumes and values of transactions processed through payment systems. Statistics are published for each EU Member State, in addition to EU and euro area aggregates and comparative data.

The total number of non-cash payments in the EU, using all types of instruments, increased by 4.6% to 90.6 billion in 2011 compared with the previous year. Card payments accounted for 41% of all transactions, while credit transfers accounted for 27% and direct debits for 24%.

The number of credit transfers within the EU increased in 2011 by 4.4% to 24.9 billion. The importance of paper-based transactions continued to decrease, with the ratio of paper-based transactions to non-paper-based transactions standing at around one to five.

The number of cards with a payment function in the EU remained stable at 727 million (identical to the figure in 2010). This represented around 1.44 payment cards per EU inhabitant. The number of card transactions rose by 8.7% to 37.2 billion, with a total value of €1.9 trillion. This corresponds to an average value of around €52 per card transaction.

In 2011, the total number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the EU increased by 0.9% to 0.44 million, while the number of points of sale (POS) terminals increased by 3.2% to 8.8 million.

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