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Updated: 07.11.2019

The volume and value of payments processed by interbank payment systems maintained by Latvijas Banka, i.e. the  Electronic Clearing System (EKS) and TARGET2-Latvija, constitute Latvijas Banka’s interbank payment system statistics. Data are compiled at the beginning of each month.

The payment statistics of Latvia comprises data on the volume of payment instruments, value of payment instruments, volume of transactions at terminals, value of transactions at terminals, OTC cash transactions, book-entry transactions, the number of customer accounts, the number of cards, the number of terminals, their networks and virtual POSs for cards and e-money.
Latvijas Banka compiles credit institution payment statistics twice a year as of 1998. The above statistics and payment statistics of Latvijas Banka and Latvijas Pasts enable to assess the overall payment statistics of Latvia.

Latvijas Banka's interbank payment system statistics

At the beginning of each month, Latvijas Banka compiles data on the volume and value of payments processed in the interbank payment systems: in the electronic clearing system - the EKS and TARGET2-Latvija.
For the statistical data and their analysis up to 2007 (inclusive), see issues No.1 and No.4 of Latvijas Banka's "Monetary Review" and as of 2008 - issue No.4 of the Bank of Latvia "Monetary Review", the Bank of Latvia Annual Report and the website of Latvijas Banka.
As of the second half of 2009, the analysis of statistical data is available on the Bank of Latvia website (see below).

Latvijas Banka's interbank payment system statistics
The data from January 2014 up to October 2019 (inclusive)

Bank of Latvia interbank payment system statistics archive in lats; in euro
The data from January 2000 up to December 2013 (inclusive)

Latvia's Payment Statistics

 

The Bank of Latvia compiles Credit Institution Payment Statistics twice a year as of 1998. The above statistics and payment statistics of the Bank of Latvia, Latvijas Pasts and The State Treasury enable to assess the overall payment statistics in Latvia.
The payment statistics in Latvia includes data on the volume of payment instruments, value of payment instruments, volume of transactions per type of terminal, value of transactions per type of terminal, OTC cash transactions, book-entry transactions, number of customer accounts, number of cards, number of terminals, their networks and virtual POSs for cards and e-money.
For the statistical data and their analysis up to 2007 (inclusive), see issues No.1 and No.4 of the Bank of Latvia "Monetary Review" and as of 2008 - issue No.4 of the Bank of Latvia "Monetary Review", the Bank of Latvia Annual Report and the Bank of Latvia website.
As of the second half of 2009, the analysis of statistical data is available on the Bank of Latvia website (see below).

Latvia's payment statistics
Data from 2014/II

Latvia's payment statistics
Worksheets are updated on a semi-annual basis (I/1998-I/2014) 

LATVIA'S CUSTOMER PAYMENT STATISTICS FOR FIRST HALF OF 2019

Latvijas Banka has compiled the data on the payments made by the customers [1] of the Latvian payment service providers [2], payment cards and POSs in the first half of 2019.

Overall, 262.1 million non-cash payments made by customers and totalling 92.8 billion euro were executed by the Latvian payment service providers in the first half of 2019 (i.e. averaging more than 1.4 million payments worth 512.6 million euro a day).

In the first half of 2019, the volume of non-cash payments made by customers continued to grow steadily, increasing by 4.1%. The most popular non-cash payments made by customers were card payments and customer credit transfers, constituting 64.4% and 35.4% of the total volume of customer non-cash payments respectively. At the same time, the total value of non-cash payments made by customers recorded a drop of 5.6% (to 92.8 billion euro) in comparison with the second half of 2018. To ensure card payments and the use of payment cards, 2.2 million payment cards were issued in Latvia as at the end of the first half of 2019. 41.9 thousand points of sale (POSs) and 949 ATMs were available to the public. At the end of the first half of 2019, the number of customer payment accounts totalled 3.5 million. It is noteworthy that, in the first half of 2019, 2.6 million instant payments amounting to 477.2 million euro were processed via the instant payment infrastructure, developed and maintained by Latvijas Banka.

The total volume of non-cash payments made by customers continued to grow in the first half of 2019, increasing by 4.1% as compared to the second half of 2018 and reaching 262.1 million. At the same time, the total value of payments shrank by 5.6%, to 92.8 billion euro, on account of 4 billion euro and 1.5 billion euro declines in the value of customer payments in euro and other currencies respectively. The changes in the value of payments were related to the significant transformation of Latvia's financial sector, risk mitigation measures implemented by the Latvian credit institutions, customer base restructuring and the change of business models. 97.7% of all customer non-cash payments were made in euro and 2.3% were made in other currencies (92.5% and 7.5% in terms of value respectively).

In comparison with the second half of 2018, the volume of payments made by customers in euro expanded by 4.3% (to 255.9 million; see Chart 1) on account of 4.4% and 4.0% increases in the volumes of card payments and customer credit transfers respectively.

Meanwhile, the volume of payments made by customers in other currencies declined by 3.7%, to 6.1 million euro, as compared to the second half of 2018, due to 4.8% and 1.2% declines in the volumes of card payments and customer credit transfers respectively.

Chart 1

The bulk of customer payments, i.e. 96.3% (252.5 million) and 84.6% (78.5 billion euro) in terms of volume and value respectively was handled by credit institutions, e-money institutions and payment institutions, whereas the remaining payments were processed by the Treasury, VAS Latvijas Pasts and Latvijas Banka.

In the first half of 2019, the most frequently used customer non-cash payment instruments, in terms of volume, were card payments and customer credit transfers, accounting for 64.4% and 35.4% of the transactions respectively (see Chart 2). Other payment instruments, including e-money, were used by people relatively seldom.

Chart 2

Card payments

 168.8 million card payments totalling 2.8 billion euro were made in the first half of 2019. This averaged 932.6 thousand payments worth 15.7 million euro a day. In comparison with the second half of 2018, the volume of card payments rose by 4.1% and their value increased by 1.8%.

The volume and value of card payments in euro grew by 4.4% (to 163.5 million euro; see Chart 3) and 2.4% (to 2.6 billion euro) respectively, whereas those of card payments in other currencies declined by 4.8% (to 5.3 million euro) and 5.4% (to 0.2 billion euro) respectively.

Chart 3

Of all card payments made by customers in all currencies in the first half of 2019, 13.7% in terms of volume and 25.3% in terms of value were made to foreign countries (see Chart 4).

Chart 4

Payment cards were used when shopping in person at points of sale (90.7% of the card payments in terms of volume and 83.5% in terms of value) as well as when paying by card remotely for online purchases (9.3% and 16.5% in terms of volume and value respectively). As compared to the second half of 2018, the volume of online payments by payment cards issued in Latvia grew by 6.9%, while their value rose by 7.8%.

Credit transfers

Of all non-cash payments made by customers in the first half of 2019, customer credit transfers amounted to 35.4% (92.8 million payments) in terms of volume, totalling 89.9 billion euro in terms of value and averaging 512.5 thousand payments worth 496.4 million euro a day. Compared to the second half of 2018, the volume of customer credit transfers grew by 4.0%, while their value decreased by 5.9% (see Chart 5), on account of declines in the values of credit transfers in both euro (by 2.2 billion euro domestically and by 1.9 billion euro abroad) and other currencies (by 0.5 billion euro domestically and by 1.0 billion euro abroad).

Chart 5

In the first half of 2019, 2.7% of the total volume of customer credit transfers and 26.7% of the total value of such transfers were made to foreign countries (see Chart 6).

Chart 6

Instant payments have become a normal payment service in Latvia, and the customers of credit institutions can make instant payments on any day and at any hour of the day. In the first half of 2019, 2.6 million instant payments amounting to 477.2 million euro were processed via the instant payment infrastructure, developed and maintained by Latvijas Banka, while almost 6 million instant payments worth 1.1 billion euro have been executed since the introduction of instant payments in 28 August 2017. In Latvia, instant payments are executed by Latvijas Banka, and the service is also offered by AS Citadele banka, AS SEB banka and Swedbank AS. Already over 90% of the customers of Latvian credit institutions have access to instant payments.

At the end of the first half of 2019, the number of customer payment accounts opened by the Latvian payment service providers totalled 3.5 million: 3.4 million accounts for payments in euro and 0.1 million accounts for payments in foreign currencies (see Chart 7).

Chart 7

In the first half of 2019, the number of customer payment accounts declined by 2.5% as compared to the end of 2018 as a result of changes in the customer base. On average, 1.9 payment accounts per capita [3] were opened in Latvia at the end of the first half of 2019.

In comparison with the end of 2018, the number of issued payment cards decreased somewhat by 0.3% (to 2.2 million). On average, there were 1.2 payment cards per capita as at the end of the first half of 2019.

A payment card may have one or several functions and, if it offers several functions, the card has to be reported under each respective function. 88.2% (2.0 million) of the total number of payment cards were payment cards with a debit function allowing for payments by means of customer money, while 13.3% (297.4 thousand) were payment cards with a credit function enabling payments by means of credit granted by a credit institution.

At the end of the first half of 2019, Latvian payment service providers made available 41.9 thousand points of sale (POSs), representing a 1.9% decrease as compared to the end of 2018 (see Chart 8) or 22.1 thousand POSs per million inhabitants. The slight decline is related to the fact that certain Latvian service providers entrusted the provision of POSs to foreign companies. The number of virtual POSs (points of sale available on the internet) enabling online purchases of goods and services shrank by 15.2% (to 5.2 thousand) in the course of the first half of 2019. The decrease in the number of virtual POSs is related to the risk mitigation policy of credit institutions as they terminate their cooperation with high-risk foreign customers. Thus, overall the decline had no negative impact on the options of Latvian people to make card payments online.

Chart 8

At the end of the first half of 2019, the number of ATMs decreased by 44 ATMs or 4.4% (to 949 ATMs) in comparison with the end of 2018 (see Chart 9). Thus, there were 494 ATMs per million inhabitants in Latvia (517 ATMs per million inhabitants at the end of 2018). The volume and value of cash deposits at local ATMs using payment cards issued in Latvia declined by 2.7% and 6.9% respectively. The volume and value of cash withdrawals also shrank by 3.8% and 4.2% respectively.

Chart 9

Cross-border payments sent and received by customers

The transformation of the financial sector also notably affected the flow of cross-border payments sent by customers: in the first half of 2019, the value of customer cross-border payments in euro contracted by 8.8% (by 1.9 billion euro), whereas that of the payments in other currencies shrank by 16.2% (by 1.1 billion euro) as compared to the second half of 2018 (see Chart 10).

The cross-border payments made by customers in all currencies in the first half of 2019 totalled 24.7 billion euro, representing a 10.6% decline as compared to the second half of 2018. All cross-border payments received by customers in the first half of 2019 totalled 31.2 billion euro, shrinking by 4.8% as compared to the second half of 2018.

Chart 10

Based on the central bank payment statistics compiled by the European Central Bank, the ratio of customer cross-border payments to GDP in the euro area countries has been calculated for 2017 and 2018 (see Chart 11). In Latvia, the ratio of all customer cross-border payments to GDP declined from 3.6 to 2.2 (thus, the value of customer cross-border payments was 2.2 times higher than GDP in 2018). At the same time, in 2018, the above ratio in Estonia remained unchanged from 2017 at 2.1, whereas that in Lithuania grew slightly from 1.0 to 1.1. In 2018, the highest ratios of customer cross-border payments to GDP were recorded in Luxembourg (16.5), Malta (9.9), the Netherlands (6.5), Belgium (3.9), Germany (3.4), Cyprus (2.7) and France (2.4). Other euro area countries recorded a slightly lower ratio than Latvia in 2018.

Chart 11

 


[1] Only non-cash payments made by customers. Interbank payments, financial market transactions, securities market transactions and similar payments are excluded.

[2] Data were provided by 14 credit institutions registered in Latvia, six Latvia-registered branches of credit institutions registered in other countries, two licensed electronic money institutions, three licensed payment institutions and one branch of a payment institution licensed in another country, Latvijas Banka and the Treasury as well as VAS Latvijas Pasts.

[3] According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, Latvia's population totalled 1 919 968 in early 2019.