Bank of Lithuania

The potential of the development of places where settlement via payment cards is possible is still untapped — this is indicated by the results of the Survey on the Habits of the Population in Using Payment Services. Payment card users still lack opportunities to use payment cards in both the private sector and public institutions.

“As many as 70 per cent of respondents, having a payment card, lack opportunities to settle with payment cards. Most one in three respondents with a card would welcome the opportunity to settle with a payment card at markets, fairs, beauty and cosmetology salons, health care facilities, taxis, and public institutions that collect various fees,” says Gediminas Šimkus, Director of the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Lithuania.

The vast majority of respondents (93.5%) reported having an account with a credit institution, while 90 per cent of those respondents who have an account have at least one type of payment card. In Lithuania the most common are debit cards, although in recent years the popularity of credit cards has been rising. The number of those who have them has risen from 12.6 per cent (last year) to 17 per cent (this year).

According to the survey, respondents tend to pay larger amounts with payment cards, while for smaller settlements they often prefer cash. Only 12 per cent of respondents with a payment card prefer to use that payment card if the settlement amount is below LTL 10; when the settlement amount exceeds LTL 10, twice as many respondents would pay with a payment card. Where the payment exceeds LTL 200, almost 58 per cent of respondents choose to use a payment card.

Cash payments continue to be one of the most commonly used forms of settlement, since almost all of the survey respondents (95%) pay in cash. On average, one individual daily pays in cash 1.9 times (in 2012 2 times). More than half of the survey respondents indicated that the previous day they spent up to LTL 40 in cash. The average amount that respondents carry in cash slightly decreased over the year and amounted to LTL 86.9 (in 2012 EUR 88.2).

According to the study participants, they could be pushed towards greater use of payment cards due to premiums or discounts applied when paying via payment cards, while cash usage raises prices.

The survey also showed that respondents are still wary of new payment methods. For example, as many as two-thirds of respondents said that settlement using mobile phones is more of an unattractive or completely unattractive method. However, 9 per cent of respondents indicated that this payment method is very attractive, which is three times more than last year.

In addition, the survey shows that users are not sufficiently informed about the fees for service charges. For example, only 10 per cent of respondents having accounts thought that direct debit is the cheapest way to pay fees for services to individuals. Recently, the direct debit service for people in many of the banks was provided free of charge.