Finland a leader in Europe’s card usage, awareness

Finland FlagThough Finland has one of the smallest populations in Europe, the country has advanced far ahead of the rest of the region in card usage and awareness, with the highest usage of card payments per citizen.

The average usage per inhabitant exceeds levels in both the U.K. and the Netherlands. Younger consumers are generally more familiar with electronic payment methods and usually use more than one payment method when paying at the register, though debit cards are still the payment method of choice.

Finland’s card industry posted growth of 3.86 percent between 2008 and last year, rising from 13.7 million cards in 2008 to reach 15.6 million, and the industry is expected to grow by 1.64 percent by 2017. Experts expect increased demand for prepaid cards, growth in the retail industry, more efficient regulations, the growth of e-commerce and a positive economic outlook to contribute to the growth.

Approximately 60 percent of Finns own a smartphone, which has contributed to the rise of mobile commerce in the country. E-commerce sales have also been on the rise, increasing by more than $2.5 billion between 2009 and 2011.

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