The number of Mastercard and Maestro cards in Romania has increased by more than 30 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to the most recent Mastercard data, a press release informs on Tuesday.
The advance was strongly supported by the increased uptake of the new payment technologies, such as contactless, the expansion of the cards acceptance footprint in the local market, as well as by the opening of new issuing verticals such as electronic meal cards. The rapid progress comes both from the recent legislative initiatives taken by government and authorities as well as from Mastercard’s local initiatives to promote and inform Romanian cardholders regarding the range of benefits that come with electronic payments.
“The cards market in Romania has recently begun to show its readiness for a massive uptake in terms of electronic payments, taking into account the recent developments in the public, as well as in the business environment in terms of connecting consumers with modern payment methods. Mastercard has always been the main promoter of electronic payments, and we will continue to contribute towards further unlocking the market’s potential,” Mastercard General Manager for Romania, Cosmin Vladimirescu stated.
Mastercard figures for 2015 show the increased appetite of consumers for contactless payments, with total value of expenditure on Mastercard and Maestro contactless cards being more than tenfold larger than the levels recorded in 2014. This sharp increase in terms of volume growth was among the highest in Europe.
In terms of number of transactions made through Mastercard and Maestro contactless cards, the annual growth rate exceeded 500 percent in 2015. The advance of contactless payments, which has greatly contributed to the cards market evolution throughout recent years, was sustained by the acceptance base expansion amongst different merchant verticals operating in the local market, from retail to public transport, from vending to couriers and festivals.