Mobile banking in Poland increasing in polpularity

Mobile payment system. Photo: Marcin Obara/PAP

Over seven million account holders regularly use mobile banking applications, which is an increase of one million since last quarter, but private lending is down, according to the Polish Banking Association.

Poland’s internet banking clients, who between them have 36.5 million accounts, are quickly switching on to the idea of mobile banking. A total of nine million have downloaded apps and are using locally developed services like Blik – a peer-to-peer mobile payment method developed as a joint venture between six Polish banks.

The use of wave-and-pay services in Poland such as Visa’s PayPass, is growing “faster than anywhere else in Europe,” said the Deputy Chairman of the Polish Bank Association.

New legislation on the introduction of e-receipts depends on greater use spread of electronic payment. Therefore plans are afoot to increase the use of electronic payment methods. , According to the latest report by IBRIS done for Blik’s owners, Polish Payment Standards, 33 percent of people under the age of 26 never use cash, preferring to pay by card, telephone or online payment and so with time the use of mobile and other methods of payments will rise naturally.

The Cashfree Poland Programme, which is an initiative patroned by the Enterprise and Technology Ministry and supported by payment firms MasterCard and Visa, is offering installation of e-cash registers and a year of free transactions to companies who move over to electronic cash registers.

Nevertheless, the Cashless Poland Foundation sees the next step is to encourage the use of electronic payment systems in government institutions such as tax offices and courts. They are planning for 80 percent of such bodies to offer electronic payment by the end of this year and 95 percent by the end of next year.

The next stage of the plan is for the introduction of electronic receipts systems to be rolled out. All petrol stations and car tyre service stations, as the first wave, will be required to have e-receipt capabilities available as of January 1. It is thought that petrol stations are one of the places where VAT is defrauded most commonly, as the receipts of drivers who do not ask for an invoice for tanking up are often sold on to companies which then use them to increase their costs. An electronic receipt can be directly emailed to the customer but is also sent to the tax office. However, the customer will still receive a paper-form receipt, at least initially. The aim is that with time paper will be phased out.

According to some local reports, hairdressers, mechanics, and doctors are to be next in line for having e-cash registers installed. Experts reckon this will improve tax collection, as the government has a target to raise VAT collection by over EUR 2 bn next year.