Digital Payments Continue To Grow In Eastern Europe

At the outset of 2015, Inc. published a detailed outline of why companies should begin accepting digital payments. Citing the emergence of Apple Pay

At the outset of 2015, Inc. published a detailed outline of why companies should begin accepting digital payments. Citing the emergence of Apple Pay (not to mention its competitors) along with statistics indicating people are carrying less cash, the article theorized that accepting mobile payments is a win-win for companies and consumers alike.

It also noted that the payments industry is “deploying a host of new technologies for retailers” to begin empowering customers to pay with the methods they prefer.

Interestingly enough, this last point about the payments industry deploying new technologies had already taken effect in Eastern Europe before the advent of Apple Pay and other mobile payment methods.

In spring 2014, Endava, an IT company founded in 2000 and now existing in over 10 locations around Europe, signed a strategic partnership agreement with a growing payment processor company called Worldpay, in an effort to distribute the latter’s portable, mobile card machines in businesses in Europe.

An independent company since 2010, Worldpay has grown to the point at which it’s processing millions of transactions each day with card machines and mobile tools at businesses all over Europe. And by partnering with Endava for IT delivery and integration into new business networks, they’re now helping to drive the ongoing growth of digital and online payments throughout the continent.

Up until now, this is actually a tech trend that’s been growing more slowly than expected. Back in 2013, a projection at Mobile Transaction stated that by 2015 there could be as many as 44.6 million mobile payment users in Eastern Europe. The expected value of all those transactions was expected to hover near 42 billion USD, with much of the volume coming from SMS payments (meaning Apple Pay and similar technologies weren’t necessarily responsible for the bulk of the projections).

As is true in other parts of the world as well, mobile payment has missed these lucrative projections by a fairly wide margin. However, it’s important not to confuse inaccurate projections with a total lack of growth. In fact, the statistics of mobile payment use in Eastern Europe do show clear growth, from 5.69 million users in 2013 to 12.45 million this year (with a steady rise of 2-3 million per year). The jump from 9.94 million in 2015 to 12.45 million now represents the biggest single year jump ever in mobile payment users—and, of course, 2016 is still just getting started.

Considering all of this, you can expect to begin seeing more mobile payment processors in places of business. With companies like Endava and Worldpay working to distribute these processors to retail locations, and with the number of users spiking, it looks as if the region is finally embracing mobile payments the way many have expected it would for years.