75% of Bulgarians who Use Mobile Payment Applications Believe in their Security
The annual report of Mastercard - Masterindex provides new information about the Bulgarians' perceptions of payment methods, banking services and the frequency of their use. A survey, which was conducted this year, shows that almost every Bulgarian in the country has a debit card (98%), while the percentage of credit card holders is 40. The holders of debit cards in Bulgaria are more compared to those in our neighbouring Macedonia and Serbia, where they are 94% and 79% respectively. Nearly half of the respondents are interested in instant transfers and P2P payments, 51% and 44% respectively, the main reason being the speed and convenience they provide. Biometrics is the preferred method of authenticating payments among consumers who pay with their phone - 43% prefer to enter biometric data.
In terms of frequency of use, debit cards are most commonly used in Bulgaria - 39% of the people pay with them daily, while 32% use credit cards up to twice a month. Users determine their choice of a particular brand of payment card mainly based on the good reputation of the card issuing bank (40% indicate this indicator as the leading one). At the same time, it is clear that cardholders in Bulgaria are very price-sensitive when it comes to choosing a bank - customers tend to focus on low interest rates and low commission rates (64%). Other important reasons for choosing a bank are the additional features of the card, as well as whether it is accepted by all ATMs (about 30% indicate these two factors). As a major incentive to increase the frequency of payment card use, consumers cite the possibility of reimbursement of loyalty schemes (44% and 46% respectively).
For the most valuable feature when choosing a card, consumers cite the security they guarantee when making payments (indicated by 44% of respondents), followed by ease of use and convenience of payments (28%). The two types of cards (credit and debit) carry various benefits for the financial stability of cardholders. In Bulgaria, the percentage of people who take advantage of both is 38, and in Macedonia and Serbia respectively 22% and 21% respectively. Cardholders find the convenience of using a debit card to pay at grocery stores (65%), online shopping and reservations (43%) and to pay bills and shop clothes (33%). Credit cards are the first choice when it comes to online shopping and booking (50% of those surveyed), followed by food and clothing shopping by 47% and 42% respectively.
Concerning contactless payments, the survey found that 58% of consumers feel comfortable when making contactless payments without entering a PIN code for amounts up to BGN 50 - as a result of which Mastercard increased the contactless payment limit without a PIN code from BGN 25 to BGN 50. in April this year. The company then stated that the new limit was better adapted to the financial needs of consumers and further showed the maturity of the Bulgarian market for this step. The main motive for using contactless cards instead of cash is their convenience (65% of the respondents cite it as decisive). For payments over BGN 50, 29% of the respondents indicated that they prefer to put their card in a POS terminal.
"We are witnessing the continuous expansion of the contactless network in the country. Bulgaria continues to be among the leaders in Central and Eastern Europe in implementing the latest technologies, as indicative of this trend is the data from the Masterindex 2019. The confidence in mobile payments is increasing, which also allows us to develop new technologies, such as payment through biometric data that provides greater convenience and speed for users. All of this speaks to a maturity that has been reaching the market in recent years. "Commented Vanya Manova, Mastercard Manager for Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.
Mastercard's annual report sheds light on Bulgarians' perceptions of using payment cards abroad. The survey was conducted among 1000 Bulgarian citizens in 28 cities. Conclusions have been made on issues that relate to people's preferences for the type of payment cards, their attitude to card payments abroad, and the level of confidence in card payment security.
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