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Credit Cards & Personal Loans in Europe

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Europe Credit Cards & Personal Loans at a glance

  • As at 31 December 2016, there are 6,452,000 credit and charge cards in Norway. 66.094 million transactions is recorded in Quarter 4, 2016(October, November and December), generating NOK42.827 billions.
    For the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, 244.694 millions charge and credit cards transactions recorded, generating NOK165.809 billions.

    The number of payment cards in Norway increase by 998,000 or 7.29% to 14,696,000 as at 31st December 2015, compares to the same period a year ago. The payment cards usage in Norway increased by 6.76% in volume and 4.98% in value.

    As at 31 December 2015, there are 6,157,000 cards with credit function in Norway, an increase of 653,000 or 11.86% compares to 5,504,000 to the end of 2014. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2015, a total of NOK130.8 billions recorded from 179.20 millions credit card transactions.

    As at 31 January 2017, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Norway stood at NOK71,188 million, an increase of NOK150 millions or 0.21% compares to NOK71,038 millions as at 31 December 2016.



  • As at 31 August 2016, there are 60.133 millions credit cards in the United Kingdom, with outstanding balances of £62.141 billions. The total credit cards spending for August 2016 in UK is £13.393 billions, out of 246.280 millions transactions. There are 560,000 balance transfer transactions amounted to £1,233 millions recorded in August 2016.

    Credit cards fraud in United Kingdom for 2015 increase by 18.48% to £567.5m, 66.93% or £379.8m of card fraud is committed in UK, while £187.7m or 33.07% is committed abroad. The number of credit cards in UK increase by 1.90% to 59,877,000 as at 31st December 2015(compares to the same period a year ago), generating £166.27 billions in transactions.

    As at 31 August 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in United Kingdom stood at €150,927 millions, a decrease by €814 millions or 0.54% compares to €150,113 millions as at 31 July 2016.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Germany stood at €184,273 millions, an increase by €824 millions or 0.45% compares to €183,449 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Germany increase by 12.80% to 4,968,840. The total cards spending for 2015 in Germany rised by 10.89% to €5.70 billions, out of 87.29 millions transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Netherlands stood at €17,837 millions, a decrease by €189 millions or 1.05% compares to €18,026 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 30 September 2016, there are 6,308,938 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Netherlands. For the 9 months ended 30 September 2016, 118.940 millions transactions is recorded, generating €10.857 billions in total spending.
    As at 31 December 2015, there are 6,224,075 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Netherlands. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2015, 141.166 millions transactions recorded, generating €13.406 billions in value.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Netherlands decrease by 2.58% to 6,224,080. The total cards(with a credit and/or delayed debit function) spending for 2015 in Netherlands rised by 10.83% to €13.41 billions, with 7.58% increase in number of card transactions.
    As at 31 December 2015, there are 419,460 credit cards in Netherlands, a decrease of 6.51% compares to the same period a year ago.



  • As at 31 January 2017, there are 24,003,000 convenience credit cards and extended credit cards in Sweden(2,379,000 or 11.00% higher compares to 21,624,000 as at end of December 2016), with the outstanding balance stood at SEK76.732 billions.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Sweden decrease by 65.58%% to 8,636,660. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Sweden continue to rise by 77.91% to €15.87 billions(out of 292.00 millions transactions).

    As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Sweden stood at €20,083 millions, an increase by €606 millions or 3.11% compares to €19,477 millions as at 30 November 2016.



  • As at 30 September 2016, there are 48.09 millions credit cards in Spain, an increase of 3.27 millions or 7.30% compares to 44.82 millions as at 31 December 2015. For the 9 months ended 30 September 2016, 2,229.859 millions payment card transactions(credit and debit cards) recorded at point of sales, with a total value of €91,179.36 millions.

    As at 31 December 2015, there are 44.82 millions credit cards in Spain, an increase of 3.65% or 1.58 millions compares to 43.24 millions as at 31 December 2014. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2015, 2,683.857 millions payment card transactions(credit and debit cards) recorded at point of sales, with a total value of €112,330.26 millions.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Spain increase by 3.62% to 45,152,590. The total cards(with a credit and/or delayed debit function) spending for 2015 in Spain decrease by 3.53% to €63.39 billions, with 7.12% decrease in number of card transactions.

    As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Spain stood at €69,252 millions, an increase by €453 millions or 0.66% compares to €68,799 millions as at 30 November 2016.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Belgium stood at €8,551 millions, an increase by €20 millions or 0.23% compares to €8,531 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, there are 2,332,630 credit cards in Belgium. The total credit cards spending in Belgium for 2015 is €290 million, out of 2.27 millions transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Finland stood at €14,555 millions, an increase by €12 millions or 0.08% compares to at €14,543 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, there are 2,013,540 credit cards in Finland. The total credit cards spending in Finland for 2015 is €2.95 billions, out of 53.45 millions transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in France stood at €152,596 millions, an increase by €2,880 millions or 1.92% compares to €149,716 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, there are 5,860,320 credit cards in France, generating €13.17 billions from 247.87 millions credit card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Italy stood at €86,526 millions, an increase by €533 millions or 0.62% compares to €85,993 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Italy increase by 0.87% to 26,837,290. The total cards(with a credit and/or delayed debit function) spending for 2015 in Italy increase by 0.45% to €54.15 billions, with 1.35% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Denmark stood at €16,131 millions, an increase by €268 millions or 1.69% compares to €15,863 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    For the 6 months ended 30 June 2016(from 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2016), 27.5 millions credit card transactions recorded in Denmark, generating DKK19.526 billions in total spending.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Denmark increase by 4.39% to 1,880,003. The total cards spending for 2015 in Denmark increase by 8.15% to DKK36.897 billions(€4.95 billions), with 6.68% increase recorded in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Poland stood at €35,807 millions, an increase by €525 millions or 1.49% compares to €35,282 millions as at 30 November 2016.

  • As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Poland decrease by 3.88% to 5,807,560. However, the total cards spending for 2015 in Poland rise by 1.34% to €7.55 billions, with 12.07% increase recorded in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Austria stood at €19,119 millions, a decrease by €273 millions or 1.41% compares to €19,392 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Austria decrease by 4.30% to 1,356,760. The total cards spending for 2015 in Austria lowered by 1.69% to €5.22 billions, with 0.91% decrease in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, there are 6,345,971 cardholders in Switzerland, with 31,736,000 transactions amounting to CHF$3.290 billion recorded in the month.

    As at 31 December 2016, the number of credit cards in Switzerland increase by 2.49% to 6,345,971. A total of 344.65 millions credit card transactions recorded in 2016 with CHF$36.82 billions in value.



  • As at 31 December 2016, there are 1,372,960 credit cards in Hungary. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, 78,555,263 credit card transactions recorded in Hungary, generating HUF616,886 millions in value.

    As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Hungary stood at €7,732 millions, a decrease by €15 millions or 0.19% compares to €7,747 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Hungary decrease by 0.71% to 1,382,480. The total cards spending for 2015 in Hungary rise by 15.00% to €1.61 billions, with 18.62% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Czech Republic stood at €8,225 millions, an increase by €48 millions or 0.59% compares to €8,177 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Czech Republic increase by 29.69% to 2,055,400. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Czech Republic rise by 44.95% to €2.87 billions, with 47.16% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Latvia stood at €487 millions, a decrease by €6 millions or 1.22% compares to €493 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Latvia increase by 5.37% to 362,150. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Latvia up by 20.00% to €0.72 billions, with 10.92% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Portugal stood at €13,812 millions, a decrease by €108 millions or 0.78% compares to €13,920 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Portugal increase by 4.69% to 8,144,540. The total cards credit and/or delayed debit function spending for 2015 in Portugal increase by 2.07% to €3.94 billions, with 5.06% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Romania stood at €11,434 millions, a decrease by €182 millions or 1.57% compares to at €11,616 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Romania increase by 7.72% to 2,479,330. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Romania rise by 12.21% to €1.47 billions, with 9.29% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Bulgaria stood at €4,352 millions, a decrease by €56 millions or 1.27% compares to €4,408 as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Bulgaria increase by 0.69% to 944,420. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Bulgaria rise by 14.46% to €0.95 billions, with 16.11% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2016, the consumer credit(credit cards and personal loans) outstanding balance in Ireland stood at €12,334 millions, an increase by €17 millions or 0.14% compares to €12,317 millions as at 30 November 2016.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Ireland increase by 11.32% to 1,798,140. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Ireland down by 31.01% to €7.90 billions, with 26.40% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 August 2016, the loans granted to resident individuals outstanding balance in Russia stood at RUR10,661,247 millions, an increase by RUR61,286 millions or 0.58% compares to RUR10,599,961 millions as at 31 July 2016.

    For the 6 months ended 30th June 2016, a total of RUR3,274,981 millions loans granted to resident individuals in Russia. As at 31 December 2015, the outstanding balance for loans granted to resident individuals in Russia stood at RUR10,634,035 millions. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2015, a total of RUR5,861,351 millions loans granted to resident individuals in Russia.

    As at 30 June 2016, the number of credit cards in Russia has increased by 2.07% to 30,074,000 in 6 months period. For the 6 months ended 30th June 2016, 5,915.2 millions payment card(debit and credit card) transactions recorded in Russia, generating RUR5,915.5 billions.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Russia decrease by 7.24% to 29,464,000. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Russia up by 14.84% to RUR1,189.5 billions, with 33.19% increase in number of card transactions.



  • As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Greece decrease by 2.69% to 2,683,760. However, the total credit cards spending for 2015 in Greece up by 4.47% to €4.21 billions, with 15.11% increase in number of card transactions.

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Slovakia increase by 3.46% to 922,940. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Slovakia up by 15.31% to €1.13 billions, with 21.49% increase in number of card transactions

    As at 31 December 2015, the number of credit cards in Turkey increase by 2.12% to 58,215,000. The total credit cards spending for 2015 in Turkey up by 13.62% to TRY488.37 billions, with 7.61% increase in number of card transactions.

Credit cards in Europe 2014-2015

As of 2015, Europe has a total population of 509.66 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €14,692.95 billions. This translates into €28.83 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(81.68 millions) and GDP(€3,032.82 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.43 millions) and GDP(€8.79 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€91.63 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€67.88 thousands), Denmark(€46.85 thousands), Sweden(€45.61 thousands), Ireland(€55.11 thousands), Netherlands(€39.96 thousands) and Austria(€39.39 thousands). Bulgaria(€6.14 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€8.07 thousands), Croatia(€10.42 thousands), Hungary(€11.05 thousands), Poland(€11.12 thousands) and Latvia(€12.33 thousands). Germany contributes 20.64% to the European total GDP, followed by United Kingdom(17.53%), France(14.84%), Italy(11.14%) and Spain(7.32%).

As at 31st December 2015, there are 780,688,810 payment cards issued in Europe(1.53 cards per capita), an increase of 14,105,730 or 1.84% compares to 766,583,080 in 2014. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(163,470,000), followed by Germany(138,851,820), France(77,406,430), Italy(77,154,030) and Spain(70,252,170). There are 107,915,590 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2015, a decrease of 5,807,690 or 5.69% compares to 102,107,900 in 2014. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(58,973,000), followed far behind by Sweden(8,636,660), Switzerland(6,192,051), Norway(6,157,000), France(5,860,320), Poland(5,807,560), and Germany(4,968,840).

Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(45,152,590), followed by Italy(26,837,290), France(14,032,220) and Portugal(8,144,540).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 155,823,000 or 3.19% to 503,978,480 in 2015, compares to 488,396,180 in 2014. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(105,744,850), followed by United Kingdom(98,804,000), Italy(50,316,740), France(43,486,660), Poland(29,140,060), Netherlands(26,150,540) and Spain(25,099,580).

Europe has 47,312,170 cards with a delayed debit function in 2015. Germany has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(28,138,120), followed by France(7,551,630), Belgium(3,225,200), Netherlands(2,504,840), United Kingdom(2,219,000), Austria(1,859,290) and Croatia(1,126,870).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe, Portugal(16,877,300), France(6,485,200), Sweden(1,942,010) and Croatia(34,120).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2015, there are 52,952.76 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(103.90 transactions per capita - Norway 369.12 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 5,450.14 millions or 11.47% compares to 47,502.62 millions in 2014. United Kingdom(14,601.00 millions) and France(10,233.93 millions) made up 46.90% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(3,650.40 millions), Netherlands(3,459.22) and Spain(2,987.12 millions).

Out of these transactions, 4,328.98 millions or 8.18% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 735.35 millions or 20.46% compares to 3,593.63 millions in 2014, even though the number of credit cards has decreased by 5.69% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(2,687.00 millions), making up 62.07% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(294.88 millions), Sweden(292.00 millions), France(247.87 millions), Norway(179.20 millions), Czech Republic(99.23 millions), Ireland(92.22 millions) and Germany(87.29 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(39,283.75 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 5,290.47 millions or 15.56% compares to 33,993.28 millions in 2014, inline with the 3.19% increase in number of debit cards. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(11,544.00 millions), followed by France with 6,097.43 millions transactions and Netherlands with 3,318.05 millions debit card transactions. Germany at fourth with 2,695.27 millions transactions even though it has the highest number of debit cards(105,744,850 or 20.98% of Europe total debit cards). Sweden has a high, 2,343.00 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 10,429.72 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 3,559.52 millions, an increase by 9.68 millions or 0.27%, compares to 3,549.84 on 2014. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,275.10 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(2,504.89 millions), where Portugal recorded 1,305.16 millions transaction and France recorded 1,198.68 millions transaction; and cards with a delayed debit function(3,261.66 millions). France recorded 1,913.13 millions transaction and Germany recorded 867.84 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 165.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2015 is €2,583.42 billions in value(€5.07 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €18.48 thousands per capita), an increase of €251.85 billions or 10.80% compares to €2,331.57 billions in 2014. This is inline with the 11.47% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €48.8 per card payment transaction. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €905.42 billions, followed by France(€469.64 billions), Germany(€243.25 billions), Italy(€157.34 billions) and Spain(€131.04 billions).

Out of these transactions, €285.54 billions or 11.05% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €53.92 billions or 23.28% compares to €231.62 billions in 2014; which is inline with the 20.46% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €200.71 billions total value in 2015, followed by Sweden(€15.87 billions), Norway(€14.61 billions), France(€13.17 billions), Ireland(€7.90 billions), Poland(€7.55 billions), Germany(€5.70 billions), Austria(€5.22 billions), Denmark(€4.95 billions) and Luxembourg(€4.66 billions).

€1,747.67 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €243.3 billions or 16.17% compares to €1,504.37 billions in 2014; which is inline with the 15.56% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€677.72 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany, followed by France with €256.72 billions. Germany ranked third with €159.02 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€103.86 billions), Italy(€103.20 billions), Norway(€78.20 billions) and Sweden(€71.48 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as in UK and France.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€220.89 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€115.38 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€213.43 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France before 2014.

Credit cards in Europe 2013-2014

As of 2014, Europe has a total population of 509.46 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €13,944.02 billions. This translates into €27.37 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(82.36 millions) and GDP(€2,915.65 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.43 millions) and GDP(€7.94 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€87.58 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€73.85 thousands), Denmark(€45.68 thousands), Sweden(€44.41 thousands), Ireland(€40.96 thousands), Netherlands(€39.30 thousands) and Austria(€38.54 thousands). Bulgaria(€5.91 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€7.52 thousands), Croatia(€10.16 thousands), Hungary(€10.56 thousands), Poland(€10.74 thousands) and Latvia(€11.88 thousands). Germany contributes 20.91% to the European total GDP, followed by United Kingdom(16.16%), France(15.29%), Italy(11.57%) and Spain(7.47%).

As at 31st December 2014, there are 765,664,570 payment cards issued in Europe(1.50 cards per capita), an increase of 6,996,090 or 0.92% compares to 758,668,480 in 2013. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(159,013,000), followed by Germany(133,952,980), France(81,040,210), Italy(73,642,120) and Spain(67,993,670). There are 103,046,970 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2014, a decrease of 6,008,470 or 5.51% compares to 109,055,440 in 2013. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(56,927,000), followed far behind by France(6,943,180), Poland<(6,042,000), Switzerland(6,008,060), Sweden(5,216,000), Norway(5,504,000) and Germany(4,899,140).

Whereas, there are 113,089,570 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2014, an increase of 3,139,920 or 2.86% compares to 109,949,650 in 2013. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(43,577,010), followed by Italy(26,605,930), France(17,976,310) and Portugal(7,751,780).

Debit cards in Europe decrease by 39,074,410 or 7.46% to 484,482,170 in 2014, compares to 523,556,580 in 2013. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(102,825,630), followed by United Kingdom(95,663,000), Italy(47,036,190), France(41,808,460), Poland(29,744,960), Netherlands(25,577,630) and Spain(24,416,660).

Europe has 46,287,780 cards with a delayed debit function in 2014, a decrease by 9,335,480 or 16.78% compares to 55,623,260 in 2013. Germany has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(26,228,200), followed by France(7,318,860), Netherlands(2,651,250), United Kingdom(2,150,000), Austria(1,724,610) and Croatia(1,061,320).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 34,041,650 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in Portugal(16,955,270), France(13,461,960), Sweden(1,792,000) and Croatia(37,100).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2014, there are 47,487.08 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(93.21 transactions per capita - Norway 369.12 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 3,826.62 millions or 8.76% compares to 43,660.46 millions in 2013. United Kingdom(13,010.00 millions) and France(9,437.92 millions) made up 47.27% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(3,335.41 millions), Netherlands(3,168.70) and Spain(2,760.20 millions).

Out of these transactions, 3,610.58 millions or 7.60% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 466.64 millions or 14.84% compares to 3,143.94 millions in 2013, even though the number of credit cards has decreased by 5.51% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(2,402.00 millions), making up 66.53% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(263.11 millions), Norway(159.00 millions), Sweden(144.52 millions) and Germany(91.81 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(33,990.91 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 7,640.88 millions or 29.00% compares to 26,350.03 millions in 2013, even though the number of debit cards decrease by 7.46% in 2014. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(10,227.00 millions), followed by France with 4,924.17 millions transactions and Netherlands with 3,037.49 millions debit card transactions. Germany at fourth with 2,952.13 millions transactions even though it has the highest number of debit cards(102,825,630 or 21.22% of Europe total debit cards). Sweden has a high, 1,989.12 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 9,529.00 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 3,549.89 millions, an increase by 722.37 millions or 25.55%, compares to 2,827.52 on 2013; inline with the 2.86% increase in number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2014. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,372.80 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(3,848.66 millions), where France recorded 2,455.47 millions transaction and Portugal recorded 1,208.00 millions transaction, followed by Sweden 180.40 millions transactions; and cards with a delayed debit function(2,466.47 millions). France recorded 1,357.08 millions transaction and Germany recorded 668.74 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 159.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2014 is €2,350.76 billions in value(€4.61 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €19.51 thousands per capita), an increase of €191.36 billions or 8.86% compares to €2,159.4 billions in 2013. This is inline with the 8.76% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €49.5 per card payment transaction, similar to value in 2013. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €752.01 billions, followed by France(€443.31 billions), Germany(€257.09 billions), Italy(€142.28 billions) and Spain(€121.90 billions).

Out of these transactions, €232.59 billions or 9.89% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €27.01 billions or 13.14% compares to €205.58 billions in 2013; which is inline with the 14.84% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €166.81 billions total value in 2014, followed by Norway(€14.24 billions), Sweden(€8.92 billions), Poland(€7.45 billions), Germany(€6.09 billions), Ireland(€6.03 billions), Austria(€5.31 billions), Denmark(€4.58 billions) and Luxembourg(€4.33 billions).

€1,506.86 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €329.32 billions or 27.97% compares to €1,177.54 billions in 2013; which is inline with the 29.00% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€544.79 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany, followed by France with €215.76 billions. Germany ranked third with €162.20 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€97.40 billions), Italy(€88.37 billions), Norway(€79.41 billions) and Sweden(€66.42 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as in UK and France.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€208.24 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€183.63 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€218.43 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France before 2014.


Credit cards in Europe 2012-2013

As of 2013, Europe has a total population of 508.45 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €13,541.72 billions. This translates into €26.63 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(82.10 millions) and GDP(€2,820.82 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.42 millions) and GDP(€7.53 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€85.35 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€76.17 thousands), Sweden(€45.39 thousands), Denmark(€45.06 thousands), Ireland(€38.99 thousands), Netherlands(€38.74 thousands) and Austria(€38.09 thousands). Bulgaria(€5.76 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€7.22 thousands), Croatia(€10.21 thousands), Hungary(€10.24 thousands), Poland(€10.29 thousands) and Latvia(€11.33 thousands). Germany contributes 20.83% to the European total GDP, followed by France(15.63%), United Kingdom(15.09%), Italy(11.87%) and Spain(7.62%).

As at 31st December 2013, there are 758,668,480 payment cards issued in Europe(1.49 cards per capita), an increase of 20,963,340 or 2.84% compares to 737,705,140 in 2012. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(157,339,000), followed by Germany(133,924,590), France(82,222,680), Italy(71,786,320) and Spain(69,749.370). There are 109,055,440 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2013, a decrease of 8,470,010 or 7.21% compares to 117,525,450 in 2012. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(55,362,000), followed far behind by France(19,611,240 - 35.42% of UK), Switzerland(6,146,700), Poland(6,133,650), Sweden(5,749,000), Norway(5,054,000) and Germany(3,902,130).

Whereas, there are 109,949,650 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2013, a decrease of 933,400 or 0.84% compares to 110,883,050 in 2012. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(43,264,470), followed by Italy(27,570,690), Portugal(8,493,470) and France(7,512,810).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 20,357,120 or 4.05% to 523,556,580 in 2013, compares to 503,199,460 in 2012. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(105,233,090), followed by United Kingdom(95,689,000), France(80,084,760), Italy(44,215,630), Poland(28,235,520) and Spain(26,484,900).

Europe has 55,623,260 cards with a delayed debit function in 2013, an increase by 2,537,560 or 4.78% compares to 53,085,700 in 2012. Germany has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(24,789,370), followed by France(23,809,000), United Kingdom(2,262,000), Austria(1,588,000) and Slovenia(623,620).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 30,186,220 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in Portugal(16,800,370), France(11,607,690), Sweden(1,746,000) and Croatia(28,060).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2013, there are 43,660.46 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(85.87 transactions per capita - Norway 346.99 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 3851.91 millions or 9.68% compares to 39,808.55 millions in 2012. United Kingdom(11,608.00 millions) and France(8,964.30 millions) made up 47.12% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(3,666.50 millions), Netherlands(2,886.22) and Spain(2,496.30 millions).

Out of these transactions, 3,143.94 millions or 7.20% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 276.43 millions or 9.64% compares to 2,867.51 millions in 2012, even though the number of credit cards has decreased by 7.25% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(2,194.00 millions), making up 69.79% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(234.41 millions), Norway(141.20 millions), Sweden(132.00 millions) and Ireland(95.50 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(26,350.03 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 2776.37 millions or 11.78% compares to 23,573.66 millions in 2012, which is inline with 4.05% increase on the number of debit cards in 2013. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(9,040.00 millions), followed by Germany which has the highest number of debit cards(105,233,090 or 20.10% of Europe total debit cards) with 2,952.13 millions transactions, and followed by Netherlands with a high 2,765.04 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 24,493,950(about one fourth of Germany) debit cards in Netherlands. Sweden has a high, 1,819.00 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 8,995,000 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,827.52 millions, a decrease by 19.79 millions or 0.70%, compares to 2,847.31 on 2012; inline with the 0.84% decrease in number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2013. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,310.35 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(1,313.86 millions), where Portugal recorded 1,144.76 millions and Sweden 168.00 millions transactions; and cards with a delayed debit function(1,049.44 millions). Germany recorded 648.39 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 164.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2013 is €2,159.41 billions in value(€4.25 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €19.66 thousands per capita), an increase of €120.32 billions or 5.90% compares to €2,039.09 billions in 2012. This is inline with the 9.56% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €49.5 per card payment transaction, lower compares to €51.3 in 2012; which also meant payment card is used for smaller amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €660.26 billions, followed by France(€438.43 billions), Germany(€223.79 billions), Italy(€129.63 billions) and Spain(€108.68 billions).

Out of these transactions, €205.58 billions or 9.52% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €3.74 billions or 1.85% compares to €201.84 billions in 2012; which does not reflect the 9.64% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €149.02 billions total value in 2013, followed by Norway(€14.03 billions), Ireland(€10.03 billions), Sweden(€8.70 billions), Poland(€7.00 billions), Austria(€5.01 billions), Germany(€4.45 billions), Denmark(€4.33 billions) and Greece(€4.18 billions).

€1,177.54 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €88.07 billions or 8.08% compares to €1,089.47 billions in 2012; which is inline with the 11.78% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€472.22 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €164.71 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€91.76 billions), Norway(€82.11 billions), Italy(€78.79 billions) and Sweden(€63.63 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as in UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€91.84 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€64.88 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€180.95 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.


Credit cards in Europe 2011-2012

As of 2012, Europe has a total population of 503.23 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €13,385.03 billions. This translates into €26.60 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(81.92 millions) and GDP(€2,754.86 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.42 millions) and GDP(€7.20 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€81.98 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€78.05 thousands), Denmark(€44.86 thousands), Sweden(€44.47 thousands), Netherlands(€38.51 thousands), Ireland(€38.09 thousands) and Austria(€37.63 thousands). Bulgaria(€5.71 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€6.66 thousands), Hungary(€9.98 thousands), Poland(€10.02 thousands), Croatia(€10.29 thousands) and Latvia(€10.81 thousands). Germany contributes 20.58% to the European total GDP, followed by France(15.59%), United Kingdom(15.34%), Italy(12.06%) and Spain(7.79%).

As at 31st December 2012, there are 738,399,230 payment cards issued in Europe(1.47 cards per capita), an increase of 1,1075,220 or 1.52% compares to 727,324,010 in 2011. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(151,600,000), followed by Germany(133,188,080), France(82,313,040), Spain(68,799,650) and Italy(68,180,100). There are 117,514,950 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2012, an increase of 19,180 or 0.02% compares to 117,495,770 in 2011. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(56,443,000), followed far behind by France(26,842,710 - 47.56% of UK), Poland(6,448,140), Sweden(5,361,000) and Germany(3,684,980).

Whereas, there are 110,883,050 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2012, a decrease of 1,024,650 or 0.92% compares to 111,907,700 in 2011. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(41,331,690), followed by Italy(28,472,890), Portugal(10,090,210) and France(8,105,830).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 22,034,040 or 4.57% to 503,904,190 in 2012, compares to 481,870,150 in 2011. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(105,593,540), followed by United Kingdom(88,553,000), France(80,109,810), Italy(39,707,210) and Spain(27,467,960).

Europe has 53,085,700 cards with a delayed debit function in 2012, a decrease by 2,534,400 or 5.01% compares to 50,551,300 in 2011. Germany has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(23,909,570), followed by France(23,379,330), United Kingdom(2,324,000), Austria(1,482,980) and Slovenia(653,390).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 23,577,960 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in France(11,661,100), Portugal(10,226,900), Sweden(1,687,000) and Cyprus(2,960).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2012, there are 39,817.84 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(78.98 transactions per capita - Norway 326.08 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 2,693.59 millions or 7.26% compares to 37,124.25 millions in 2011. United Kingdom(10,546.00 millions) and France(8,474.98 millions) made up 47.77% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(3,182.20 millions), Netherlands(2,642.89) and Spain(2,415.72 millions).

Out of these transactions, 2,872.63 millions or 7.21% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 147.37 millions or 5.41% compares to 2,725.26 millions in 2011, even though the number of credit cards only increase by 0.02% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(2,023.00 millions), making up 70.42% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(202.24 millions), Sweden(123.00 millions) and Ireland(100.30 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(23,473.38 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 1,868.20 millions or 8.65% compares to 21,605.18 millions in 2011, which is inline with 4.57% increase on the number of debit cards in 2012. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(8,155.00 millions), followed by Germany which has the highest number of debit cards(105,593,540 or 20.96% of Europe total debit cards) with 2,579.11 millions transactions, and followed by Netherlands with a high 2,530.66 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 24,662,620(about one fourth of Germany) debit cards in Netherlands. Sweden has a high, 1,648.00 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 8,857,000 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,917.17 millions, an increase by 61.47 millions or 2.15%, compares to 2,855.70 on 2011; an encouraging growth taking into consideration of the 0.92% decrease in number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2012. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,303.27 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(1,138.96 millions), where Portugal recorded 976.82 millions and Sweden 162.00 millions transactions; and cards with a delayed debit function(924.54 millions). Germany recorded 559.69 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 167.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2012 is €2,044.17 billions in value(€4.05 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €19.86 thousands per capita), an increase of €130.64 billions or 6.83% compares to €1,913.53 billions in 2011. This is inline with the 7.26% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €51.3 per card payment transaction, marginally lower compares to €51.5 in 2011; which also meant payment card is used for slightly smaller amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €630.28 billions, followed by France(€421.57 billions), Germany(€198.29 billions), Italy(€130.02 billions) and Spain(€106.71 billions).

Out of these transactions, €202.23 billions or 9.89% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €15.16 billions or 8.10% compares to €187.07 billions in 2011. This is inline with the 5.41% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €148.09 billions total value in 2012, followed by Ireland(€10.53 billions), Sweden(€8.16 billions), Poland(€6.22 billions), Austria(€4.73 billions), Denmark(€4.59 billions) and Greece(€4.58 billions).

€1,085.21 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €80.09 billions or 7.97% compares to €1,005.12 billions in 2011; which is inline with the 8.65% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€440.24 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €145.85 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€87.49 billions), Norway(€82.96 billions), Italy(€73.70 billions) and Sweden(€59.40 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as in UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€87.63 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€56.84 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€190.43 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.


Credit cards in Europe 2010-2011

As of 2011, Europe has a total population of 502.02 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €13,132.55 billions. This translates into €26.16 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(81.78 millions) and GDP(€2,703.12 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.42 millions) and GDP(€6.89 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€81.30 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€70.59 thousands), Denmark(€44.18 thousands), Sweden(€42.86 thousands), Netherlands(€38.51 thousands), Ireland(€38.00 thousands) and Finland(€36.54 thousands). Bulgaria(€5.57 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€6.62 thousands), Latvia(€9.78 thousands), Poland(€9.79 thousands), Hungary(€10.10 thousands) and Lithuania(€10.32 thousands) . Germany contributes 20.58% to the European total GDP, followed by France(15.68%), United Kingdom(14.21%), Italy(12.48%) and Spain(8.15%).

As at 31st December 2011, there are 727,163,930 payment cards issued in Europe(1.45 cards per capita), an increase of 816,270 or 0.11% compares to 726,347,660 in 2010. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(147,235,000), followed by Germany(130,585,420), France(83,005,300), Spain(68,969,510) and Italy(67,355,240). There are 117,043,560 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2011, a decrease of 8,399,730 or 6.70% compares to 125,443,290 in 2010. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(54,483,000), followed far behind by France(27,562,070 - 50.59% of UK), Poland(6,949,170), Sweden(5,274,000) and Greece(4,130,310).

Whereas, there are 111,544,700 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2011, a decrease of 5,090,880 or 4.36% compares to 116,635,850 in 2010. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(41,890,560), followed by Italy(29,804,770), Portugal(10,114,120) and France(7,483,890).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 7,267,080 or 1.53% to 481,816,020 in 2011, compares to 474,548,940 in 2010. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(103,957,380), followed by United Kingdom(86,325,000), France(69,091,440), Italy(37,550,470) and Spain(27,078,950).

Europe has 50,593,310 cards with a delayed debit function in 2011, a decrease by 1,074,510 or 2.08% compares to 51,667,820 in 2010. France has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(22,300,280), followed by Germany(22,680,730), United Kingdom(2,192,000), Austria(1,453,110) and Slovenia(661,520).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 19,490,260 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in France(7,862,820), Portugal(10,005,510), Sweden(1,619,000) and Cyprus(2,920).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2011, there are 37,154.62 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(73.88 transactions per capita - Norway 302.82 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 2,976.41 millions or 8.71% compares to 34,178.21 millions in 2010. United Kingdom(9,901.00 millions) and France(7,911.01 millions) made up 47.94% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(2,947.89 millions), Netherlands(2,444.28) and Spain(2,386.27 millions).

Out of these transactions, 2,756.08 millions or 7.42% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 82.2 millions or 3.07% compares to 2,673.88 millions in 2010, even though the number of credit cards decrease by 6.70% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(1,926.00 millions), making up 69.88% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(187.43 millions), Sweden(110.70 millions) and Ireland(101.60 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(21,608.40 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 2121.06 millions or 10.88% compares to 19,487.34 millions in 2010, which is inline with 1.53% increase on the number of debit cards in 2011. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(7,612.00 millions), followed by Germany which has the highest number of debit cards(103,957,380 or 21.58% of Europe total debit cards) with 2,405.05 millions transactions, and followed by Netherlands with a high 2,333.92 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 24,444,920(about one fourth of Germany) debit cards in Netherlands. Sweden has a high, 1,454.69 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 8,645,000 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,851.84 millions, an increase by 147.73 millions or 5.46%, compares to 2,704.11 on 2010; an excellent growth taking into consideration of the 4.36% decrease in number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2011. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,302.22 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(1,155.81 millions), where Portugal recorded 1,004.18 millions and Sweden 151.50 millions transactions; and cards with a delayed debit function(849.73 millions). Germany recorded 501.22 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 166.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2011 is €1,915.25 billions in value(€3.81 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €18.10 thousands per capita), an increase of €133.24 billions or 7.48% compares to €1,782.01 billions in 2010. This is inline with the 8.71% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €51.5 per card payment transaction, a lower amount compares to €52.1 in 2010; which also meant payment card is used for slightly smaller amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €578.33 billions, followed by France(€393.59 billions), Germany(€187.63 billions), Italy(€122.61 billions) and Spain(€107.29 billions).

Out of these transactions, €189.01 billions or 9.87% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €7.79 billions or 4.30% compares to €181.22 billions in 2010. This is inline with the 3.07% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €135.39 billions total value in 2011, followed by Ireland(€10.67 billions), Sweden(€7.37 billions), Denmark(€6.25 billions), Poland(€5.80 billions), Greece(€5.17 billions) and Austria(€4.41 billions).

€1,008.35 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €89.54 billions or 9.75% compares to €918.81 billions in 2010; which is inline with the 10.88% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€401.74 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €139.14 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€85.11 billions), Norway(€75.67 billions), Italy(€67.01 billions) and Sweden(€53.40 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as in UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€80.81 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€56.36 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€186.79 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.


Credit cards in Europe 2009-2010

As of 2010, Europe has a total population of 500.89 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €12,749.29 billions. This translates into €25.45 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(81.76 millions) and GDP(€2,580.06 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.41 millions) and GDP(€6.60 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€77.88 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€63.56 thousands), Denmark(€43.54 thousands), Sweden(€39.36 thousands), Netherlands(€38.02 thousands) and Ireland(€36.44 thousands). Bulgaria(€5.01 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€6.26 thousands), Latvia(€8.47 thousands), Lithuania(€9.05 thousands), Poland(€9.34 thousands) and Hungary(€9.82 thousands). Germany contributes 20.24% to the European total GDP, followed by France(15.68%), United Kingdom(14.22%), Italy(12.59%) and Spain(8.48%).

As at 31st December 2010, there are 726,671,610 payment cards issued in Europe(1.45 cards per capita), an increase of 1,445,750 or 0.2% compares to 725,225,860 in 2009. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(146,798,000), followed by Germany(127,538,210), France(84,863,870), Spain(71,580,780) and Italy(70,038,430). There are 125,959,220 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2010, a decrease of 7,977,890 or 5.96% compares to 133,937,110 in 2009. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(55,601,000), followed far behind by France(31,612,570 - 56.86% of UK), Poland(8,901,290), Sweden(6,157,000) and Greece(5,127,350).

Whereas, there are 116,549,520 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2010, a decrease of 8,643,580 or 6.9% compares to 125,193,100 in 2009. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(42,963,880), followed by Italy(33,864,750), Portugal(9,303,400) and France(8,594,200).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 8,140,520 or 1.76% to 471,228,550 in 2010, compares to 463,088,030 in 2009. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(102,196,900), followed by United Kingdom(84,642,000), France(71,054,430), Italy(36,173,670) and Spain(28,616,900).

Europe has 51,666,700 cards with a delayed debit function in 2010, a decrease by 5,361,380 or 9.4% compares to 57,028,080 in 2009. France has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(24,279,120), followed by Germany(21,613,420), United Kingdom(2,403,000), Austria(1,400,350) and Slovenia(679,070).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 24,867,100 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in France(12,785,540), Portugal(10,391,150), Sweden(1,688,000) and Cyprus(2,420).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2010, there are 33,854.17 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(67.51 transactions per capita - Norway 278.21 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 2,337.3 millions or 7.42% compares to 31,516.87 millions in 2009. United Kingdom(8,807.00 millions) and France(7,391.64 millions) made up 47.85% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(2,682.59 millions), Netherlands(2,294.28) and Spain(2,286.9 millions).

Out of these transactions, 2,660.19 millions or 7.86% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 95.34 millions or 3.72% compares to 2,564.85 millions in 2009, even though the number of credit cards decrease by 5.96% in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(1,857.00 millions), making up 69.81% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(175.23 millions), Sweden(125.37 millions) and Ireland(107.50 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(19,180.20 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 1470.09 millions or 8.3% compares to 17,710.11 millions in 2009, which is inline with 1.76% increase on the number of debit cards in 2010. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(6,604.00 millions), followed by Netherlands with a high 2,197.62 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 24,412,720(about one fourth of Germany) debit cards in Netherlands, and followed by Germany which has the highest number of debit cards(102,196,900 or 21.69% of Europe total debit cards) with 2,196.86 millions transactions. Sweden has a high, 1,409.82 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 8,333,000 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,801.97 millions, an increase by 196.01 millions or 7.52%, compares to 2,605.96 on 2009; an excellent growth taking into consideration of the 6.9% decrease in number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2010. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,261.48 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(999.11 millions), where Portugal recorded 961.41 millions and Sweden 37.60 millions transactions; and cards with a delayed debit function(792.75 millions). Germany recorded 447.89 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 170.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2010 is €1,774.09 billions in value(€3.54 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €16.59 thousands per capita), an increase of €143.77 billions or 8.82% compares to €1,630.32 billions in 2009. This is inline with the 7.42% growth in the number of card payment transactions. This also translates into €52.4 per card payment transaction, a higher amount compares to €51.7 in 2009; which also meant payment card is used for slightly larger amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €530.63 billions, followed by France(€363.20 billions), Germany(€169.32 billions), Italy(€119.98 billions) and Spain(€103.64 billions).

Out of these transactions, €181.20 billions or 10.21% is paid by credit cards, an increase of €13.08 billions or 7.78% compares to €168.12 billions in 2009. This is almost double of the 3.72% growth in the number of credit card transactions. United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €130.41 billions total value in 2010, followed by Ireland(€11.27 billions), Sweden(€6.29 billions), Greece(€5.88 billions), Denmark(€5.71 billions), Poland(€5.59 billions) and Austria(€4.22 billions).

€907.37 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €79.02 billions or 9.54% compares to €828.35 billions in 2009; which is inline with the 8.3% increase in the number of debit card transactions. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€356.05 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €125.61 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€83.47 billions), Norway(€70.09 billions), Italy(€63.20 billions) and Sweden(€47.50 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€75.77 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€56.07 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€190.08 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.


Credit cards in Europe 2008-2009

As of 2009, Europe has a total population of 500.36 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €11,790.84 billions. This translates into €23.56 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(81.88 millions) and GDP(€2,397.10 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.41 millions) and GDP(€5.75 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€75.65 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€57.35 thousands), Denmark(€40.36 thousands) and Ireland(€36.64 thousands). Bulgaria(€4.48 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€5.40 thousands), Lithuania(€7.98 thousands) and Poland(€8.13 thousands). Germany contributes 20.33% to the European total GDP, followed by France(16.17%), United Kingdom(13.26%), Italy(12.90%) and Spain(8.94%).

As at 31st December 2009, there are 718,710,820 payment cards issued in Europe(1.45 cards per capita), a decrease of 633,840 or 0.09% compares to 719,344,660 in 2008. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(143,693,000), followed by Germany(125,801,290), France(86,954,480), Spain(74,518,210) and Italy(69,114,000). There are 141,916,810 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2009, a decrease of 7,293,580 or 4.89% compares to 149,210,390 in 2008. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(58,604,000), followed far behind by France(34,506,340 - 58.9% of UK), Poland(10,858,420), Portugal(7,643,810) and Greece(6,007,390).

Whereas, there are 114,691,880 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2009, an increase of 932,030 or 0.82% compares to 113,759,850 in 2008. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(43,773,590), followed by Italy(33,643,000) and France(15,496,760).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 10,628,390 or 2.25% to 482,069,030 in 2009, compares to 471,440,640 in 2008. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(101,708,790), followed by United Kingdom(79,270,000), France(70,771,200), Italy(35,471,000) and Spain(30,744,620).

Europe has 58,633,710 cards with a delayed debit function in 2009, an increase by 5,042,510 or 9.41% compares to 53,591,200 in 2008. France has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(30,863,500), followed by Germany(19,913,500), United Kingdom(2,309,000), Portugal(2,213,140), Austria(1,333,190) and Sweden(706,000).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 14,110,980 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in France(13,838,970), Sweden(269,000) and Cyprus(3,010).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2009, there are 31,514.74 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(62.98 transactions per capita - Norway 266.34 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 2,002.66 millions or 6.79% compares to 29,512.08 millions in 2008. United Kingdom(8,185.00 millions) and France(6,923.25 millions) made up 47.94% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(2,422.92 millions), Spain(2,157.01 millions) and Netherlands(2,067.71).

Out of these transactions, 2,684.70 millions or 8.52% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 69.07 millions or 2.64% compares to 2,615.63 millions in 2008, which is inline with the increase in the number of credit cards issued in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(1,819.00 millions), making up 67.75% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(161.40 millions), Ireland(109.40 millions) and Sweden(100.00 millions).

Majority of card payment transactions(18,587.43 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, an increase of 1418.89 millions or 8.26% compares to 17,168.54 millions in 2008, which is inline with 2.25% increase on the number of debit cards in 2009. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(6,017.00 millions), followed by Germany which has the highest number of debit cards(101,708,790 or 21.10% of Europe total debit cards) with 1,980.46 millions transactions, and followed closely by Netherlands with a high 1,978.12 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 24,390,940(about one fourth of Germany) debit cards in Netherlands. Sweden has a high, 1,320.00 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 8,175,000 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,483.29 millions, an increase by 123.15 millions or 5.22%, compares to 2,360.14 on 2008; a good growth since there is only 0.82% increase in the number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2009. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,169.18 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(17.10 millions), where Sweden recorded 17.00 millions transactions and cards with a delayed debit function(783.37 millions). Germany recorded 360.54 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 166.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2009 is €1,631.90 billions in value(€3.26 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €15.38 thousands per capita), a decrease of €35.63 billions or 2.14% compares to €1,667.53 billions in 2008. This is a negative growth for card payment value considering the number of card payment transactions has increased by 6.97% and the number of payment cards only reduced by 0.09%. This also translates into €51.8 per card payment transaction, a smaller amount compares to €56.5 in 2008; which also meant payment card is used for increasingly smaller amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €473.02 billions, followed by France(€339.59 billions), Germany(€156.79 billions), Italy(€118.36 billions) and Spain(€98.66 billions).

Out of these transactions, €181.49 billions or 11.12% is paid by credit cards, a decrease of €25.75 billions or 12.43% compares to €207.24 billions in 2008. The main reason for decreasing 2009 total credit card transactions value in Europe is United Kingdom 15.62% drop in value. Nonetheless, United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €120.97 billions total value in 2009, followed by Ireland(€11.85 billions), Germany(€11.52 billions), Greece(€7.11 billions), Denmark(€5.14 billions) and Portugal(€4.80 billions). The ranking is more or less in accordance with the number of credit cards issued in the respective country.

€862.74 billions in value is paid by debit cards, a decrease of €4.62 billions or 0.53% compares to €867.36 billions in 2008; even though the number of debit card transactions increase by 8.26%. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€310.73 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €114.31 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€77.90 billions), Norway(€63.72 billions), Italy(€62.65 billions) and Belgium(€43.68 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€64.83 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€10.09 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€172.67 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.


Credit cards in Europe 2007-2008

As of 2008, Europe has a total population of 498.70 millions with a GDP(gross domestic product) of €12,495.40 billions. This translates into €25.06 thousands of GDP per capita in Europe. Germany has the highest population(82.12 millions) and GDP(€2,481.20 billions) in Europe. Whereas Malta has the lowest population(0.41 millions) and GDP(€5.74 billions) in Europe. However, Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita(€80.53 thousands) in Europe, followed by Norway(€54.36 thousands), Denmark(€42.43 thousands) and Ireland(€40.92 thousands). Bulgaria(€4.49 thousands) has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, followed by Romania(€6.50 thousands), Poland(€9.51 thousands) and Lithuania(€9.59 thousands). Germany contributes 19.86% to the European total GDP, followed by France(15.59%), United Kingdom(14.53%), Italy(12.55%) and Spain(8.71%).

As at 31st December 2008, there are 726,484,270 payment cards issued in Europe(1.46 cards per capita), an increase of 27,131,550 or 3.88% compares to 699,352,720 in 2007. United Kingdom has the highest number of payment cards(148,869,000), followed by Germany(122,870,410), France(85,474,290), Spain(76,395,160) and Italy(69,184,000). There are 149,210,390 credit cards in Europe as at 31st December 2008, an increase of 5,714,790 or 3.98% compares to 143,495,600 in 2007. United Kingdom has the highest number of credit cards in Europe(66,163,000), followed far behind by France(34,005,040 - 51.4% of UK), Poland(9,404,590), Portugal(7,416,210) and Greece(7,040,010).

Whereas, there are 113,759,850 cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe as at 31st December 2008, an increase of 2,598,810 or 2.34% compares to 111,161,040 in 2007. Spain has the highest number of cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function in Europe(44,820,240), followed by Italy(33,657,000) and France(13,930,120).

Debit cards in Europe increase by 18,538,170 or 4.09% to 471,440,640 in 2008, compares to 452,902,470 in 2007. Germany has the highest number of debit cards in Europe(100,711,540), followed by United Kingdom(76,271,000), France(65,955,030), Italy(35,527,000) and Spain(31,574,920).

Europe has 53,591,200 cards with a delayed debit function in 2008, an increase by 709,990 or 1.34% compares to 52,881,210 in 2007. France has the highest number of cards with a delayed debit function(27,315,210), followed by Germany(18,436,750), United Kingdom(2,339,000), Portugal(2,253,930), Austria(1,267,280) and Sweden(709,000).

A small number of cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function is available in Europe. There are 8,137,970 cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function, found in France(7,811,540), Sweden(323,000) and Cyprus(3,430).

Total Card Payments in Volume
For 2008, there are 29,512.08 millions of card payment transactions in Europe(59.18 transactions per capita - Norway 249.89 transactions per capita is one of the highest in Europe and the world), an increase of 2,170.86 millions or 7.94% compares to 27,341.22 millions in 2007. United Kingdom(7,595.00 millions) and France(6,542.50 millions) made up 47.9% of the total card payment transactions in Europe, followed by Germany(2,289.04 millions) and Spain(2,098.36 millions).

Out of these transactions, 2,615.63 millions or 8.86% is paid by credit cards, an increase of 71.52 millions or 2.81% compares to 2,544.11 millions in 2007, which is inline with the increase in the number of credit cards issued in Europe. Predictably, United Kingdom with highest number of credit cards in Europe has the highest number of credit card transations(1,791.00 millions), making up 68.47% of total credit card transactions in Europe. This is followed by Poland(137.10 millions), Ireland(118.45 millions) and Sweden(94.00 millions),.

Majority of card payment transactions(17,168.54 millions) in Europe are paid by debit cards, a significant increase of 1456.06 millions or 9.27% compares to 15,712.48 millions in 2007, which is inline with 4.09% increase on the number of debit cards in 2008. United Kingdom has the highest number of debit cards transactions(5,446.00 millions), followed by Germany which the highest number of debit cards(100,711,540 or 21.36% of Europe total debit cards) with 1,866.67 millions transactions, and followed by Netherlands with a high 1,779.87 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 25,211,410 or one fourth of Germany debit cards in Netherlands. Sweden has a high, 1,210.00 millions debit card transactions even though there is only 7,865.00 debit cards in Sweden.

Total transactions for cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function are 2,360.14 millions, an increase by 224.92 millions or 10.53%, compares to 2,135.22 on 2007; a high growth since there is only 2.34% increase in the number of credit and/or delayed debit function cards in 2008. Majority of transactions is recorded in Spain with 1,144.35 millions transaction.

The rest of the payment transactions is for cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(15.11 millions), where Sweden recorded 157.00 millions transactions and cards with a delayed debit function(777.63 millions). Germany recorded 354.85 millions transaction for cards with a delayed debit function, followed by United Kingdom with 179.00 millions transaction.

Total Card Payments in Value
The total card payments in Europe for 2008 is €1,667.53 billions in value(€3.34 thousands per capita - Norway is the highest in Europe with €13.04 thousands per capita), an increase of €21.61 billions or 1.31% compares to €1,645.92 billions in 2007. This is a small increase in card payment value considering the number of card payment transactions has increased by 7.94%. This also translates into €56.5 per card payment transaction, a smaller amount compares to €60.2 in 2007; which also meant payment card is used for increasingly smaller amount purchases in Europe. United Kingdom recorded the highest value total card payments with €511.99 billions, followed by France(€331.81 billions), Germany(€153.74 billions), Italy(€116.74 billions) and Spain(€101.91 billions).

Out of these transactions, €207.24 billions or 12.43% is paid by credit cards, a decrease of €17.05 billions or 7.60% compares to €224.29 billions in 2007. The main reason for decreasing 2008 total credit card transactions value in Europe is United Kingdom 13.47% drop in value. Nonetheless, United Kingdom still is the leading credit card spenders in Europe with €143.36 billions total value in 2008, followed by Ireland(€13.88 billions), Germany(€10.71 billions), Greece(€7.78 billions), Denmark(€5.74 billions) and Poland(€5.18 billions). The ranking is more or less in accordance with the number of credit cards issued in the respective country.

€867.36 billions in value is paid by debit cards, an increase of €3.13 billions or 0.36% compares to €864.23 billions in 2007; even though the number of debit card transactions increase by 9.27%. United Kingdom recorded the highest total value in debit cards transactions(€318.40 billions), even though the number of debit cards issued in UK is only second to Germany. Germany ranked second with €110.71 billions recorded, followed by Netherlands(€76.28 billions), Italy(€62.546 billions), Norway(€53.28 billions) and Sweden(€45.14 billions). This also shown even though Germany has the highest number of debit cards, the usage is not as common and frequent as UK.

The rest of card payments value is recorded by cards with a delayed debit function(€71.49 billions), cards with a debit and/or delayed debit function(€10.82 billions) and cards with a credit and/or delayed debit function(€178.41 billions).

Note: Breakdown data by type of payment cards(in volume and value) is not available for France.

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How to choose the right credit card
  • First, it is all about your lifestyle, what you do frequently and repeatedly, out of necessity or habit. By choosing the credit card that rewards your lifestyle, you're always on the right track. If you shop for grocery, filling at petrol station and dining out frequently, it will good to get a rewards or cash back credit card. If you travel frequently, a travel rewards or frequent flyer credit card could well be the answer for you. Always make a habit to read the fine print on the rewards given.
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