Results of the latest international study ‘Attitudes towards payment methods’ commissioned by eService and other EVO Group entities reveal that almost 6 out of 10 Romanians declare to pay digitally due to ease of use and convenience. Visa is a partner of the study, in the Central Eastern European region, including Romania.
The study shows that while shopping 51% of Romanian consumers tend to pay with a payment card. The top reason for choosing cash is when digital payments are unavailable at a given store or service point. That’s the view of one third of the respondents who often pay with cash. It is worth noting that digital payments dominate as Romanians’ preferred payment method for online shopping. Half of respondents paid for their last in-store purchase with a card or using phone, smartwatch or another device. When asked a similar question about their last online purchase, only 14% of respondents answered they paid cash on delivery.
In March 2022 we conducted the ‘Attitudes Towards Forms of Payment’ Survey. This year it covered already 14 countries, not only Europe. The results allow us to track how the preferred form of money is changing before our eyes. Just as the exchange of products was once replaced by a more universal invention such as coin money and later paper money, it is now being replaced by even more convenient and safer electronic money. We observe the dynamics of this process in various countries, among which there are more advanced – e.g. Romania, Poland, Ireland or the UK, as well as some where the evolution of payments is only just accelerating. However, everywhere it is clear that electronic payments have become an important part of the development of the economy and digital society. – said Joanna Seklecka, President of the Board, eService.
GOING DIGITAL MAKES STORES MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR CONSUMERS
The study results show that stores which offer digital payment methods are clearly perceived in a positive way by Romanian consumers – as many as 77% of respondents believe they are modern and 72% of them think they are customer-centric. There is still a room for digital payments development in Romania. When responders from Romania have been asked to recall the last time they wanted to pay by card but couldn’t, 16% of them could not find such option in store and 29% said that the POS terminal was defective. Based on the survey results, digital payments are unavailable mainly at traditional marketplaces (48%), paying builders or for home repairs (39%) and at a hairdresser, barber or beautician (35%). Romanians also said they cannot pay digitally for taxi trips (31%).
“We believe that an open and more connected world is the one where consumers and businesses enjoy greater choice and flexibility. That is why we are promoting a world with greater access to fast, secure and reliable digital payments. In practice, it means that Visa supports the payment ecosystem in the CEE region, including Romania, in a way that the number of terminals accepting card payments increases and consumer daily payment experience improves since new payment products and solutions are introduced on the Romanian market in partnership with our partnering banks, acquirers and other financial institutions”, said Elena Ungureanu, Country Manager Visa în România.
Romanian consumers would like to be able to pay digitally everywhere, and these expectations developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the initiatives helping small and micro businesses go digital are even more important now. One of Visa’s initiatives last year has been the launch of the #TheBigSmallBusinesses integrated platform in Romania, through which SMEs can access both information about the available digital solutions and special offers from local partners, helping them to adapt to the new post-pandemic environment. It is equally important to support businesses in their transition to e-commerce – as the study shows that almost half of the Romanians made their last payment online.
DREAMS AND REALITY – HOW ROMANIANS DEAL WITH MONEY
The study findings show that money is to Romanians a mean of realizing values and ensuring a sense of independence and freedom of choice. The research results also confirmed the trend of great popularity of digital banking in the country. Usually, Romanians prefer to contact the bank remotely – 70% of respondents use internet banking at least 2-3 times per month and a slightly higher percent of Romanian consumers (73%) use their mobile banking just as often. They perceive the banking services as a way to manage their money. Romanians control and plan their expenses, also being partly interested in ways to increase their wealth.
To gain a better understanding of Romanians attitudes towards money and how they may change, the researchers divided the respondents into six segments:
- Sceptics – they do not like to invest or deal with money and they do not trust institutions, it’s better for them to keep money at home.
- Economical – they need to plan their expenses carefully. It happens that they almost immediately spend all the money they get. They have a limited budget and they are focused on surviving.
- Affluent – they control their money and expenses, but money is only a means towards a goal – they have it, but they don’t have to think about it all the time and worry about it.
- Kings of life – they spend cash quickly on what they want, without control – after all, they are Kings of Life.
- Dreamers – they would like to have a lot, but so far they do not have much, they do not manage money seriously.
- Optimal – they consciously manage their money – they use promotional offers, plan they expenses and invest capital. They value the freedom of choice, so they do not reject any form of payment.
In Romania the king of life and sceptic types prevails (21% each), which shows that people have difficulties in saving money, but spending money doesn’t give them much pleasure either. At the same time they are not convinced that it’s worth using banking services. Third most popular segment in Romania are the optimal (18%), whilst the least popular one is the dreamer (11%).