In 2017, 441.2 million non-cash payments were made by customers of credit institutions, electronic money (e-money) institutions, payment institutions, Latvijas Banka, the SJSC Latvijas Pasts and the Treasury in Latvia (i.e. averaging more than 1.3 million payments a day). Their total value was 248.1 billion euro.
As compared to 2016, the total number of non-cash payments made by the customers increased by 10.5%.
The most popular non-cash payments were card payments and customer credit transfers, constituting 61.6% and 38.1% of the total number of non-cash payments respectively.
To ensure card payments, 2.3 million payment cards were issued in Latvia as at the end of 2017 (1.2 cards per capita) and most of them were cards with a debit function.
41.6 thousand points of sale (POSs) and 1 016 ATMs were available to the public. Overall, at the end of 2017, the number of customer payment accounts totalled 4.03 million or 2 current accounts per capita in Latvia.
A detailed report on the operation of interbank payment systems, development of payment instruments and other areas vital for non-cash payments is available on Latvijas Banka's website: https://www.bank.lv/en/statistics/payment-systems-statistics/latvia-s-payment-statistics).
Latvijas Banka, acting in the public and economic interest, carries out several tasks significant for each and every inhabitant, financial markets and the public at large:
– participates in the formulation and implementation of the euro area's monetary policy;
– issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
– discharges the function of the central national currency authentication centre;
– maintains the interbank payment systems' infrastructure and promotes their smooth operation;
– manages the foreign reserves and other financial investments;
– acts as the financial agent of Latvia's government and provides financial services to other market participants;
– compiles and publishes financial, monetary statistics and balance of payments statistics;
– maintains and develops the Credit Register;
– acts as an advisor to the Parliament and Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on monetary policy issues and other issues related to Latvijas Banka's operation.
Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka raise public awareness of the development of the economy and the monetary system, the current situation and the economic policy being pursued. Latvijas Banka takes an active part in educating the general public on various economic topics.
Latvijas Banka organises and maintains the payment infrastructure in Latvia, including two fully automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET2-Latvija is an interbank euro payment system falling within the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System TARGET2. The Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka (EKS) is used for the processing of retail payments.
As a further step in the development of the existing payment infrastructure, an instant payment service was introduced in the EKS at the end of August 2017, providing a significant stimulus for development of innovative payment instruments in Latvia.