Published: 26.02.2024

786.1 million customer non-cash payments totalling 409.3 billion euro were executed by Latvian payment service providers (credit institutions, electronic money institutions, payment institutions, credit unions, Latvijas Banka and the Treasury) in 2023. This averages 2.2 million payments worth 1.1 billion euro a day.

The total volume and value of non-cash payments made by customers in 2023 increased by 10% and 58% respectively in comparison with 2022.

The steep climb in the value of payments reflects a new trend in the banking sector – credit institutions have resumed offering interest payments on deposits for some time now. The data on the second half of 2023 in particular show a significant rise in volume for one type of credit transfer – intrabank payments. This is because people have been actively depositing their accumulated funds in time deposits and savings accounts.

As in previous years, the most popular non-cash payments were card payments and customer credit transfers, constituting 63% and 34% of the total number of non-cash payments respectively.

To ensure card payments, 2.1 million payment cards were issued by Latvian payment service providers as at the end of 2023 (1.1 cards per capita on average), and most of them were cards with a debit function.

42.5 thousand points of sale (POSs) and 887 ATMs were available to the public in Latvia, while 6.5 thousand POSs and 7 ATMs were provided by Latvian payment service providers abroad. At the end of 2023, the number of customer payment accounts opened by Latvian payment service providers totalled 3.1 million or 1.6 payment accounts per capita on average.

A detailed report on the operation of interbank payment systems, development of payment instruments and other areas vital for non-cash payments.

Payment system infrastructure in Latvia

Latvijas Banka organises and maintains the payment system infrastructure in Latvia, including two fully automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET-Latvija is an interbank euro payment system, a component of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer system TARGET. The Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka (EKS) is used for handling retail payments.

In August 2017, Latvia became the first euro area country to introduce instant payments – innovative, up-to-date, instant interbank transfers available 24/7, including weekends and holidays. In the course of this short period of time, instant payments have been made available to more than 90% of credit institutions' customers in Latvia, and they have become a standard in interbank payments rather than an exclusive service.

In addition, Latvijas Banka has developed and maintains the Proxy Registry "Instant Links", which enables interbank payments based on the payee's mobile phone number only, without the need to know and enter the respective current account number for each payment. Currently, this opportunity is offered by AS Citadele banka, Swedbank AS, AS SEB banka and the major Estonian commercial banks, and the number of participants of the Proxy Registry "Instant Links" is expected to grow further.

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