The Bank of Latvia compiles Credit Institution Payment Statistics twice a year as of 1998. The above statistics and payment statistics of the Bank of Latvia, Latvijas Pasts and The State Treasury enable to assess the overall payment statistics in Latvia.
The payment statistics in Latvia includes data on the volume of payment instruments, value of payment instruments, volume of transactions per type of terminal, value of transactions per type of terminal, OTC cash transactions, book-entry transactions, number of customer accounts, number of cards, number of terminals, their networks and virtual POSs for cards and e-money.
For the statistical data and their analysis up to 2007 (inclusive), see issues No.1 and No.4 of the Bank of Latvia "Monetary Review" and as of 2008 - issue No.4 of the Bank of Latvia "Monetary Review", the Bank of Latvia Annual Report and the Bank of Latvia website.
As of the second half of 2009, the analysis of statistical data is available on the Bank of Latvia website (see below).

Latvia's payment statistics
Data from 2014/II

Latvia's payment statistics
Worksheets are updated on a semi-annual basis (I/1998-I/2014) 

LATVIA'S CUSTOMER PAYMENT STATISTICS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2017

Latvijas Banka has compiled data on the payment instruments used by customers in Latvia in the first half of 2017. Overall, 212.5 million non-cash payments totalling 120.1 billion euro were executed (i.e. averaging more than 1.2 million payments a day). In comparison with the second half of 2016, the number of non-cash payments increased by 3.5%.

The most popular non-cash payments were card payments and customer credit transfers, constituting 61.1% and 38.5% of the total number of non-cash payments respectively. To ensure card payments and the use of payment cards, 2.3 million payment cards were issued in Latvia as at the end of the first half of 2017 (1.2 cards per capita[1] ; most of them were cards with a debit function). 39.8 thousand points of sale (POSs) and 1 015 ATMs were available to the public. Overall, at the end of the first half of 2017, the number of customer payment accounts totalled 3.8 million or 1.9 current accounts per capita in Latvia.


Latvijas Banka has compiled the data on the payment instruments most-widely used by the customers of payment service providers[2] in the first half of 2017, i.e. payments, payment cards and POSs. In comparison with the second half of 2016, the total volume of non-cash payments made by customers increased by 3.5% (to 212.5 million) in the first half of 2017, whereas the volume of card payments which is the most widely used type of payments and the volume of customer credit transfers grew by 3.2% and 3.5% respectively. The total value of non-cash payments made by customers declined by 15.4% (to 120.1 billion euro; see Chart 1) as a result of shrinking customer credit transfers in foreign currencies.

Chart 1

The bulk of customer payments, i.e. 95.6% (203.1 million) and 90.5% (203.1 billion euro) in terms of volume and value respectively was handled by credit institutions, e-money institutions and payment institutions. The Treasury processed a considerably smaller share of customer payments in terms of volume and value, i.e. 3.7% (7.9 million) and 9.3% (11.2 billion euro) respectively. The share of payments handled by Latvijas Pasts in total customer payments amounted to 0.7% (1.5 million) and 0.1% (66.5 billion euro) in terms of volume and value respectively, whereas the payments handled by Latvijas Banka accounted for 0.01% (0.02 million) and 0.1% (105.0 million euro) of all customer payments in terms of volume and value respectively.

The most frequently used non-cash payment instruments by credit institutions, e-money institutions and payment institutions were card payments and customer credit transfers (63.9% and 35.7% respectively; see Chart 2). Other payment instruments were used relatively seldom by the population.

Chart 2

Overall, card payment was the most frequently employed non-cash payment instrument in the first half of 2017. 129.8 million card payments with the total value of 2.4 billion euro were made in the first half of 2017. In comparison with the second half of 2016, the volume of card payments grew by 3.2% (see Chart 3), whereas their value remained unchanged.

Payment cards were used by the public when shopping in person at points of sale as well as when paying by card remotely for online purchases. Although the share of online payments continued to grow, 92.6% of card payments in terms of volume and 83.6% in terms of value were initiated at point-of-sale terminals (POSs) at points of sale.

Chart 3

Customer credit transfers, totalling 117.5 billion euro, amounted to 38.5% (81.9 million) of all non-cash payment instruments used in the first half of 2017. The volume of customer credit transfers grew by 3.5%, whereas the value shrank by 15.7% in comparison with the second half of 2016. This was a result of the shrinking credit transfers in foreign currencies associated with closure of customer accounts carried out by credit institutions servicing non-residents as well as some foreign correspondent banks leaving Latvia's market.

At the end of the first half of 2017, there were 3.76 million customer payment accounts open in Latvia: 3.59 million accounts for payments in euro and 0.17 million accounts for payments in foreign currencies (see Chart 4). The number of payment accounts increased by 5.3% in comparison with the end of the second half of 2016. On average, there were 1.9 payment accounts per capita in Latvia.

Chart 4

At the end of the first half of 2017, the number of issued cards had declined by 2.8% (to 2.3 million) in comparison with the second half of 2016 as a result of cancelling inactive cards and card portfolio shifts, with the average number of cards per capita being 1.2.

Each card may have one or several functions and, if a card offers several functions, it has to be reported under each respective function. 85.9% (2.0 million) of the total number of cards were cards with a debit function making payments from customer money, while 16.4% (378.1 thousand) were cards with a credit function enabling payments using the credit granted by credit institutions. 0.9% (21.2 thousand) were cards with a delayed debit function providing an opportunity to make payments using the credit line granted by a credit institution and repay the loan in full at the end of the set period (see Chart 5).

Chart 5

At the end of the first half of 2017, there were 39.8 thousand POSs in Latvia, representing an increase of 4.3% over the end of 2016 (see Chart 6), or 20.4 thousand POSs per million inhabitants (19.4 million POSs per million inhabitants at the end of 2016).  In addition to the traditional POSs, there were 3.5 thousand virtual POSs at at the end of the first half of 2017, representing an increase of 5.0% in comparison with the end of 2016. Virtual POSs enable purchases of goods and services on the internet.

Chart 6

At the end of the first half of 2017, there were 1 015 ATMs in Latvia (a drop of 0.6% in comparison with the end of 2016; see Chart 7) or 519 ATMs per million inhabitants (512 ATMs per million inhabitants at the end of 2016).

Chart 7

In close cooperation with traders, credit institutions continued to improve card payment services to facilitate further transition to more frequent use of non-cash payments through a reduction of the number of ATMs and simultaneous expansion of the infrastructure available for card payments (by increasing the number of POSs in Latvia).


[1]  Data were provided by 16 credit institutions registered in Latvia, five , Latvia-registered branches of credit institutions registered in other countries, three licensed electronic money institutions, three licensed payment institutions and one branch of a payment institution licensed in another country, Latvijas Banka and the Treasury as well as the SJSC Latvijas Pasts.

[2] According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, in mid-2017 Latvia's population totalled 1 950 000.