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262.1 million non-cash payments made by customers and totalling 92.8 billion euro were executed by the Latvian payment service providers (credit institutions, electronic money institutions, payment institutions, Latvijas Banka, VAS Latvijas Pasts and the Treasury) in the first half of 2019. This averages 1.4 million payments worth 512.6 million euro a day.

The total volume of non-cash payments made by customers increased by 4.1%, but the total value of the payments decreased by 5.6% in comparison with the second half of 2018.

The most popular customer non-cash payments were card payments and customer credit transfers, constituting 64.4% and 35.4% of the total volume of non-cash payments respectively.

To ensure card payments, 2.2 million payment cards were issued by the Latvian payment service providers as at the end of the first half of 2019 (1.2 cards per capita on average), and most of them were cards with a debit function.

41.9 thousand points of sale (POSs) and 949 ATMs were available to the public. At the end of the first half of 2019, the number of customer payment accounts opened by the Latvian payment service providers totalled 3.5 million or 1.9 payment accounts per capita on average.

It is noteworthy that, in the first half of 2019, 2.6 million instant payments amounting to 477.2 million euro were processed via the instant payment infrastructure, developed and maintained by Latvijas Banka.

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/stat-data/payment-systems-statistics).

Non cash payments Latvia 2019I

For information

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 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 system infrastructure in Latvia, including two fully automated payment systems helping to ensure interbank settlements in euro. TARGET2-Latvija is an interbank euro payment system, a component of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System TARGET2. The Electronic Clearing System of Latvijas Banka (EKS) is used for handling retail payments.

As a further step in the development of the payment infrastructure, an instant payment service was introduced in the EKS at the end of August 2017, providing a significant stimulus for the development of innovative payment instruments in Latvia.

 

Latvijas Banka offers an additional service within the framework of the EKS – the Proxy Registry "Instant Links". The Registry users – credit institutions and payment service providers – may offer their customers an option to make payments by using the mobile phone number of the payee only. AS Citadele banka has been the first to offer this option, and other large banks are also expected to start using the Registry in the near term. Thus, instant interbank payments between accounts at different credit institutions by means of a mobile phone number will be available to a wide range of customers.