Plastic Cards in Europe
This report on European plastic cards concentrates on the situation in 24 of the EU member states, excluding the UK, in 2005. It examines trends since 2000 and forecasts the likely take up of cards to 2010. It includes information about the major players in the card market in Europe.
The overview of the market points out the disparities between member states, some of which are world pioneers in the technology of plastic cards and some of which are culturally opposed to the `Americanisation' of payment methods.
There are four groups of member states, each of which has a distinctly different cultural attitude towards debt and `easy buying'. In most countries, consumers prefer cash to any other payment method, and in all countries convenience outweighs security or any other factor involved in money transmission. However, in some countries people prefer to use bankers' drafts to cheques or debit cards, and in all countries the debit card is preferred to the credit card.
The report provides a summary of the political, economic, social and technological (PEST) aspects of consumer attitudes towards money and saving. It also provides data on the number of accepting terminals, the number of cards in issue by type, and the value and volume of transactions. The findings of the 2003 Eurobarometer survey of 16,000 Europeans are quoted, revealing different attitudes between countries towards credit and debit cards.
The report also demonstrates that there is great variation between the members of the EU, and that a US or UK approach might prove disastrous without an understanding of the local financial-services culture. Other countries manage things differently, although the introduction of the European Monetary Union (EMU) has led to historically unique convergence of economic policies, monetary policy and low inflation throughout the EU.
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