The mobile client is nowadays a common phenomenon in Poland. One-third of the time spent on browsing the Internet comes from smartphones. About 70% of Poles have phones with Internet access. This is the most personal device in history – research on Android users showed that its average user touches the smartphone’s screen 2.5 thousand times a day.
Poles do not only check mails and social networks on their phones but also want to have access to wide range of financial services. Total Transaction Value in Polish “Digital Payments” segment is expected to amount to US$14,042m in 2018. Therefore, financial sector companies offer them ever newer mobile solutions. Over 5 million customers of Polish banks actively use banking applications on their smartphones, while 9 million have it on their devices. Nearly 96 percent of them have access to BLIK, which is now available in 9 banks (by the end of 2018 it will be 11).
BLIK is a mobile payment scheme, one of the first on the European market, with a unique model of co-operation between banks, payment acquirers and merchants all supported by innovative information technology, architecture and design. Currently, the solution is used by 6.1 million people – twice as many as at the end of 2016. Built on a partnership of Poland’s six largest banks, the payment scheme establishes a single, integrated platform across all mobile devices. How does it work? When making a transaction, user logs into the bank application and authorizes the transaction with a 6-digit BLIK code displayed on the screen. BLIK allows its users to pay in numerous points – online, in a mobile channel, in a physical network of ATMs, shops, post offices, local administration offices and various other service providers. Via BLIK it is also possible to make money transfers to a telephone number.
The growing interest in BLIK, which was used almost 33 million times in 2017, confirms the need for modern and safe mobile payment methods in Poland. It is estimated that as many as 2,1 million Poles are banking only through their smartphone not using any of the other channels available. Customers are increasingly keen on making an active use of their mobile phone, which is replacing not only their wallet, but also debit and credit cards. Smartphones are prone to become the center of personal finance management on a massive scale in the very near future.
Mobile payments are also an important issue in the context of the increasing popularity of smartphone shopping in Poland. Three years ago, only every third buyer used phone for online shopping, today almost half of Poles do it. M-commerce is one of the most dynamically developing trends. E-commerce Nation, one of the largest industry portals says that this segment is growing worldwide approx. 15% every year. By 2020, mobile shopping will cover 45% of all global e-commerce revenues.
In 2017, up to 40% of all BLIK transactional traffic came from mobile devices, which confirms its strong m-commerce profile as well as the direction in which Polish e-commerce is going. Following this trend new solutions are being developed. One of them is One Click BLIK – the possibility of paying with just one click. It responds to the needs of Polish consumers who expect mobile solutions to be simple and fast.
How do we see the future of Polish mobile payments? Right now the biggest challenge for Polish financial services is to transform mobile finance into social finance. Mobile payments cannot be detached from their context – when we transfer money via smartphone, it always happens in a specific situation – we give back the money for a restaurant bill, collect them for a friend’s birthday gift, etc. That’s why all financial services should be more and more social. This is the direction we see for the development of Polish solutions, such as BLIK. Users should not only be able to transfer money, but also to communicate with each other straight in bank’s mobile app. We predict that in 5 years every mobile payments user in Poland will transfer money to other people and small businesses every single day – cash will become a rarity.