Under the COP28 UAE Presidency, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) and the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF) have joined hands to launch the COP28 UAE TechSprint.
This pioneering initiative seeks to bring together technologists, innovators, data scientists, not-for-profit institutions, the financial services sector, and other private or public sector participants to bring forward best-in-class AI, blockchain, IoT and sensor technology solutions that can be used by the finance industry to support climate action.
Regarding to extend this opportunity, the Fintech Office at the Central Bank of UAE approached the Electronic Payment Service Providers Association in addition to several professional associations in order to explore the possible solutions.
The Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association (EFISZ) carried out another national representative survey: this time the association studied electronic payment and digitalization trends.
The representative sampling had been conducted in 2023 between end of March and mid-April among adult internet-users and 2000 persons had been surveyed. The survey questions mostly pertained to electronic payment and digitalization trends.
Just like in the previous survey (90-94-81 percent, respectively), in April 2023 bank card payment, bank transfer and online payment are the three best known cashless payment options (93-91-80 percent have already heard about these).
Almost every (97 percent) adult internet-users in Hungary have already paid electronically at least once and 89 percent of them pay this way regularly. Bank card and bank transfer are the two most frequently used methods: 85% tried the former and 75% use it regularly, 79 percent tried the latter however only 43% became its regular user.
Respondents (also) paying by cash alternatives primarily tend to pay electronically when purchasing food (66 percent) and paying for utilities (51 percent), 56-42 percent is the share of those settling these kind of transactions regularly with cash alternatives.
Just like in the previous survey, in April 2023 almost half of the respondents (49 percent) pays more often electronically then by cash and the share of those using cash exclusively is only 10%.
89 percent of the questioned own a bank account, the share of those currently employed is 66 percent. The overwhelming majority (92 percent) of employees having a bank account receive at least a part of their salary to bank account, 85 percent receive the entire salary this way.
More than three out of four respondents (77 percent) having a bank account usually make efforts to monthly withdraw only the amount of money after which no bank charges are incurred; this is mostly typical for those having tertiary education and for elderly of and above 60 (87 and 85 percent, respectively).
Half of the survey participants are aware that it is cheaper to pay HUF 200,000 by bank card than to withdraw the same amount of cash from an ATM. People having tertiary education and residents of Budapest are the most well-informed in this respect (65 and 57 percent are aware respectively).
78 percent of those usually paying cashless tend to prefer stores and service providers accepting electronic payment methods and for 82% of them it is a basic requirement to be able to pay cashless. Both behaviour is most typical for those having tertiary education (86 and 91 percent respectively) and elderly of and above 60 (83 and 87 percent).
Ca. half (51 percent) of those using cash alternatives (as well) claimed to usually avoid on the long run deliberately those stores/ service providers which do not accept electronic payment and the avoidance of cash only payment is primarily typical for elderly above 60 (64 percent) and those having tertiary education (60 percent).
The Electronic Payment Service Providers Association (EFISZ) is pleased to welcome GRÁNIT Bank among its members, as by this addition, the activity of the Association has further expanded and gained new momentum.
In order to realise its strategic objectives, EFISZ continuously works together—with the cooperation of its members and partners—on the development of the Hungarian and international electronic payment ecosystem, the facilitation of professional collaborations, the analysis of the strategic environment, the protection of the users of electronic payment services, and the promotion of the creation of innovative, cashless payment solutions and new service value chains.
In this context, it is of utmost importance that the Association’s list of members has expanded with GRÁNIT Bank, which was the first bank in Hungary to implement the digital banking business model.
‘GRÁNIT Bank was already born digital in 2010,’ stated Éva Hegedüs, Chairman and CEO of GRÁNIT Bank. ‘From the very beginning, we have provided our services to our clients without branch network, primarily through electronic channels and smart devices. We consider it our mission to come out, year after year, with market-leading, innovative financial solutions which make banking faster, simpler, experiential, and cost-effective for our clients. We are honoured that now—together with the members of EFISZ—we are able to take action within the framework of the Association to make the knowledge and spread of digital financial solutions a natural part of everyday life.’
‘We are also very pleased to welcome GRÁNIT Bank among our members, since following the Bank’s activities, it is clear that it significantly promotes conscious and environmentally friendly payment and purchase decisions with its innovation initiatives, digital solutions, and scheme for young people—which are all outstanding both in Hungary and internationally—, as well as with its efforts towards sustainability,’ emphasised Mihály Veres, President of EFISZ.
The Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association (EFISZ) arranged for a new, country-wide representative survey to be conducted: this time, the Association conducted the survey among users of electronic payment solutions.
The representative sample was taken in late September and in October 2022 among the Internet-user adult population, the market survey was conducted by querying 1,500 persons online. The questions of the survey mostly referred to the use of electronic payment solutions.
As in the summer of 2022 (94-93-84 per cent), the survey also concluded this autumn that, of cashless payment solutions, bank transactions (94 per cent), bank card payments (90 per cent) and online payments (81 per cent) were the most popular among Internet-user Hungarian adults.
Nearly nine tenth (89 per cent) of Internet-user Hungarian adults typically used at least one electronic payment solution during their purchases. Respondents mostly paid using electronic means while shopping (76 per cent) and for online purchases (71 per cent). Public utility bills are typically paid by bank card (38 per cent).
Half of those using cashless payment solutions pay using electronic means more often than in cash and, just like in the summer of 2022, 59 per cent still prefer to pay using alternative payment solutions.
The majority of those using electronic payment solutions (87 per cent) uses cashless payment at least once a week, 35 per cent of them at least once a day. Compared to the previous data sample (42 per cent), the proportion of those using electronic payment solutions on a daily basis decreased by 7 percentage points in autumn 2022.
The majority of Internet-user Hungarians know instant payment and QR-code payment (56-58 per cent), however, the former is used by twice as many than the latter (40-21 per cent).
Of those respondents who believe that electronic payment solutions have an outstanding advantage, 35 per cent ranked swiftness as number one.
A quarter of respondents who only use cash (26 per cent) would not use electronic payment solutions for any of the above possibilities, 17-17 per cent of them would pay using electronic means if such payments were safer or if discounts were awarded for such payments.
Every second respondent (53 per cent) finds information on payment solutions using online advertisements and websites.
The Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association (EFISZ) arranged for a new, country-wide representative survey to be conducted: this time, the Association looked into the use of alternative payment methods.
The country-wide representative sampling took place in May 2022 among the Internet-user adult population and the market survey was conducted by querying 1,000 persons online. The opinion poll consisted of several sections: there were questions on the use of alternative payment solutions, but the Association was also interested in the financial awareness of the Hungarian population.
The research concluded that bank card payments, bank transfers, online payments, and cash-based payments are the most popular payment solutions among the Internet-user adult population (94-93-84-82 percentage).
The overwhelming majority (92 percentage) uses at least one alternative payment solution, and uses cashless payment solutions, alternatively, primarily during shopping or via online purchases (78-71 percentage).
Two thirds of those using alternative payment solutions pay with an alternative payment solution at least once a week—41 percentage daily.
The majority (58 percentage) of those using alternative payment methods use it for more than half of their purchases. The majority (59 percent) is happy to pay with such methods and use cashless payments confidently (67 percent).
Those not using alternative payment solutions use cash mostly out of habit (52 percent).
Those who are aware of cashless payment options have heard about cashless, alternative payment solutions mainly from the family, friends, acquaintances (44 percent) and on the Internet (41 percent), and typically hear about new payment options online (49 percent).
The respondents who (also) use alternative payment solutions consider them satisfactory, 84 percent are satisfied with their quality.
According to the participants of the research, it is mostly in the area of banking services where the quality of alternative payment solutions would need to be improved, 82 percent believe improvement is needed in this sector.
Respondents would mostly be encouraged by cost reduction opportunities and cost optimization (42 percent) as well as more secure systems (41 percent) to use cashless payment solution (more frequently).
Of those respondents who believe alternative payment solutions offer a benefit that is more outstanding, 37 percent claimed that this main benefit was its swiftness. Of Those using cashless payment methods (too), the highest proportion also indicated that swiftness was the feature encouraging the use of alternative payment methods (64 percent).
According to respondents, the popularity of alternative payment methods is largely due to the flexibility of the points of sale (marked by 57 percent), and the payment habits of customers are mostly determined by the proliferation of the use of smartphones and Internet-linked devices (72 percent).
The frequency if using electronic payment methods did not change for the majority of the respondents (55 percent) during the pandemic or since, the proportion of those who use such methods for payment more is 35 percent.
49 percent of the participants of the research regard their own financial knowledge good or outstanding. They would like to improve mainly in the area of savings (37 percent), they would like to expand their knowledge primarily through electronically accessible professional materials, videos (34 percent).
With the joining of Díjbeszedő Holding Zrt., the number of the Electronic Payment Service Providers Association’s members has further increased.
Currently, the Company carries out invoicing, meter reading, collection, and customer support activities on behalf of about 20 Service Providers. It has more than 750 thousand customers and issues about 16 million invoices and payment notices to them annually.
Díjbeszedő Holding Zrt. has more than 70 years of experience in issuing invoices, collection activities, meter reading, and providing customer support related to the aforementioned areas. Adapting to meet the requirements of the age, the Company is always capable of renewing itself; currently, it is undergoing a digital transformation aiming to provide up-to-date customer experience and to achieve sustainable operational functioning.
Its digital transformation and sustainability objectives are in line with the intention of EFISZ to create an electronic payment ecosystem. The Company can help EFISZ reach its strategic objectives primarily through collection activities related to invoices issued by members of the utility sector; for example, it intends to maximise the usage of the electronic payment channel by enhancing the attractiveness of the electronic payment service.
Díjbeszedő Holding Zrt. is 100% owned by Magyar Posta Zrt.
‘We are very pleased that our membership has been expanded with such a well-established but innovative partner which actively supports digitalisation and the education of the population, since this way, we can contribute to making the lives of Hungarian users easier in a new segment, by applying a new approach, creating new incentives together for alternative payment methods to gain more acceptance and the usage of cash and digital payment methods to become more optimised,’ said Mihály Veres, president of EFISZ.
Electronic Payment Service Providers Association welcomes RowanHill Digital Ltd. as its new member, whose joining will broaden and add further momentum to the activities of the Association.
To implement its strategic objectives, the Electronic Payment Service Providers Association (EFISZ) is continuously seeking to develop the domestic and international payment ecosystem, advance professional cooperation, protect the interests of users and consumers, and support the creation of innovative, cashless payment solutions and new service value chains.
Its members and partners provide meaningful support to achieve these aims, and, for this reason, having a new member join the Association carries great significance.
The motto of RowanHill Digital: “We believe that it is constant development and curiosity, along with professionalism that helps us provide our clients with number one solutions on the digital market. What aids us along the way is decades of ever-growing expertise and our exceptional knowledge base.”
The Company provides business and organization development concepts, strategic planning, product and service development, project management services to its business partners to ensure they have a competitive edge in a fast-paced, innovation-centered market.
The newly joined Company is an expert in digital innovation - predominantly in payment, fintech, blockchain and insurtech - and has had an ongoing presence in these markets with its proprietary products. The RowanHill Group - through cooperation with its members - offers the expertise and a plethora of competences to deal with the digital challenges a company may be faced with during its operations. Through cooperation with its expert members, it offers affordable solutions in the field of info-communication, including strategy development, legal support, product development, and even physical IT development, hardware installation and operation, for example: it provides fintech and payment solutions to banks and other financial institutions, it supports digitalization, project and program management, organizational optimization, it provides support for the creation of business feasibility studies and loyalty programs, it offers assistance in issues related to information security and data protection. “We are pleased to have in our ranks another innovative Company that can respond effectively to the challenges of our time. We believe that together, building on our synergies, we will be able to continue the initiatives that shape the future of finance in Hungary as well as in Europe, along with financial technology, and we will be able to help shape the financial literacy of people at both the national and international levels” emphasized Gábor Dávidházy, Secretary-General of EFISZ.
Within the scope of their professional workshop, the “Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association” (EFISZ), continued to hold professional forums and roundtable discussions also in 2021. This year, in the framework of four online workshops, the experts discussed the current events of the digital financial sector, the relevant technology trends and their experiences in the industry and in general, and they analysed the domestic, European, and global trends.
The snapshot of the electronic payments market and perhaps the most important lesson and conclusion from banking and fintech collaborations is that, as a result of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, the digitalisation in Hungary has leapfrogged years: new ideas, new collaborations and new solutions have emerged. However, in connection with the pandemic, sometimes we hear the term “big reset”: everything had to be redesigned also for the players in the sector, and many “startups” had to shut down. The payments sector is not only affected but largely influenced by phenomena that also affect the daily lives of consumers, such as the emergence of non-EU global service providers appearing in the EU’s internal markets, against which the EU’s internal service providers are currently at a competitive disadvantage or the pandemic situation caused by the coronavirus that resulted in changed shopping and travel habits. In terms of cash flow, the clear winners in this situation are online merchants and online shopping service providers. With the rise of e-commerce, electronic payment methods have also become increasingly important.
In addition to the electronic payment market, the discussions focused on the initiatives related to urban digitization and smart cities, as well as their contexts in terms of electronic payments. Although a generally accepted definition does not yet exist, we can state that a city will be smart if it uses innovative digital technologies in the design, organization, and control of its sustainable ecosystem. Cities need such services the most that are easy to adapt. The future will be about getting in line with the set of user expectations that city dwellers and residents expect—simple, easy-to-understand and easy-to-use, low-cost, and digital services will need to be provided.
If we analyse the sectors of the economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unequivocally the driving forces of the domestic and European economy, and their examination is essential for a comprehensive overview of financial and economic processes. One of the consultations on the European Digital Finance Strategy once mentioned that everything that the “European digital finance profession” has put together in a year will not be realistic without strong support for the SME sector. EU competitiveness, or its restoration, is a critical task in which SMEs play one of the most important roles, so it does not matter how competitive the SME sector is.
Nowadays, it is unavoidable to consider sustainability in the examination of all economic activities. By ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) we mean values that objectively add value to our society, and thus the ESG is more of a kind of approach, a set of values represented. Sustainability in terms of governance, social and environmental considerations need to be treated as one, as the pillars are interlinked; in a holistic approach, neither pillar can be truly effective without the others. Sustainability requires a change in mindset, it should be part of the cultural thinking or a fundamental consideration, and a self-imposed and mandatory expectation. The root of the topic is individual responsibility, and this is to be found in the attitude. The role of awareness and education is of paramount importance.
The definite goal of EFISZ is to continue its activities in 2022, thus continuing to actively participate in shaping the future of financial digitization in Hungary and the region, in the financial education of the population, and in increasing user awareness.
The document of the EFISZ fintech roundtable discussions will be available soon!
European Digital Finance Association (EDFA), one of the largest regional FinTech alliances, and Finnovating, the global Matching as a Service Platform, have signed a collaboration agreement to accelerate the connections between all the European FinTechs.
Belgium, France, Spain. December 2021.
European Digital Finance Association (EDFA), one of the largest FinTech regional alliances in the world and Finnovating, the global Matching as a Service platform, have signed a collaboration agreement to accelerate the connections between all the European FinTechs.
The agreement will facilitate EDFA to identify, map, connect and work with the FinTech ecosystems in Europe, giving visibility not only to their association’s members, but also to their associates, more than 2.500 FinTech around Europe. This agreement was signed in Paris during the French Fintech Week organized by France FinTech last October.
European Digital Finance Association with headquarters in Brussels, is an independent industry body that represents the digital finance community. Its mission is to support Europe’s global role in the financial technology sector. Established in February 2020, EDFA unites European national fintech associations of 13 countries: Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Holland, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain. And more countries are joining this alliance. All can profit from EDFA’s position as the single point of contact to promote favourable policy and business opportunity to the European Institutions.
On the other hand, Finnovating is the first B2B platform that connects all X-Tech in the world (50,000 FinTech, InsurTech & PropTech) with corporations (20.000 banks, insurers, associations…) & investors (10.000) to reinvent the way of innovating & doing business. Today they are connecting companies from 107 countries.
Maria Staszkiewicz, president of EDFA, said that “our goal is to have a unique voice with the European Institutions and its very important to map and connect the ecosystem of the region. So, this is why the platform became a strategic initiative for us. This agreement will allow all the Fintech members of EDFA to find and be found, to attract business for the Associations members and to create reports and mapping for EDFA needs.”
Rodrigo García de la Cruz, CEO of Finnovating, has pointed out that “Europe is one of the most important FinTech regions in the world, leading the new B2B business models. However, if you want to succeed, you need to open your business in different markets in order to reach new clients and scale your business. Therefore, signing this agreement is very important for us because our goal is to help all the FinTech to connect with partners, clients and investors to support their business scalability and make their dreams come true”.
Andrea Sánchez Martín
Mobile: +34 619 991 666
The formation of the new Board of the EFISZ and the re-election of the former Chairman and Secretary-General of the Association
The members of the assembly of the Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association (EFISZ) made a decision regarding the election of the new Board members and the amendment of the Articles of Association of the Association due to the new Board members. The former Chairman and Secretary-General of the Association were re-elected again at the year-end extraordinary Board meeting.
Due to the end date (17 November 2021) of the mandate of the former members of the Board, the assembly of the Association of EFISZ elected the following new members of the Board: BENYÓ Péter, VERES Mihály, KISS Ferenc, CSÁKI Béla, dr. CZIMER József, dr. SELMECZI-KOVÁCS Zsolt, FORRAI Péter, KEIGER Tamás and MAJLÁTH Zsolt. The term of their mandates will last for 5 years, ending on 17 November 2026–as laid down in the Articles of Association.
The Chairman of the assembly is elected from among the elected Board members according to the Articles of Association of the EFISZ in force. VERES Mihály was elected by the Board to be the Chairman of the EFISZ for another 3 years’ term on 29 November 2021.
The mandate of the Secretary-General of the EFISZ ends on 28 November 2021. The Secretary-General is elected by the Board upon the recommendation of the Chairman for a term of 5 years according to the Articles of Association. VERES Mihály Chairman recommended DÁVIDHÁZY Gábor again for Secretary-General of the EFISZ and requested the Board’s decision on the Board meeting of the Association in November.
“Looking back at the past two years, it should be noted that the foundation of the European Digital Finance Association (EDFA) was an important milestone in the professional development of the EFISZ association. We are proud that the EDFA non-profit organisation took part in the creation of the European Digital Finance Strategy as an official consultant partner of the European Union. The most important lesson learned in the current situation is that domestic digitalisation has developed very rapidly due to the coronavirus pandemic. New ideas, cooperation and solutions were created. At EFISZ, we are shaping the future of financial technology together. We are striving to continue this expert work in 2022.”- said DÁVIDHÁZY Gábor, the Secretary-General of the Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association.
Electronic Payment Service Providers’ Association