The end of February 2020 marked five years since the BLIK mobile payment system first appeared in Poland. Its users made a total of 353 million transactions worth PLN 47 billion ($12.34 billion). BLIK’s popularity is strongest online, where in 2019 it overtook card payments. Last year, nearly 9 million people used BLIK.
BLIK was launched in February 2015 thanks to an agreement between six competitor banks. The solution was entirely invented in Poland. It was based on the IKO application used at PKO Bank Polski, whose chairman – Zbigniew Jagiełło was the initiator of the agreement to develop a single mobile payment standard. During these past five years, BLIK was made available by other institutions – today it can be used by 95% of mobile banking customers.
In the nearest future, BLIK will primarily focus on making contactless payments available in Poland and in the world, and developing cooperation with foreign platforms providing payment solutions for global e-commerce players. Thanks to this, BLIK will expand its network far beyond Poland. The natural consequence of this will be efforts to cooperate with foreign banks so that they can offer BLIK as a payment method to their clients – users of banking applications around the world.
Five years of steady dynamic transaction growth
Over the past five years, BLIK users have completed 353 million transactions. The key year in this respect was 2019 with nearly 220 million transactions, with 156 million of them performed online, and 20 million in terminals in stationary stores. Users have used BLIK over 24 million times to withdraw and deposit ash at ATMs and made over 16 million transfers to the BLIK phone number.
The rapidly growing number of transactions is illustrated well by data from Q4 2019, when 72 million transactions were recorded – an increase of 113% year on year. At that time, the largest increase – 228% year on year – was observed for transactions at POS terminals (there were 6.6 million such transactions in Q4).
The number of transfers to a BLIK phone number increased by 182% (5.8 million in Q4). The system also recorded 6.8 million deposits and withdrawals from ATMs (+56% y/y). Traditionally – the highest number of transactions in the last quarter of last year was made by users on the Internet – it was close to 53 million, or 109% more than in the corresponding period of 2018.
In the last quarter of 2019, users completed an average of 766,000 transactions per day – i.e. eight per second. A single day record is 1.3 million transactions. The average BLIK transaction amount during this time is PLN 136.
At the end of 2019, BLIK was available in 476,000 commercial and service outlets with 538,000 payment terminals (that’s 65 percent of all terminals in Poland). You can also use it in over 20,000 ATMs (90% of the market) and throughout Poland’s e-commerce market.
Dominance in e-commerce payments
According to the National Bank of Poland, BLIK has been surpassing payment cards in online payments for the last four quarters. According to NBP data for Q3 2019, users have paid with cards 28 million times, while with BLIK nearly 40 million times. The increase in the number of online BLIK transactions is higher than the increase in the number of card transactions.
Recently, the Polish Payment Standard has been intensively working on making BLIK payments available in global e-commerce. After establishing cooperation with the PPRO and ADYEN payment platforms, Polish users will soon also be able to pay with it in online stores operated by one of these leaders in international payments.
BLIK is a nationwide, universal standard for mobile payments. Currently, over 90 percent of all customers of domestic financial institutions have the option of using BLIK in mobile banking applications. The Polish Payment Standard is responsible for developing the system and continues to expand BLIK’s capabilities so that the system is as functional as possible for its users.
The Polish Payment Standard shareholders include six Polish banks: Alior Bank, Bank Millennium, Santander Bank Polska, ING Bank Śląski, mBank and PKO Bank Polski. It can also be used by clients of Getin Noble Bank, Bank Pekao S.A, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Inteligo, T-Mobile Banking Services and cooperative banks that are part of Spółdzielcza Grupa Bankowa.
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