Payment Card Year Books

Bulgaria 2020/2021

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Payment Organisation

BORICA is the Bulgarian interbank organisation and card authorisation centre.

Domestic Card Brand

BORICA is a domestic debit card; many cards are co-badged Maestro. 

Bcard is the new national card scheme launched in July 2017. 

TransCard are private label cards, also co-badged Mastercard.

Market Structure

Most payments are made with cash, and most card-less payments are credit transfers. Debit cards dominate, mostly used for cash withdrawals. 

Rapid growth of card use. Payments on cards have grown 25.29% since 2015, while the value has increased by 22.47%. However, there were just 27 card payments per capita in 2019, one of the lowest in the European countries. 

The number of cards issued rose from 106,000 in 1998 to 8.1 million in 2008, when penetration per capita exceeded 1.0 for the first time. In 2019, payment cards issued amounted to 7.86 million. 

The banking sector has been privatised and is 72.1% foreign-controlled. Some further consolidation of sector in 2019/2020. 

Emerging Open Banking ecosystem. 

Notable Market Trends

Contactless rollout, Bcard cards, HCE NFC pilots, biometric card pilot. 


 UPDATED: tables with card business data 2015-2019; growth rates: Y-o-Y, CAGR
 Population, Cards per Capita, Card Value per Capita
 Debit Cards, Credit/Delayed Debit Cards, Total Cards
 Card payments by number and by value, ATV per card, payments per card/year
 ATMs, POS terminals, ATMs/POS terminals per 1 million capita
 ATM withdrawals by number/by value, ATV per withdrawal, TXs per ATM/month
 POS payments by number/by value, ATV per POS payment, TXs per POS/month
 Internet Use, e-payment mix, B2C e-Commerce by value and growth rate
 Issued Card brands by individual major issuer bank
 Accepted card brands by individual major acquirer
 Drill down into the debit card use and credit cards use details


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1.1 last updated 19th January 2021