PAYMENTS IN SERBIA
Serbia is a parliamentary republic with a unicameral National Assembly. Within Serbia, the province of Vojvodina enjoys autonomous status.
Serbia filed its application for EU membership in December 2009, but the country has become increasingly integrated with the rest of Europe in recent years. Accession negotiations are currently ongoing. Serbia is one of five current EU candidate countries, together with Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey.
The process has been helped by infrastructure projects such as EU Corridor 10, the motorway linking Austria with Greece, 800km of which pass through Serbia. Foreign investment is a major part of the economy, including substantial investment by Intesa Sanpaolo, Raiffeisenbank, UniCredit and Greek banks in Serbian banks.
As the dominant member of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia was the most advanced cards market in the Comecon bloc. Enjoying relative freedom to travel and operate bank accounts, Serbians were well-versed in card usage and more cards were issued in Yugoslavia than in the whole of the Soviet Union and eastern Europe in 1991-2. During the years of civil war and ensuing sanctions, the Serbian economy fell behind the rest of the region, but driven by European bank capital, the banking sector and the payment cards industry have recovered.
Although card numbers have enjoyed strong growth, credit cards have fallen in numbers and usage especially over 2020, with Covid-19 restricting usage outside of Serbia. As of 2020, payments in Serbia are characterised by the increasing importance of mobile payments - the launch of the Instant Payment System in 2018 by the National Bank of Serbia being one of the most transformative events in recent years.
As such, the number of mobile and internet banking users has risen significantly, and many banks are actively engaged in increasing their e-commerce presence in line with the uptake of services like Apple Pay facilitating mobile and online payments.
With many of its payment regulations becoming more closely aligned with EU regulations, it’s likely that Serbia’s payment infrastructure will develop in line with trends seen in western European countries, particularly in relation to mobile payments, instant payments and strong customer authentication.
STATISTICAL KEY FIGURES FOR 2020 PROVIDED IN THIS PROFILE:
• UPDATED: tables with card business data 2016-2020; 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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Version 1.0 - last updated Wednesday 26th January 2022