Budapest, 17 January 2013 – SIA Central Europe achieved a new record in transactions in Hungary over the last year. In 2012, the hub of the SIA Group in Central Europe also focusing on card issuing and acquiring services, processed 192 million payment transactions compared to 170 million in 2011 (+13%). Of the total amount, 116 million are related to bankcards.
In addition, SIA Central Europe achieved a new monthly peak with 10.7 million bankcard transactions managed in December. Over the last month of 2012, more than 70% of all payment operations were made with chip-based cards through an ever-wider acceptance network accessible to citizens. In the same period of 2011, this percentage was about 60% and 40% of transactions using magnetic stripe cards, which confirms the evolving process of migration to the safer chip cards.
During the ”Christmas Shopping Season”, the highest number of transactions was recorded on Friday, December 21st (about 507,000). Furthermore, the volume processed by SIA Central Europe that weekend grew by 14% compared to the two previous weekends.
Last year also showed the increasing popularity of contactless bankcards issued by Hungarian banks and the availability of NFC (Near Field Communication) terminals enabled also by SIA Central Europe. Last month, about 2% of the transactions were made through this innovative technology.
“These data confirm the growth of transactions in Hungary, where consumers have higher confidence in electronic payments which they perceive as more secure and convenient than cash – commented Nicola Cordone, Chairman of SIA Central Europe - We believe that innovation and technology can play a fundamental role in the spread of new payment services, including mobile solutions. SIA Central Europe continues to guarantee its strong support to Financial Institutions, Corporates and Public Administration bodies in this process both in Hungary and Central Eastern Europe.”