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Greece Country Report

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  • Published Date: June 2017

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Greece.


  • Greece's banking system has undergone major restructuring with Piraeus Bank becoming the largest bank following a series of acquisitions.
  • The number of retail banks fell from 62 in 2010 to 40 at the end of 2016.
  • The rate of credit growth to the household sector has been decelerating since 2009 due to the debt situation and the liquidity squeeze experienced by banks brought about by the financial crisis.
  • Greece has long been among the most cash-dependent countries in Western Europe but government initiatives have contributed to a rise in electronic payments recently.
  • The imposition of capital controls which restricted access to cash resulted in a dramatic rise in card use at the POS.
  • Debit card purchase volume increased by 145 per cent in 2015 and credit card spending increased for the first time since the financial crisis.
  • The average Greek adult made 21 card transactions in 2016; this is five times greater than in 2014 but still the lowest of any Western European market in Lafferty's database.
  • The credit cards market in Greece has experienced a downturn since 2009 due to economic turbulence in the country with the total number of credit cards halving to 2.6 million at the end of 2016.
  • The Greek debit cards market has no domestic debit scheme. All cards carry Maestro, Visa or American Express branding, with the former two brands dominating the market.
  • Alpha Bank became the market leader in the credit cards market after it completed the acquisition of Citibank's retail banking operations in Greece in September 2014.

Greece Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

See more European country reports or explore cards & payments research reports for 72 markets worldwide.

To find out more or to discuss subscription options, please email: research_enquiries@verisk.com or telephone: +44(0)20 7337 4200.