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Italy Country Report

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  • Published Date: August 2020

The Italian Country Report 2020 is a comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Italy, with clearsighted commentary backed by relevant data.

Cash stubbornly remains the primary payment method, yet initiatives continue to be put in place to encourage the uptake of digital payments. A regulation mandating merchants to accept card payments for transactions above $34 was introduced in 2014, but, lacking penalties, many merchants were unmoved. Sanctions were set in 2020, which should improve compliance. If successful, there is enormous scope to develop the revolving cards market – both for charge card issuers to expand into revolving cards and for current revolving card issuers to further penetrate the market.

What you will learn from this Italy cards market report:

  • How new regulation is forcing a move from cash to digital payments
  • Why prepaid cards are proving so popular
  • Which debit card network is losing market share
  • How the banking market is reforming to combat bad loans
  • What recent change in domestic debit card acceptance could increase usage

ITALY CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • Cash remains the primary payment method in Italy. However, several initiatives are underway to reduce usage.
  • The banking market is being reformed, with lenders disposing of bad loans and significant mergers taking place.
  • The opportunities for the development of mobile payments and m-commerce are growing and being seized upon. The pandemic is accelerating this trend.
  • Card use is low by European standards, with just 87 card purchases per adult in 2019. Debit card use is skewed towards cash withdrawal.
  • Prepaid cards are popular among the young and the underbanked population. There were 29 million active cards at the end of 2019.
  • The revolving credit cards market is small but profitable. Charge cards are much more widespread.
  • Although PagoBancomat remains the dominant debit card network in Italy, the network is slowly losing market share to Visa and Mastercard.
  • Bancomat Pay was launched in 2019, incorporating Jiffy and enabling online transactions for Bancomat cardholders.
  • Nexi dominates the acquiring market, increasing its market share through the recent acquisition of Intesa Sanpaolo's acquiring business.


Italy Payments Research 2020 | Report Contents

Key Topics
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendices: Cards Market Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Italy Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy:
Italy has one of the highest life expectancies in the EU (80.5 years for males and 84.9 for females). An ageing population creates multiple problems for public finances.

Payments Environment:
Italy is traditionally one of Europe's most cash-intensive economies; combined with its size, this makes it an attractive growth market for digital payments.

Cards market:
In a market of over 100 million active payment cards, debit cards are the dominant type, accounting for 56% of all cards in circulation. Prepaid and credit cards account for 28 and 15% respectively.

Mobile Payments:
The rise in smartphone penetration in Italy is transforming the way consumers interact with banks and other service providers: smartphone penetration reached an estimated one smartphone per inhabitant in 2019.

Profit Pool:
Verisk Financial Research forecasts a fall in profits in 2020 as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Lower spend growth, a decline in borrowing and an increase in default are all likely. The market should recover somewhat in 2021.

The Cards Networks:
Visa has traditionally been, and remains, the dominant credit card network, with an estimated market share of 55% of cards in issue: 8.6 million. Debit cards are predominantly issued on the domestic networks PagoBancomat and Bancomat.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
With 505 banks and a large number of non-bank payment card issuers, the Italian payment cards market is fragmented. However, the top five credit card issuers accounted for an estimated 87% of credit cards in issue at the end of 2019

Acquiring and Processing:
The Italian acquiring market is mainly concentrated in the hands of Nexi, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit. This trio collectively account for over 80% of acquired billed volume on credit cards.

Online Acquiring:
Italy is currently the sixth largest e-commerce markets in Western Europe – and one of the fastest-growing. By mid-2019 the industry had grown by 15% on the same period in the prior year.

Regulatory and Markets Information:
Mindful of tax evasion, Rome has set about reducing the use of cash transactions in the country, most recently in the 2020 budget, by strongly encouraging the usage of easily traced transactions via debit and credit card.

Italy Country Report | Entities Referenced

3 Italia
ABI Lab
Advent International
Adyen
AEP Ticketing Solutions
Agos Ducato
Agospay
Alipay
Amazon
American Express
Apple Pay
Axerve
B2C eCommerce Observatory
Bain Capital
Banca Carige.
Banca di Genova
Banca Intesa
Banca Intesa Sanpaolo
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro
Banca Popolare di Milano
Banca Sella
Banco Ambrosiano Veneto
Banco BPM
Banco BPM
Banco Popolare
Bancomat Pay
BancoPosta
Bassilichi
BMPS
BNL
BNL POSitivity
BNP Paribas
Bonprix
BPM
British Airways
Carrefour
Carrefour
CartaSi
CDP Equity
Cetelem
CheBanca
Clessidra
Comit
Compass
Confcommercio
Conforama
Cornèr Bank
CR Firenze
Crédit Agricole
Deutsche Bank
Diners Club
Discover
ECB
Equens SE
Euronics
Expert
Fastweb
Findale Investments
Findomestic
First Data
FSIA
Google Pay
Hype
Iberia
IBS
ICBPI
Ingenico
Intesa Sanpaolo PAyGO
ISP Processing
Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane
Italian Banking Association
JCB
Jiffy
Mastercard
MatiPay
MDES
MediaWorld
Mediobanca
Mediolanum
Mercury Payment Services
Mercury UK Holdco
Milan Metro
Monese
Monte dei Paschi di Siena
N26
Nexi
Nexi Payments.
PagoBancomat
PagoPA
PAyGO
PayPal
Polytechnic University of Milan
Postamat
Poste Italiane
Poste Mobile
Revolut
Samsung Pay
Sanpaolo IMI
Satispay
Sella
Setefi
SIA
SISAL
Six Payment Services
Società Interbancaria per l'Automazione
Società per i Servizi Bancari
Sparkasse
SSB
Stripe
Superflash
Telecom Italia Mobile
Tiemme
UBI Banca
Unicard
UniCredit
UniCredito
UnionPay
Unipol Banca
Visa
Vodafone
Vueling
WeChat Pay
Widiba
Widiba
Wind
Wise Dialogue Bank
World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wildlife Fund
Worldline
WoW
WWF
XPay
Yap
Yoox
Zalando
Zurich Connect

MORE EUROPE CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORTS

Verisk reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payment 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.

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