Commentary on the Sweden cards and payments market and retail banking landscape is supported by historic and forecast data. The report gives detailed insight into the market's players, including cards networks, issuers, acquirers, banks, and PSPs, plus the Swedish payments infrastructure, digital and mobile payments developments, demographic and consumer trends, regulatory drivers, credit card profitability, and more.
Demographics and the economy
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Card Payments Data
Appendix I: Demographics and the economy
Appendix II: Payments environment
Appendix III: Cards market
Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The card networks
Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers
Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing
Appendix IX: Online acquiring
Demographics and Economy:
The country has an ageing population and invests more of its gross domestic product in caring for its elderly than any other in the world. In 2018, the number of citizens aged 65 and older stood at 19.8%. This demographic shift has changed investment and savings preferences.
Sweden's payments ecosystem is currently evolving at a rapid pace. Swedish households are using electronic means of payment such as bank cards and mobile payments at an ever-increasing rate, while the use of cash is declining.
The payment cards market is well established in Sweden with strong consumer penetration and merchant acceptance. Consumers made an individual average of 430 card purchases in 2018.
Sweden is one of the few Western economies where mobile payments have become widespread. This is largely due to the runaway success of Swish, which dominates the landscape.
Credit cards are not a key revenue generator for Swedish banks. Nonetheless, Verisk's profit pool analysis shows stable profitability over the years. Profit per card was estimated at $39 in 2018, a small increase compared to $37 in 2012.
Mastercard is the dominant credit card network, with an estimated three- quarters market share of network-branded cards in issue at the end of 2018. The debit cards market was traditionally dominated by Visa but Mastercard has turned that on its head by securing agreements with three major banks.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
Nordea, SEB, Swedbank and Handelsbanken dominate the Swedish banking system and accounted for 72% of banking assets in 2018. However, in terms of branch networks, Handelsbanken is the leader with 435 branches, followed by Swedbank with 248 branches.
Acquiring and Processing:
Swedbank Babs is the largest acquirer in the Swedish market, acquiring around 60% of card transactions. NETS, Handelsbanken and Bambora are its main competitors.
Cards are the leading online payment method in Sweden but face competition from alternative payment methods. E-invoices are the preferred alternative to cards with other options such as bank transfers and Swish also popular.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
Banking regulations have advanced noticeably since the 2008 financial crisis. The law permits foreigners to invest in Swedish bonds and krona-denominated money market instruments, as well as to hold interest-bearing krona deposits in Swedish banks.
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.
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