Spectacular fee reduction: small transactions now cost only 2 eurocents
(and these transactions are free this summer)
Brussels, 26 April 2016 – Worldline [Euronext: WLN], European leader in the payments and electronic transaction industries, today announced a major tariff reduction for payments made via Bancontact, Belgium’s most widely-used payment system. Transactions of up to 5 euros are now 60% cheaper. This reduction is another step in Worldline’s ongoing strategy to promote electronic transactions in Belgium and contribute to the Belgian economy in general. Moreover, the launch of the new tariff scheme on 1 June 2016 will be marked by a special four-month promotional period during which all transactions up to 5 euros will be free of charge.
Spectacular reduction in costs for payments of up to 5 euros
Worldline will reduce its fee for in-store payments of up to 5 euros by a significant amount: 60%. Today a transaction of 5 euros generally costs 5 eurocents – but as of 1 June 2016 the fee will be only 2 eurocents. Fees for transactions of between 5 and 10 euros will also be considerably reduced by up to 30%. The tarrif reduction announced today follows an earlier reduction of 0.6 eurocents which was introduced on 1 April and applies to all transactions of more than 10 euros.
“This spectacular reduction confirms our pioneering role in Belgium’s electronic payments sector and as a promoter of the Belgian economy, and makes electronic payments more accessible for all traders, regardless of amounts,” confirms Willy Walraeve, CEO of Worldline Benelux. “This development represents yet another step in encouraging electronic payments in Belgium, and contributing to the Belgian economy in general. Clearly, our ambition is to give Belgium an additional boost in the field of electronic payments,” says Willy Walraeve.
Free of charge for four months
To celebrate this new step towards a cashless society, Worldline has announced that it will launch a four-month promotion at the same time it slashes fees for Bancontact transactions. During this limited period only, all in-store payments of up to 5 euros will be processed at no charge to traders.
2015: confirmation that electronic payments are booming
Worldline has made a conscious decision to reduce transaction fees for very small amounts. Consumers use cash less frequently, even for small amounts, but instead prefer to pay with cards. Worldline systems registered nearly 1.8 billion electronic transactions in 2015, including in-store and online e-commerce payments – an increase of 7.5% compared to 2014 and no less than 14.7% compared to 2013.
“We are seeing a clear increase in the everyday use of cards,” says Willy Walraeve, CEO of Worldline Benelux. “We continue to seek out innovations in payment solutions with the intention of stimulating a cashless society – and the Belgian economy – as a result.”
Electronic payments of small amounts are also increasing. In 2015, 20.5% of all Bancontact transactions were less than 10 euros, compared to 18.2% in 2014. The number of transactions totalling less than 5 euros was 7.4% in 2015.
Bancontact is undeniably Belgium’s most widely-used payment system, representing 73% of all electronic transactions today, an increase of 9% on 2014.
A third major trend is the surge in e-commerce payments, which have increased by 19.5% compared to 2014. Although online purchases make up only 3% of all transactions, this market segment is catching up with the numbers of in-store payments on an annual basis. Some traders have even reported that the e-commerce share of their business has expanded by more than 200%.
Absolute records in Belgium and the Netherlands
Transactions in Belgium are on the increase, as was confirmed on 24 December 2015 when Worldline registered 7,547,067 payments on a single day, peaking at 15,466 transactions in a single minute – two absolute records.
The 3.225 billion electronic transactions registered in the Netherlands in 2015 also broke records and represented an increase of 10.7% compared to 2014. Transactions of between €0 and €10 increased most, by nearly 1.3 billion, and represent 40% of all electronic payments. Furthermore, the number of transaction of less than €2.50 rose by 35% compared to 2014.
A big step towards a cashless society
Year after year Worldline has recorded significant increases in the number of transactions. Even so, with the growth rate in Belgium still lagging behind that of the Netherlands, we decided to take measures to speed up developments. Worldline’s new tariff scheme, the further development of systems and platforms in order to process even more transactions, and the implementation of innovative solutions mark a major step forward in payment history. We are completely convinced that the idea of a cashless society will become a reality – and we are determined to be the driving force behind that transformation.