Fintech & Ecommerce

How to pay in Turkey: facts on the country’s payments market

Here are the main facts you have to know about payments in Turkey

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How to pay in Turkey: facts on the country’s payments market. Source: depositphotos.com

Whether you are travelling to or doing business in Turkey, you’d better do it like a local. The Turkish payment market is widely adopting advanced payment technologies, secure infrastructure, and mobile solutions.

1. The most popular online payment method used in Turkey is card payment. In 2020, 61% of online payments were done with credit or debit cards, while only 13% of customers used bank transfers.

2. The pandemic fueled a quicker transition to cashless payment methods and increased usage of credit solutions. In 2020, credit card spending in Turkey grew by 17%, reaching TL 1.15 trillion ($155 billion). The number of credit cards increased by 8% to 75.7 million compared to the previous year, while debit cards and prepaid cards increased by 13% to 188.1 million.

3. The prepaid card market in Turkey increased at a CAGR of 11.6% during 2017-2021. Over the forecast period of 2022 to 2026, the market is expected to record a CAGR of 13.6%, increasing from US$10.36 billion in 2022 to reach US$17.22 billion by 2026.

4. In 2020, Turkey introduced a national QR Code payment system. The Regulation enacted by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) establishes a standard QR Code structure and common rules for its use within the payment services ecosystem. The Regulation obliges the use of the Turkish QR Code for all payments made through the QR code in the country (B2B, B2C, P2P) unless a foreign payment service provider’s infrastructure is used for the transaction.

5. Turkish banks launched the world’s first national digital wallet, BKM Express, as early as 2012. The major players in the e-wallet sector in Turkey are BKM Express, GPay, Mobilexpress, Papara, and Pay Cell. At the same time, the popularity of this payment method in 2020 was quite low, measuring at 9%.

6. In 2016, Turkey launched its first-ever national payments scheme, “Troy – Turkey’s Payments Method”, marking the start of a new era in the national payments market. More than 20 Turkish banks are issuing a range of debit, credit and prepaid Troy cards, which can be used at ATMs and PoS terminals. It is also accepted internationally through the partnership with Discover Financial Services.

7. Despite the introduction of the national payments scheme, Visa and Mastercard dominated as payment card schemes in 2019, with a 98% market share split almost evenly between them.

8. Cash is often used for micropayments in Turkey (farming markets, coffee houses, taxis, etc). As of 2021, cash is still used for 42% of retail point of sale transactions.

9. Turkey is the country with the highest share of mobile bankers, with 85% of respondents using a mobile banking app. The number of active mobile banking customers in Turkey grew from around 6.7 million active customers in 2014, to 62.5 million in 2020.

10. The ratio of Turkish consumers (29%) who are willing to share their data for open banking systems is above the European average (20%). The national Regulation on Information Systems of Banks and Electronic Banking Services introduced rules similar to the Regulatory Technical Standards related to PSD2 that apply to open banking services in Turkey.

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