Digital payments continue to rise: almost 4 in 10 card payments are contactless

Stay up to date with the latest measures from the financial sector

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We see that Belgians have adjusted their payment behavior since the corona crisis and are increasingly paying digitally. Everything seems to indicate that Belgians today use their cards more often than pay with cash.

Since the outbreak of the corona crisis, merchants and banks have become aware of the need to pay digitally as much as possible. Paying by card and smartphone is therefore an extremely safe and hygienic way to pay for purchases, especially if it is done contactless.

The number of card payments on a weekly basis is now slightly higher compared to February (period before the lockdown). The number of ATM cash withdrawals, on the other hand, is significantly lower than the pre-lockdown level.

Almost 4 in 10 card payments are made contactless


Contactless payments are also increasingly on the rise. Today, almost 4 in 10 (39%) card payments are made contactless. That is more than a doubling since February 2020, when Belgians only paid contactless in 16% of cases.

Febelfin and the merchants would like to once again draw attention to the fact that contactless payment by card is also possible for an amount higher than EUR 50. In that case, only a PIN code needs to be entered.

Febelfin promoots digital payments (via card and smartphone) as much as possible.

Families and businesses are appealing for banking support


The banks continue to fully support consumers, companies and self-employed people who are under financial pressure due to the corona crisis.

Since March 31, 2020, they have granted 121,453 payment deferrals to private individuals for their mortgage loans. The total underlying credit volume amounts to 12.7 billion euros or an average of 104,702 euros per loan.

Since May 20, private individuals can also request a payment deferral for their consumer credit. Such a deferral was granted 7,063 times for an underlying credit volume of 146 million euros.

As far as companies are concerned, banks have granted 137,211 deferments of payments for business loans since March 31. This concerns a total underlying credit volume of 23.6 billion euros or an average of 172,304 euros per loan. More than 80% of the number of payment deferrals are granted to SMEs and the self-employed.

Citizens and companies are also offered the opportunity to request an extension for their credit payment deferral, if they still meet the conditions when applying for an extension. The period to apply for an extension is almost ending.

Anyone wishing to request an extension must submit the application to the bank before September 20, 2020. Anyone experiencing financial problems due to the corona crisis is asked to contact their bank as soon as possible.

These figures can also be found in the corona monitor (only available in Dutch or French)