Mastercard reveals record-high 72% Hungarians now make regular card payments

February 24, 2022 | By Anna Marciniak
Mastercard data shows that the proportion of Hungarians not using cards to make payments is lower than it has ever been
In addition to the speed and convenience of card payments, more people are adopting the method to follow in the footsteps of their friends

Budapest, 23 February 2022 - Mastercard has today published data from its research into card payment habits and attitudes in Hungary. The results reveal that over half (58%) Hungarians now use bank-issued cards daily for in-store payments and a record-high 72% people use their cards more than once a month.

The research highlighted how more Hungarian consumers are turning to safer, digital payment methods in place of cash as the shift incited by the pandemic becomes increasingly permanent across the country. Consumer confidence around in-person retail is gradually increasing: 39% respondents said they were less likely to shop in-store than before the pandemic, compared to 50% in 2020.  

The return to in-person retail has not slowed down the transition from cash to card, with 46% respondents now paying by card more often than they did pre-pandemic. This is higher than the 43% figure in 2020, when restrictions saw retail undertake a monumental shift online. Overall, over a fifth (22%) of Hungarians that previously paid exclusively in cash switched to card in 2021. This was particularly prominent in urban areas, where the proportion of residents not using card payments fell to 4%, compared to 9% pre-pandemic. 

“We are pleased to see that the popularity of card payments continues to grow, and more people are using this method in place of cash. Our research shows that the last two years have seen a significant rise in the number of people paying electronically and – having experienced the benefits of card payments – this is a trend they want to stay,” said Endre Eölyüs, Director for Hungary and Slovenia at Mastercard. “We are working closely with our partners to ensure more Hungarians can adopt this method and – through our developments – use their cards to make payments wherever they are.”

The research also asked participants to select the motivating factors that encourage them to choose card payments over cash when making transactions in-store. The leading benefits were speed (77%), convenience (76%), traceability of spending (68%) and accessibility (64%). A significant number of people also mentioned the fact that their friends also use cards to pay (59%) and that the method means they can contribute to fair trade (57%). 

Mastercard has been a leading contributor to the rise in card payments across Hungary. Doppio – Mastercard’s infrastructure development programme – was launched in 2019 with the mission to double the quantity of card payment points in Hungary. Since the programme’s inception, nearly 140,000 payment terminals have been installed in shops, often in places where electronic payments were previously unavailable.


Editor's note: The research was commissioned by Mastercard and carried out by Free Association Research in November 2021. The survey is representative of the urban population aged 18-65 with a bank account. 

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