Voice of the Industry

BLIK and the future of payments in Poland

Wednesday 22 September 2021 08:30 CET | Editor: Raluca Constantinescu | Voice of the industry

Dariusz Mazurkiewicz, CEO of BLIK – Polish Payments Standard, talks about the company's mission, the global trend of moving away from cash, and the future of payments in Poland

The mobile payment system BLIK transformed the face of mobile banking in Poland. From January to March 2021, BLIK users performed over 153 million transactions – almost twice as many as in the same period of 2020. At the end of the first quarter of 2021, 7.6 million people were actively using it (55% year-on-year increase), and the fastest-growing channel is the BLIK phone transfer (P2P). 

BLIK, a solution entirely invented in Poland, was launched in February 2015 due to an agreement between six competitor banks. It was based on the IKO mobile banking application used at PKO Bank Polski. During these past six years, BLIK was made available by other institutions as well, and today it can be used by 95% of mobile banking customers. Since its launch, BLIK has become synonymous with mobile payments in Poland. However, such a rapid development of a system built from scratch would not be possible were it not for the cooperation of many players on the market, both traditional and online – banks, the clearing house, paying agents, and sellers. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly sped up the trends we have seen over the past few years when it comes to the development of mobile payments. Let us start by mentioning two driving forces. One is the dynamic development of the ecommerce market – the other is the digitisation of the customer-bank processes, which can be seen in the increasing popularity of mobile banking. What initially seemed to involve long-term strategies for organisations suddenly turned out to be the only development path to follow. If we are to have a look at ecommerce, a huge number of businesspeople have been faced with the choice of either closing their businesses or launching online stores. 

A glimpse into the future 

More than 74% of BLIK transactions take place in ecommerce, and at the end of 2020 BLIK overtook payment cards in terms of the number of transactions made in global ecommerce (Polish and foreign) for the first time. 

People want to pay with BLIK not only in Polish online stores but also in foreign ones. That is why it is important for us to establish partnerships with foreign payment operators who support not only domestic but also global ecommerce platforms. We want everyone who uses BLIK to be able to pay with it anywhere in the world. 

The Polish Payment Standard is intensively working on making BLIK payments available in global ecommerce. Additionally, after establishing cooperation with the payment platforms PPRO and Adyen, users are able to pay with BLIK also in online stores operated by these leaders of international payment solutions. 

Instant P2P payments growing rapidly 

Another important trend is the process of moving away from cash. This is not, by any means, about the physical hygiene of banknotes. This is about something more than that – a social phenomenon. To square accounts with your friend, colleague, your child’s class treasurer, or a person who is buying a gift for someone leaving a job, we no longer need to dig into our pockets or run to the nearest ATM, but instead, we can do it online – instantly and conveniently. During the pandemic, we have experienced phenomena such as shop sharing, shopping for those who cannot or should not leave their home because of their age, which has consequently led to cashless settlements. Senior citizens are becoming increasingly adept at mobile banking. 

Today, BLIK’s second most popular function is phone transfers. Almost 19 million such transactions were made from January to March 2021, representing an increase of 156% compared to the same period in 2020. BLIK phone transfers are the fastest and safest method of transferring money between users, especially during a pandemic. 

Contactless global payments 

Contactless technology has become even more popular and widespread in 2021. As in the case of moving away from cash, there is more to this issue than just the aspect of not having to insert your card into a slot: there is no need to carry a wallet at all! 

In the nearest future, BLIK will primarily focus on making contactless payments available in Poland and the world and developing partnerships with foreign platforms that provide payment solutions for global ecommerce players. Consequently, BLIK aims to expand its network far beyond Poland and to cooperate with foreign banks so that they can offer BLIK as a payment method to their clients – users of banking applications around the world. 

The model suggested by BLIK – which will, hopefully, be increasingly successful abroad – is based on customer-bank relationships, on banks’ mobile solutions that are trusted by customers because they keep their money and savings there and are satisfied with these services. 

This customer-bank relationship is crucial for us. We do not introduce any proprietary application as one of many players. Our model is unique. We have no doubt that the partnerships we are able to demonstrate in 2021 will help us broaden our ambitions beyond the Polish market. 

This article is part of the Payment Methods Report 2021 – Latest Trends in Payment Preferences, a comprehensive overview of the payment methods in scope for 2021, as well as best practices for checkout optimisation and customer conversion by addressing digital transformation, security, and localisation.

About Dariusz Mazurkiewicz 

Since 2017, Dariusz Mazurkiewicz is the CEO of Polish Payments Standard (Polski Standard Płatności – PSP, which runs the popular, account-based mobile payment system BLIK). In 2015–2017, Vice President of the BLIK Management Board, responsible for product and partner development of the system. Previously in the ecommerce and media industries. 

About BLIK 

BLIK is a mobile payment system. It enables ecommerce payments, POS payments, ATM cash withdrawals, and mobile P2P payments. The company has a dominant share of mobile payments in Poland. BLIK has won many prestigious awards, including the title of FinTech of the Year in 2019 by Cashless.pl and FinTech of the Year 2020 by Invest Cuffs.

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Keywords: mobile payments, mobile banking, COVID-19, ecommerce, P2P payments, BLIK
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Poland
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce