Card transactions are driving the growth in the number of payments

  • The number of international payments rose faster in the final quarter of last year than the number of domestic payments did
  • The majority of domestic payments are card payments
  • The rise in the numbers of domestic and international payments was largely driven by card payments

Estonian residents and companies made an average of 1.34 million payments per day in the fourth quarter of 2017. The total turnover of payments per day was 558 million euros. Residents of Estonia are using bankcards more and more in shops at home and abroad and in online stores.

Domestic payments accounted for 91% of the number of payments and 72% of the turnover. That is equal to 1.2 million payments per day and a total turnover of 399 million euros. Domestic payments are those where both the buyer and the seller are in Estonia and 7% more such payments were made in Estonia than in the same quarter of the previous year. Some 65% of all domestic payments are made by card at the point of sale.

International payments accounted for 9% of the number of payments and 28% of the turnover, totalling 114,000 payments with turnover of 159 million euros. This covers payments for which the payment order is sent to a bank outside Estonia, a card payment is made abroad, or a card is used to pay in a foreign online store. At 82%, most of the international payments are card payments, and 29% more international payments were made than a year earlier.

The rise in the numbers of domestic and international payments was largely driven by card payments. Among international payments, the rise in the number made with cards over the internet stands out particularly. Cards were used abroad for purchases an average of 36,000 times a day in the fourth quarter, which was 32% more than in the same quarter of the previous year. Where available, a bank link is the preferred method of payment for Estonian online stores (1). Cards were used for 5200 purchases per day in Estonian online stores in the fourth quarter, which was 2.5 times more than in the same quarter of 2016. Bank links were used for 59,000 purchases a day in the quarter though, which was 9% more than a year earlier.

A total of 100,000 purchases were made each day in the fourth quarter through bank links and by card over the internet. However, not all purchases made through bank links are necessarily classified as e-commerce in the standard sense. An estimated 20% of purchases through bank links are of goods, 30% are of services, mainly bus and other transport tickets and cinema, theatre and concert tickets, 25% are of lottery tickets and other forms of online gambling and betting, and 25% are payments of bills and payments for financial services such as insurance or loan repayments or other payments.

Bank links can only be used for purchases from Estonian online stores. Statistics from the postal service Omniva confirm the rapid growth of e-commerce as Omniva said that the use of parcel machines in December 2017 was up 50% on December 2016. The country that is the source for the largest share of parcels is China, and the USA, the United Kingdom and Germany are also popular countries of origin.

Read more from Bank of Estonia website

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Tiina Soosalu, Eesti Pank Payment and Settlement Systems Department

Good yield slightly compensated for harvesting losses

According to Statistics Estonia, the average yield of cereals was 3,967 tonnes per hectare in 2017. This is a very good result given the weather conditions in the previous year.

The total cereal production in 2017 was 1,311,900 tonnes, of which 713,300 tonnes was wheat, 425,700 tonnes barley and 52,400 tonnes rye. The average yield per hectare was 4,202 kilograms for wheat, 4,154 kilograms for barley and 3,932 kilograms for rye.

In 2017, the sown area of cereals was smaller than the year before. Cereals were grown on a total of 330,700 hectares, which is 5.9% less than in the preceding year. The sown area of wheat was 169,800 hectares, which is 3.2% more than in 2016. The sown area of barley decreased by 24.2% and amounted to 102,500 hectares. The sown area of rye increased by 7.3% compared to the preceding year and was 13,300 hectares.

The production of legumes was 75,300 tonnes, which is 31.2% less than in 2016. The average yield was 1,149 kilograms of legumes per hectare. Legumes were sown on 65,500 hectares, which is 18.2% more than in 2016. This is also the largest sown area of legumes ever.

The production of rape and turnip rape seed was 165,300 tonnes. In 2017, rape and turnip rape were sown on 73,800 hectares. The average yield was 2,240 kilograms of rape and turnip rape seed per hectare.

The production of potatoes was 91 200 tonnes, which is 1.6% more than the year before. The sown area of potatoes was 5,400 hectares in 2017. The average yield of potatoes was 16,925 kilograms per hectare.

The statistics are based on the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) land use data and statistical questionnaire “Crop production”, the deadline of which was 1 November 2017. Statistics Estonia published the yearly summary of the data in 58 working days. For the statistical activity “Crop production”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia