The total number of non-cash payments in the EU, using all types of instruments, increased by 4.6% to 90.6 billion in 2011 compared with the previous year, according to figures published by the European Central Bank (view press release). Card payments accounted for 41% of all transactions, while credit transfers accounted for 27% and direct debits for 24%. In addition to this, the number of credit transfers within the EU increased in 2011 by 4.4% to 24.9 billion, while the importance of paper-based transactions continued to decrease, with the ratio of paper-based transactions to non-paper-based transactions standing at around one to five.
The number of cards with a payment function in the EU remained stable at 727 million which represented around 1.44 payment cards per EU inhabitant. The number of card transactions increased by 8.7% to 37.2 billion, with a total value of EUR1.9 trillion. This amounts to an average value of around EUR52 per card transaction.