Information collected by the Citadele Bank shows that clients have used their payment cards to a far greater degree this year than last year in paying for services from state institutions (up by 48%) and from entertainment enterprises (up by 41%).
Payments for entertainment services relate to sports centres and theatres. State services include payments at post offices, Land Books at the regional and city level, etc.
Līva Rancāne from the Court Administration explains why payment cards have increasingly been used at Land Book branches: “That may be because when clients submit documents, they can pay state and chancery fees with their payment cards and without needing to go to a bank. No less important is the fact that when they pay the fees at the Land Book, they do not have to pay a commission fee for the services. It is also true that the economic situation in the country is improving, and that means an increasing number of real estate transactions that are registered with the Land Book.”
“There were far more payments with payment cards in terms of people paying for transport (up by 22%), health care (19%), airline tickets (15%) and automobiles (14%),” says the head of the Citadele Bank’s Sector of private person and SME, Dace Priede. Payments with payment cards at shops increased by 12% over the rate last year, and in second place are payments for fuel – 6% more than last year.
The total increase in payment card purchases amounts to 12% this year, and Priede attributes this to safety, convenience, and the fact that the payment cards offer increasing discounts and advantages when shopping. American Express credit card holders, for instance, appreciate the fact that while travelling, they are insured against various accidents that may occur.
Citadele is a local Latvian bank which offers banking, financial and asset management services. Citadele group is represented in the Latvian market as well as in 10 other countries. Citadele Bank is the only collaboration partner of American Express in Latvia and Lithuania who is entitled to issue American Express credit cards. In 2012 the bank was recognized as the best governed state-owned enterprise in the Baltic States according to a study conducted by the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance. Citadele’s vision is to become the most valuable local financial group in the Baltic States. 75% minus one Citadele Bank’s shares are possessed by the State Joint Stock Company Privatization agency on behalf of the Latvian State and the owner of 25% plus one share is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
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