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CEE fintechs step up as consumers dump cash

Leading firms in emerging Europe welcome a surge in interest in digital payments products and online lending.

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Fintechs in emerging Europe have seen a surge in demand for their services since the start of the Covid-19 crisis as consumers move away from cash and businesses look for new sources of credit.

Three leading firms in the region tell Euromoney they have seen a sharp rise in both transaction volumes and new clients since March.

Ivo Gueorguiev, co-founder of Bulgarian fintech Paynetics, says interest in the group’s e-commerce products has soared as smaller businesses across Europe have rushed to go digital.

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Ivo Gueorguiev, Paynetics 

“Many traders didn’t have an online presence before the crisis, but with shops closed it’s the only way for them to survive,” he says. “We’ve seen increasing demand for virtual PoS [point-of-sale] terminals and other payment solutions.”

In April, Paynetics’ e-commerce processing volume increased by 20%, while average transaction value was up by more than 50%

A new software PoS terminal for Android phones, Phos, is also proving popular with the owners of shuttered restaurants and shops.

“They are trying to find ways to stay in business, and one is to deliver food or drink to people’s homes, but no one wants to use cash anymore and they weren’t set up to take card payments,” says Gueorguiev.

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