Since the outbreak of the pandemic, consumers have changes their payment preferences – most now use contactless or online payment. According to a Visa study only 16% of the respondents plan to return to their previous payment habits after the pandemic [1]. Meanwhile, large companies, banks and small businesses are developing digital sales and customer service channels. There is only one conclusion – the recovery of the economy will be linked to digitalisation.

The Polish are open to these changes. Research commissioned by Visa and conducted by Ipsos shows that the vast majority of Polish internet users (as many as ¾ of them) buy products online at least once a month, and 86% of them choose to pay by card [2]. This fact gives publishers a significant advantage – e.g. transaction data gives insight into how and where the Poles are spending their money. Will banks use this to anticipate future customer needs, meet their expectations, as well as build better customer relationships?

The sudden need for digitisation, however, has also meant that millions of small businesses that have so far only accepted cash payments have had to adapt quickly to the new conditions. According to Visa research, less than half of such businesses in Europe are able to accept transactions online [3]. It is crucial for financial institutions to support entrepreneurs in this difficult period and enable them to adapt to new market conditions. The economy will not recover unless small entrepreneurs get back on their feet.

Digital transformation is underway and happening before our eyes. The question is whether banks and other financial institutions will adapt skilfully to the new circumstances and seize the opportunities offered by new technologies, improve their chances of emerging from the crisis successfully and pave the way for their development in the new reality.


Key issues:

  • Online payment development in Poland vs. the rest of Europe
  • Support for economic recovery by financial institutions – results and future plans
  • The turn to e-commerce as an opportunity for small businesses – how can financial institutions assist in this process?
  • The expectations of a new generation of consumers vs. technological capabilities – the direction of payment innovation in the coming years


[1] Visa Back to Business Study

[2] Survey commissioned by Visa and conducted by Ipsos on a representative sample of 1000 internet users aged 18-65 for each CEE market – 4000 in total, Autumn 2020.

[3] Visa Back to Business Study

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European Financial Congress2-4 June 2025


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