Blik trebles profits, expands to Romania and Slovakia

Polski Standard Płatności, which operates Blik, the wildly successful Polish payment method, has reported excellent 2022 financial results.

According to Cashless.pltotal revenue grew 88% to €46.4m driven by markedly higher transactions across all channels. Net profit almost trebled to €23.93m. 

Blik, which boasts 13m active users, is a payment standard jointly owned by Mastercard and seven local banks. Blik is not a PSP and does not move money around. The 2022 results may give an indication of size of the open banking payment infrastructure opportunity in other countries. There is profitable revenue to be made. No question. But maybe not at the scale many are hoping for.

During 2022, Blik initiated 1.2bn transactions to a value of €35bn split between retail (eCommerce and POS), ATM and P2P. Across all channels, the take rate was 13bps and revenue per transaction 4 cents. 

Blik’s eCommerce user experience has been notably successful in Poland. Mobile banking apps generate a six-digit code which shoppers enter into the eCommerce checkout page. Shoppers can then ask the website to remember them for one-click checkout next time. Here’s a quick explanation from Millennium Bank, one of Blik’s shareholders.

Blik was used for 714m eCommerce transactions in 2022, up 37% on the previous year. It now accounts for an astonishing 60% of all eCommerce transactions in Poland. Blik has gained share primarily from direct bank transfers rather than credit cards. Online transaction value nudged up 3% to €26.66. 

For years, shoppers could only use Blik at POS by keying a six-digit code into the payment terminal. It’s no surprise that customers preferred to continue using cards. But following Mastercard’s investment, POS transactions are now enabled for NFC using Mastercard network tokens (MDES) which has greatly improved usability. Transactions are growing swiftly from a low base. There were 228m POS transactions in 2022 of which 70m were contactless. Importantly, the partnership with Mastercard allows Poles to pay with Blik at POS terminals outside Poland. 

Dariusz Mazurkiewiczs, Blik’s President, said the good results “allow us to take bold steps in international development on our own.” Blik will shortly launch in Romania and has just  acquired Viamo, a Slovak mobile payment specialist.