From an initial analysis of payment instruments other than cash, there are significant discrepancies between countries. Specifically, Luxembourg stands out due to the number of transactions as well as the proportions, with a prevalence of payment card transactions, which increased from 2012 to 2105 by almost 20%. This method of payment does not have the same degree of development between the countries examined, but is still increasing throughout the Euro area (+7.7%) with growth peaks in Eastern Europe at the expense of checks, which are seeing a widespread reduction. In France, on the other hand, checks are still comparatively widely used, albeit diminishing, with the number of checks much higher than the European average. The high level of cards per capita in Anglo-Saxon countries is also confirmed in the Survey.
The framework outlined by the Survey highlights a certain delay in Italy in terms of the diffusion of electronic payment instruments compared to the international context. However, looking at the number of payment cards per capita shows a slow but progressive growth (+ 8.7% electronic payments in 2016) compared to previous years. An additional indicator highlighting Italy's underdevelopment compared to other European countries is the relationship between the value of transactions made with payment cards and GDP. Italy is ranked in one of the lowest positions and well below the European average (13.6%). In fact, the figure is 9.6%, up from 7.5% in 2011.
The scenario is set to change with the introduction of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which will come into force on January 13, 2018, part of the framework of modernization of the legislative framework for the European retail payments market, aimed at developing secure, efficient, competitive and innovative electronic payment systems for consumers and businesses.
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