How much do you know about the Payments & Gift Card landscape in Greece?

Recently, our Founder, Hadie travelled to Greece with her family and studied the payment and gift card landscape in the country while she was there and was surprised at how little she or her Greek born husband knew.

Here are 9 quick and interesting facts she discovered:

1. Cash is still the primary means of payment in Greece.  According to BusinessWire,  to promote electronic payments in the country the government introduced a new law effective from January 1, 2020, mandating salaried workers, pensioners, property landlords, freelance professionals, and farmers in Greece to spend at least 30% of their annual income via electronic payment methods such as debit and credit cards. To benefit from the growing preference for alternative payments, banks and payment service

2. Providers are launching new payment solutions. In June 2019, digital payment solution Apple Pay launched in Greece. In November 2020, Google launched its Google Pay digital wallet in Greece. The solution enables users to make in-app, in-store, and online payments using stored payment card details. The solution is now supported by various issuers in Greece including Curve, Monese, N26, Revolut and Viva Wallet.

Payments expert, Vasilis Larentzakis, at emerchantpay, says “Issued cards in Greece in 2019 were debit cards (15,4M) and credit cards (3,3M). That gives a dominant percentage of 79% to debit cards. Given the fact that Buy Now Pay Later is growing rapidly worldwide it won’t be too late until we see such a solution in the retail Greek industry, where lending is dominated by banks (credit cards) and big retailers (instalments self-funded), allowing SME businesses to offer such a service to their customers. Buy Now Pay Later will allow customers to split basic expenses (ex. Clothing, school expenses, home equipment etc.) without having to stretch their finances. Let’s not forget that the cost of living in Greece is one of the highest in the EU (786€ is the cost of life/person/month) with an average salary of 960€ (Feb’ 20).”

3. The Gift Card industry in the country is expected to grow by 9.5% this year, 2021/22 and the buying of cryptocurrencies through gift cards is adding to this growth

4. Leading online retailers such as,, and have a strong presence in the gift card market. Besides online retailers, domestic shopping malls and grocery retailers are also offering gift cards to attract consumers. For instance, Mediterranean Cosmos, one of the largest shopping malls in Northern Greece has a hugely successful gift card programme that offers its gift cards which can be redeemed at more than 200 stores in the mall.

5. Moreover, some of the popular gift cards available in Greece include IKEA gift cards and Zara gift cards.

6. The gift card market also recorded substantial demand from the corporate sector. This trend is giving opportunity for gift card issuers to target this consumer base. For instance, Edenred, a French gift card, and meal voucher provider has been increasing its market share by offering Ticket Compliments Gift Card targeting corporates in Greece. Corporates have the option to customize this gift card according to their needs.

7. The Piraeus Prepaid Gift Card was the first prepaid card in Greece to offer contactless transactions.

8. According to the Greek e-Commerce Association (GRECA) survey, over 7,000 businesses have digital & ecommerce outlets and an estimated 3.8 million online users in Greece. Therefore, to target this large consumer base, online retailers are now implementing personalised gift cards.

9. (REUTERS) – Greece is offering young people a €150 Travel Gift Card called Freedom Pass to receive their first shot against Covid-19 as part of a government drive to boost vaccination rates ahead of the summer holiday season.

If you have any comments you’d like to make on the Greek Payments & Gift Card Landscape, please email


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