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Business in Poland

Law, tax and banking. Chapter 6

6.3.4. Card Payments

The payment card is one of the fastest growing payment methods in Poland. Nearly 16.9 million cards issued by commercial banks were in use at the end of 2004, an increase of 11.8% compared to year-end 2003. Customers had over 8000 ATM s at their disposal. Debit cards still dominate the market, although their share of that market is steadily declining, coming down to 84.5% in 2004. The share of credit cards rose from 7.8% to 11.8%, whereas the share of charge cards fell down to 3.7%.

Payment cards

especially debit cards - will definitely play a major role in the

further development of the Polish retail banking market. Their share of payment transactions is still not impressive, though. PolCard is the leading card process- ing company, with a retail network of almost 40,000 point-of-sale terminals. The company has relationships with many of the leading card-issuing banks and fi- nancial institutions. The majority of shares in PolCard was acquired by GTECH's in 2003. GTECH is a U.S. information technology company that provides soft-

ware, networks, and transaction processing solutions.

The majority of cards issued by Polish banks have links with international pay- ment card schemes such as VISA International, Eurocard/MasterCard Interna- tional American Express or Diners Club.

There is currently no e-purse (stored-value) card scheme operating in Poland. However, regional pilot programs with chip card technology have been imple- mented at a local/regional level.

6.3.5. Postal Instruments

The Polish Post Office is permitted to carry out postal transfers (which can be used for transferring money between consumers having no bank accounts), cash payments into bank accounts as well as processing pension and disability allow- ance payments. The postal network consists of approximately 7,600 Post Office branches throughout Poland. Most of these branches do not have bank ac- counts, but instead hold accounts with larger Post Office branches (holding bank accounts). As stated above, the Post Office is able to process cash payments into bank accounts with the National Clearing House (KIR) effecting the settle- ment of such payments.

6.4. Payment Systems

6.4.1. SORBNET - HighValue/Urgent Clearing

Real-time gross settlement system (SORBNET) is operated and owned by the National Bank of Poland. SORBNET commenced its operations in March 1996.

Danske Bank / KPMG / Mazanti-Andersen, Korsø Jensen & Partnere January 2006

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