Exactly one year ago, at 9.16am, we took our first ever card payment for our first POS client in Malta and Gozo, a lively coffee shop in Qawra. Since that transaction, we have gone on to grow our presence all through the islands, becoming known as a cheaper, flexible alternative provider.
We believe there is a great opportunity in Malta and Gozo for us and are excited about the future of the payments landscape in this innovative island nation.
A survey in March 2020 by the Maltese Central Bank showed that cash is still the preferred payment method for the Maltese, probably since locals and tourists alike know it is accepted everywhere, as well as it being a matter of mediterranean habit. The same survey reported that 30% of the Maltese population do not use a debit card, and 50% do not use a credit card.
However, since March a lot has changed. Many consumers in Malta are avoiding handling cash now, as they see it as unhygienic. Maltese businesses, even the more traditional ones, have been quick to adapt and offer more ways to pay by card, or digitally – such as pay-by-link which is when a business can send the client a link to make their payment by email, on Facebook private messenger, by WhatsApp or SMS. Even though shops are re-opening we predict continued high demand from locals for such contactless options, and we may start to see digital payments overtake cash for the first time.
We also see increased demand for different types of ways to pay, especially for tourists. Last year, around 650,000 tourists were welcomed to the Maltese islands from the UK alone – the biggest source market of tourists to Malta. If we take the UK market as an example, as a society the UK strongly prefers card payments over cash. As tourist season starts warming up again in Malta and Gozo, we will see an influx of tourists requesting to pay using cards or other cashless options. We will see more of the less frequently used cards such as Amex – or even more unusual payments like Apple Pay or other digital wallets. Our services can help merchants of any size to accept all major credit cards whether they are a small family owned café or a hotel chain.
Maltese retailers today cannot afford not to accept cards and they need to be ready to accept all these methods that tourists are accustomed to using at home or in other countries they travel to, in the process growing their own businesses and helping to boost the national economy.
We would like to thank all of our clients in Malta and Gozo for their support and look forward to growing your business with you over the coming years.