Payment indicator

20 January 2016



Weak development in payment activity

Despite a small increase in Danish debit card (Dankort) payments and account-to-account transfers, the Danish Bankers Association’s payment indicator shows an overall weak development in payment activities in Quarter 4 of 2015.
 
Fresh figures from Nets and the Danish Bankers Association on monetary transactions show that the use of Danish debit cards and account transfers has increased, while the use of paying-in slips remains unchanged compared with the same period last year.
 
Excluding price trends and mobile payments, the use of Danish debit cards increased by 3 pct. in Quarter 4 of 2015, compared with the same period in 2014, while account transfers increased by 2.5 pct. The use of paying-in slips remained, on the whole, unchanged in relation to the same quarter last year.
 
“The new figures for payment activity are not impressive and growth is under the average for the period from 2004 to today,” Chief Economist at the Danish Bankers Association, Niels Storm Stenbæk, states and continues:
 
“The weak development in the last months of 2015 is a sign of real consumption upswing struggling to take hold and that willingness to buy amongst Danish companies and consumers is still scarce.”
 
Below you can see the development in Quarter 4 in the three underlying elements.

 
Figure: Development in payment activity compared with the previous year
 
Source: Transaction statistics from the Danish Bankers Association and Nets.
Note: The figures are adjusted for general consumer price trends. Danish debit card figures are adjusted for mobile payments. 
 
The payment indicator shows a three month cumulative average of the current development in payment activities and was at -0.40 in Quarter 4 of 2015, compared with 0.06 in the previous quarter.
 
 

Danish debit card: a more commonly used payment method

Throughout a longer period changes in the use of different payment forms have taken place. Mobile payments make up a larger percent of the overall Danish debit card payments. However, a considerable part of these are in fact transfers and therefore cannot be categorised as real consumption.
 
In addition, automatic card payments are being used to a greater extent to pay bills instead of transfers via services, such as Direct Debit (Betalingsservice). Automatic card payments withdraw money directly from the consumer’s payment card instead of the consumer’s account, which can lead to larger Danish debit card consumption overall.
 
 
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Payment Indicator
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
January
-0,14
-2,32
-0,80
-0,32
-0,77
-0,12
0,29
0,03
February
0,52
-2,85
-0,13
-0,62
-0,64
-0,01
0,26
-0,01
March
0,40
-3,20
0,25
-0,67
-1,02
0,53
0,19
0,40
April
0,46
-3,19
0,26
-0,54
-1,29
0,81
0,19
0,51
May
-0,29
-2,81
0,14
-0,51
-1,17
0,70
-0,01
0,64
June
0,04
-2,45
-0,85
-0,29
-1,16
0,44
0,78
-0,20
July
-0,40
-1,58
-1,25
-0,81
-1,05
0,53
0,69
-0,15
August
-0,99
-1,55
-0,70
-0,90
-1,24
0,52
0,65
-0,07
September
-1,05
-1,64
-0,61
-0,92
-1,38
1,36
0,06
0,06
October
-1,32
-2,13
-0,02
-0,90
-0,76
0,64
0,20
-0,16
November
-1,62
-1,63
-0,37
-1,06
-0,46
0,52
0,37
-0,23
December
-1,69
-1,04
-0,53
-0,94
-0,09
0,04
0,28
-0,40
.  

​About the payment indicator

The Danish Bankers Association’s payment indicator takes the pulse of the economic activity based on the last three months. On the basis of three variables, an indicator is calculated based on a principal component analysis.

The following data sources form the basis of the calculation:

- Dankort-spending
- Bank account transfers
- Payment slip

The extent of payments is compared to the year before to adjust for seasonal fluctuations, and the data series are deflated with the consumer price index to give the payment indicator real economic relevance. 
 
New figures of the payment indicator are published approx. 11 days in the month following a terminated quarter. Any revisions to the historical data will also be incorporated in the data set.

 
Source: NETS and the Danish Bankers Association 
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