First Romanian bank customers will probably be able to use Blik later this year
According to information obtained by cashless.pl, the beginning of the long-announced international expansion of Blik is approaching. The Polish fintech is holding advanced talks on this matter in Romania. Appropriate recommendations are currently being prepared by the Romanian Association of Bank Employers (equivalent of the Polish Bank Association), on the basis of which Romanian institutions will be able to make Blik available to their clients. Work related to obtaining appropriate permissions is also underway. Sources of cashless.pl report that the first Romanian banks may implement Blik as early as this year.
The press office of Polski Standard Płatności (Blik's operator) does not confirm this information, but does not deny it either. "In accordance with previous announcements, we are intensively working on the development of Blik outside Polish borders. In due course we will inform about facts related to this project", I read in a statement sent to cashless.pl editorial office in response to my question about implementation in Romania.
According to cashless.pl information, until recently the first country outside of Poland, where Blik was supposed to be launched, was Ukraine. Unfortunately, the plans were thwarted by Putin's Russian aggression. Nevertheless, contacts with the Ukrainian financial sector are being developed and have resulted, among others, in a quick opening of an account of the Ukrainian central bank in the Polish Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.
As I have already mentioned, Blik has announced its overseas expansion for a long time. So far, it came down to enabling Blik payments in many foreign shops and e-commerce platforms, thanks to the addition of this tool by foreign operators such as PPRO. More recently, Blik can also be used to pay at any contactless terminal in the world that accepts Mastercard cards.
It is known, however, that Polish fintech can count on a surge in the number of customers only when banks abroad start offering it to personal account holders. And it looks like efforts in this direction have been intensified thanks to, among others, the enlargement of the team - Michał Szymański, former vice-president of KIR, has recently joined it. At PSP he is responsible for the company's strategy in new markets.
PSP data shows that Blik is already used by more than 10 million bank customers in Poland. So the growth opportunities on the domestic market are still large, because the number of customers using mobile banking in Poland reaches 20 million.
Potentially, in terms of the number of customers Blik can grow here by another 100 percent. But the customer base in Poland will be exhausted sooner or later, so the development abroad is needed if the representatives of Blik want to grow a unicorn (a startup worth 1 billion dollars). When Mastercard took over part of the shares in PSP a few years ago, it paid over PLN 83 million for them, which made it possible to value the Blik operator at around PLN 600 million.