Q1 2018 overview of payment institution sector

Finantsinspektsioon has published a short review of the developments in the Estonian payment institution sector in the first quarter of 2018 and of the main risks to the sector.

Payment institutions operating in Estonia mediated payments of 120.4 million euros in the first quarter of 2018, which is 6% less than in the final quarter of last year.


Key indicators

Q4 2017   Q1 2018
Value of payments 127.9 mln € 120.4 mln €
Number of payments 1.05 mln 0.97 mln
Profit 0.9 mln € 0.8 mln €
Return on equity (annualised) 13.2% 19.3%
Own funds requirement coverage 761% 854%


The number of payments was 9% smaller in the first quarter than in the previous quarter and a total of 0.97 million payments were made. The average size of a payment transaction was 126 euros, which was 3% larger than in the last quarter of last year.


Payment institutions earned profit of 0.8 million euros in the first quarter.

The return on equity of the sector climbed in the first quarter from 13.2% to 19.3%.

The payment institution sector continues to be well capitalised with own funds meeting the requirements 8.54 times over.

Main development trends and risks

  • There is a heightened interest from the new market participants to enter the Estonian payment services market.
  • Provision of payment services is not the main source of income for most payment institutions. Payment institutions earn only 16% of the income of the sector through provision of payment services.
  • A little over half, or 58%, of payment transactions are domestic, meaning the providers of the payment service to both the payer and the recipient are located in Estonia.
  • The largest potential danger to the payment services sector remains money-laundering risk.