The mobile payments opportunity for tourist-focused businesses in Croatia

Auka attends Mobile World Congress 2019
March 11, 2019
Auka participates in Virke Hackathon …and our very own UX Lead, Martin Braaten Grina, wins!
March 28, 2019

Last week, we had the opportunity to present at the 3T Conference (Tourism, Travel & Tech) in Croatia; one of the leading events dedicated to unite tourism and IT as the most important branch of the Croatian economy.

Our Global Head of Sales, Sara Rasmussen took the stage to discuss the opportunity of mobile payments for tourist-focused businesses in Croatia. Here, we wanted to play a role to educate audiences on business growth and increased revenue from mobile payments versus cash.

This event comes off the back of our announcement late 2018 where we unveiled our plans to launch our mobile payment product, “Settle” in Croatia this year. Our intention at 3T was to understand local businesses better, and to show audiences the possibilities for growth with mobile payments.

In the presentation, we dived into the significant untapped revenue potential that mobile payments represent in the tourist industry in Croatia. And here’s why:

  1. In 2019 financial services will be democratised as a result of PSD2. Both consumers and businesses will be able to freely choose what financial services they want to use. We will no longer be dependent on the tools we get from our bank, and we are free to choose services that solve everyday problems for us
  2. Every year 700, 000 Scandinavian tourists visit Croatia and this number is growing approx 17-23% per year
  3. These 700, 000 tourists have used mobile payments services since 2012 and are the most frequent users of digital payments in general in the world
  4. In Scandinavia 72% of the entire population are using mobile wallets to pay each other and businesses. These tourists are disconnected from cash and find it cumbersome and inconvenient.

As part of our presence at 3T, we wanted to shift the mindset of our audiences, and illustrate all the ways that mobile payments could benefit the tourism industry. Whether it is paying for accommodation, jumping in and out of a taxi, or buying food from local restaurants, mobile payments can revolutionise the way tourists travel in Croatia, and more importantly, revolutionise the way local businesses in Croatia can accept payments.

The great news is that there is an obvious and strong willingness of Croatian businesses and the tourism industry to evolve with the trends of mobile payments. Our recent research indicates that 77 percent of Croatians acknowledge that mobile payments will be the number one form of payment in the next decade, so they know it’s coming. Our role now is to help take this concept and turn it into a real business strategy for Croatian businesses, and we’re excited for that journey.