Payment card transactions data – a new data source for the production of statistics and performing economic analysis

  • 2022-01-12
  • Latvijas Banka

Latvijas Banka starts publishing new statistics – weekly data on payments made at points of sale (POS) in Latvia and abroad, using payment cards issued by the major Latvian credit institutions. The data are available in the statistical database INTS of Latvijas Banka (, and they will be updated on a weekly basis at 11.30 each Wednesday.

The new statistics will include the following information: the number and value of domestic and cross-border payments made at various POS in Latvia and abroad with cards issued by the major Latvian credit institutions; the merchant category; the country of the merchant; the payment initiation channel (non-remotely or remotely).

The time-span from the development of an idea to the data inclusion in Latvijas Banka's statistical database INTS was approximately a year. Latvijas Banka is grateful to the major Latvian credit institutions, which were willing and ready to share the data at their disposal without identifying the card holder.

The new data will be used to compile the balance of payments statistics for the purpose of estimation of travel and e-commerce as well as for the production of payment statistics, national accounts statistics and gross domestic product. At the same time, these data will enable both economists of Latvijas Banka and any other interested parties to conduct a more meaningful and faster analysis of Latvia's economic developments, since the aforementioned data provide a detailed insight into the household spending behaviour. The assessment by economists of Latvijas Banka concerning the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on household consumption at various POS will be published next week.

"As some would say, "Data are today's oil". Reliable and quickly available data are of paramount importance not only for businesses but also for the economy at large. The more information becomes available, the easier it is for policy makers to take informed decisions. I would like to thank both my colleagues at Latvijas Banka and cooperation partners in credit institutions for the work they have done to create this new type of data. Payment card data comprise the best features and advantages of the traditional statistics (reliability, extensive analysis) and real-time data (timeliness, instant information on the latest economic developments and behaviour of economic agents). I am sure that these data will be useful not only for researchers of Latvijas Banka but also for other institutions. Therefore, we have provided free access to the data to everyone interested," emphasises Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor of Latvijas Banka.

Latvijas Banka carries out several tasks significant for the functioning of the economy and financial system. One of the most important tasks is the collection, storage and processing of statistical data, as well as the development, compilation, analysis and dissemination of statistical information pursuant to the Law on Latvijas Banka. Latvijas Banka compiles monetary and financial statistics, banknote statistics, payment and payment system statistics, financial stability statistics, balance of payments and international investment position statistics, as well as actively contributes to the compilation of statistical data at European level.

Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka raise public awareness of the development of the economy and the monetary system, the current situation and the implemented economic policy. Latvijas Banka is also actively engaged in educating the general public on various economic topics.

The team of Latvijas Banka's economists consists of more than 10 PhDs who are involved in different areas of research. Latvijas Banka also maintains a set of the most advanced economic modelling tools in Latvia which are used to analyse current developments of the Latvian economy and draft economic policy proposals. Articles, commentaries, opinions, working papers and other analyses by economists of Latvijas Banka are available on