Means of Payments

People in Estonia mainly use bank channels to make their payments. The main means of payment used in Estonia are:

  • Card payments, where payment is initiated with the payment card at a point-of-sale terminal. The card payment is a simple, fast and secure method of payment for both the customer and the merchant.
  • Payment orders, which can be given to a bank electronically, on paper or in any other agreed way. The most common form in Estonia is the internet banking payment order, which requires an internet banking agreement.
  • Standing orders, which are regularly repeated payment orders where the bank makes transfers on behalf of the payer at dates agreed in advance. The payer can set the amount the standing order is for when they sign the agreement.
  • E-invoice standing orders, which are payments made automatically at a frequency fixed in advance when e-invoices are sent to the bank.
  • Mobile payments, which are payments initiated from a mobile telephone.

There are also other payment solutions that do not involve cash or funds in accounts held in banks:

  • E-money is a monetary value stored on an electronic device like a plastic card, computer memory or other e-money device. E-money is particularly intended for low-value everyday payments like payments for bus tickets, parking fees or newspapers.
  • Virtual currency or cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that is not issued by a central bank, credit institution or e-money institution. In some cases it can be used as an alternative to money. Central banks and supervisory authorities generally find that there are risks to virtual currency.