Discusses the most common methods of payment, information on Foreign Exchange controls and Banking Systems, and U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks.
Methods of Payment
Goods and services can be paid for in cash or by using non-cash payment options. The Estonian payments market has advanced a long way over the years and electronic methods are mainly used for payments. More than 99 percent of payments made through banks are initiated through electronic channels and only 1 percent use non-electronic options like cash payments, paper-based payment orders or checks. Around half of card payments are contactless in Estonia. The limit for contactless payments was raised at the start of the pandemic to €50, and most countries in Europe have a similar limit.
Ranking of online payment methods:
1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
2. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer’s personal internet banking environment)
4. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
5. SEPA Direct Debit
6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, Wise)
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.
The Bank of Estonia, known as “Eesti Pank,” is the independent central bank. As Estonia is part of the Euro zone, the core tasks of the Bank are to help to define the monetary policy of the European Community and to implement the monetary policy of the European Central Bank. Eesti Pank is also responsible for holding and managing Estonian official foreign exchange reserves, supervising overall financial stability, maintaining reliable and well-functioning payment systems, and the circulation of cash in Estonia.
Estonian banks offer a full range of services. Estonian banking has developed well-functioning electronic transaction systems. Debit and credit cards are widely used in everyday transactions. The Estonian Banking Association tracks information about the banking sector. The Financial Intelligence Unit maintains a list of licensed financial institutions in Estonia.
Foreign Exchange Controls
Estonia joined the euro zone in 2011. There are no controls on currency exchange.
U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
There are no U.S. banks in Estonia. Most local commercial banks maintain correspondent relationships with U.S. banks.
For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statements.