BLIK: An in-depth guide


Accept payments online, in person, and around the world with a payments solution built for any business—from scaling startups to global enterprises.

Learn more 
  1. Introduction
  2. Where is BLIK used?
  3. Who uses BLIK?
  4. How BLIK works
  5. Business benefits of accepting BLIK
  6. BLIK security measures
  7. Requirements for businesses to accept BLIK
  8. BLIK alternatives

BLIK is a Polish mobile payment system operated by Polski Standard Płatności. Launched in 2015, BLIK represents a major innovation in the Polish payment market, with 15.8 million active users who made nearly 1.8 billion transactions in 2023.

BLIK allows its users to make payments and send money via an app-generated code linked to each user’s banking app and phone number. It’s known as a convenient and secure method of making ecommerce purchases, peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, and in-store contactless payments. BLIK’s large user base, increasing transaction volumes, and expansion into new markets indicate a strong and growing position in the mobile payment market.

What’s in this article?

  • Where is BLIK used?
  • Who uses BLIK?
  • How BLIK works
  • Business benefits of accepting BLIK
  • BLIK security measures
  • Requirements for businesses to accept BLIK
  • BLIK alternatives

Where is BLIK used?

BLIK is primarily used in Poland but has spread to other European countries, after acquiring the Slovakian company VIAMO in 2022—as part of its strategy to integrate with European banking apps—and entering the Romanian market in 2023. BLIK has also partnered with payment solutions providers, which has made BLIK a payment option on more ecommerce platforms. This collaboration, among others, has helped BLIK stay competitive in the alternative payments industry.

Who uses BLIK?

BLIK’s primary users find different benefits to the payment system, from its convenience to its versatility across various platforms and devices. This broad appeal has contributed to BLIK’s widespread use and continued growth in Poland’s financial environment. BLIK’s primary users consist of the following groups:

  • Retail shoppers: Many Polish people who shop in brick-and-mortar stores use BLIK to make payments. It’s quick and secure, allowing users to pay without swiping a card or entering a PIN. Retailers such as supermarkets, clothing stores, and electronics shops often accept BLIK.

  • Online shoppers: BLIK is a go-to payment method for online shoppers in Poland. Ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces have integrated BLIK as a payment option, allowing users to make purchases with just a few taps on their mobile devices. The simplicity and speed make it a popular choice for online transactions.

  • Young adults and students: BLIK is popular among younger adults and students who value convenience and are more inclined to use mobile-based payment systems. These users often engage in P2P transfers, making it easy to split bills, share expenses, or send money to friends.

  • Service providers: Service-based businesses such as utility companies and telecommunications providers have adopted BLIK for customer payments. This makes it easy for users to pay their bills or top up their phone credits directly from their bank’s mobile app without needing credit card information.

  • Gig economy workers: BLIK is used by gig economy workers such as food delivery drivers and ride-sharing service providers. It allows them to quickly receive payments from customers.

  • ATM users: People who need to withdraw cash but don’t have their physical card find BLIK to be useful. Many ATMs in Poland allow cash withdrawals using BLIK codes.

  • SMEs and small businesses: Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland often use BLIK for their financial transactions. This includes restaurants, cafes, and small retail shops.

  • Parents and families: Parents can use BLIK to send money to their kids and other family members in real time.

How BLIK works

BLIK operates through mobile banking apps. To use BLIK, you need to have an account with a bank that supports it. You can access BLIK in that bank’s app without downloading additional software. BLIK works across all platforms and devices that can access the supported banking app, creating an easy way to pay and send money when you don’t have access to physical cards.

  • Creating a BLIK code: When you want to make a payment or transfer money, you open your banking app and generate a BLIK code. This is a unique six-digit number that serves as your authorization for the transaction. The code changes with each use, adding an extra layer of security.

  • Using a BLIK code to pay: If you’re shopping at a store or paying online, you enter your BLIK code when prompted during checkout. For in-store purchases, you might need to tell the cashier you’re paying with BLIK, then enter the code on a payment terminal.

  • Confirming transactions: After entering the BLIK code, you receive a prompt in your mobile banking app asking you to confirm the transaction. You can review transaction details such as the amount and the recipient before approving it. Once you confirm, the payment is processed instantly.

  • Withdrawing cash at ATMs: At the ATM, you select the BLIK option and enter your BLIK code. Then you confirm the withdrawal through your mobile app, and the ATM dispenses the cash. It’s a simple way to get cash when you don’t have your card.

  • Making P2P transfers: For sending money to friends or family, you can generate a BLIK code and share it with them, or you can use the peer-to-peer feature in the app to send money directly to their mobile phone number. The recipient gets a notification in their banking app and can accept the transfer.

Business benefits of accepting BLIK

  • Fast transactions: BLIK processes payments quickly, allowing businesses to complete transactions in seconds. This speed improves the customer experience and keeps lines moving in retail settings, reducing wait times at checkouts.

  • Reduced payment friction: BLIK’s code system is easy for customers to use and minimizes friction during payment. This simplicity can increase sales, as customers are less likely to abandon purchases because of complicated checkout processes.

  • Broader reach: BLIK is widely used in Poland, giving businesses access to a large customer base. By accepting BLIK, businesses can attract more customers who prefer mobile payment methods, increasing their market reach.

  • Security and fraud prevention: BLIK’s system is designed with strong security features. The unique codes and required transaction confirmations reduce the risk of fraud. This security gives businesses and their customers peace of mind, knowing their financial information is protected.

  • Easier cash management: BLIK’s instant transactions simplify cash management for businesses, reducing the need for handling cash or dealing with delayed card settlements.

  • Ecommerce integration: BLIK is easily integrated into online payment systems and compatible with various platforms, making it ideal for ecommerce businesses.

  • Reduced chargebacks: Because BLIK requires customer confirmation for transactions, businesses might see fewer chargebacks compared to traditional credit card payments. This reduction in chargebacks can lead to fewer disputes and lower costs associated with handling them.

BLIK security measures

BLIK’s combination of unique codes, transaction confirmation, and secure banking apps provides a strong defense against unauthorized transactions and fraud.

  • Unique BLIK codes: Every BLIK transaction requires a unique six-digit code generated by your banking app. This code is valid for only two minutes, reducing the risk of unauthorized use.

  • Transaction confirmation: To complete a transaction, you must confirm it in your banking app. This additional step ensures that you have full control over the transaction, minimizing the risk of unauthorized payments.

  • Secure mobile banking apps: BLIK operates through mobile banking apps, which already have security features such as encryption, biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition), and secure passwords. These measures add a strong layer of protection to your transactions.

  • No information sharing: BLIK transactions do not require sharing sensitive information such as credit card numbers or personal identification data. This reduces the risk of identity theft and fraud during transactions.

  • Fraud detection systems: BLIK employs advanced fraud detection systems to monitor for suspicious activity. If the system detects unusual patterns, it might trigger additional security checks or require extra confirmation.

  • Encryption: The communication between the BLIK system, your banking app, and the payment terminal or online platform is encrypted, protecting sensitive information during transmission.

  • Multifactor authentication: Depending on your bank’s security settings, BLIK might require multifactor authentication (MFA) for added security. This can include verifying your identity through a combination of something you know (a password), something you have (a device), or something you are (biometric data).

Requirements for businesses to accept BLIK

In order to accept BLIK as a payment method, businesses need a merchant account with a payment processor or bank that offers BLIK as a payment option. Almost any business operating in Poland can use BLIK as a payment option, but some sectors (such as high-risk industries) may face additional screening by payment processors.

Once you’ve partnered with a supported payment provider, it will handle the technical integration, merchant agreement process, and required security standards for your ecommerce platform or point-of-sale (POS) system.

  • Integration: The payment provider will offer any required technical resources or application programming interfaces (APIs) for this integration. The complexity of this integration will depend on your existing ecommerce platform or POS provider. Some platforms might have readily available plugins or extensions.

  • Merchant agreement: You’ll need to sign a merchant agreement with your chosen payment processor or bank. This agreement outlines terms and conditions, including fee structures and settlement procedures.

Once you’re able to accept BLIK, it’s recommended to display the BLIK logo on your website and at physical locations as a signal to customers that you accept this convenient payment method.

BLIK alternatives

While BLIK is hugely popular in Poland, businesses operating in these markets should consider integrating multiple payment methods for their customers. BLIK’s primary competitors in the Polish market are outlined below:

  • Debit and credit cards: Debit and credit cards are a mainstream payment method globally.

  • Google Pay and Apple Pay: Google Pay and Apple Pay are popular contactless payment methods tied to smartphone wallets, offering ease and convenience.

  • PayPal: PayPal is a widely trusted online payment platform that lets customers link their bank accounts or cards for quick online purchases.

  • Traditional bank transfers: Bank transfers can be initiated via online banking apps and websites.

  • Quick transfer services: Some banks offer faster transfer services, often known as “express transfers,” that provide near-instant settlement. This is popular in Poland through services such as Przelewy24.

  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers: BNPL services such as Klarna and Afterpay let customers spread payments over installments.

Consider the following factors when choosing which payment options to adopt in a new market:

  • Customer preferences: The payment methods that are popular and preferred among your target market

  • Cost: Fees and transaction costs

  • Security: Security measures to protect customer and business data

  • Integration: How easily these methods can be integrated into your existing ecommerce or POS systems

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

Ready to get started?

Create an account and start accepting payments—no contracts or banking details required. Or, contact us to design a custom package for your business.