It is safe to say that Europe is a mature region in regard to online payments. The euro is used as the national currency in 19 out of 28 member states, and SEPA payment-integration initiative has become an established pan-European method for transferring funds.
Despite debit and credit cards retaining their position as the most popular online payment methods in Europe, the market continues diversifying in terms of local alternative payment systems: Sofort, and Giropay are popular in Germany; iDEAL in the Benelux region; EPS in Austria, and additional systems in other countries. Merchants hoping to expand their operations into additional markets must familiarise themselves with the extensive payment options preferred by local audiences.
The UK is the biggest e-Commerce market in Europe, with a population of 66.65 million people. 92% of adults are using the Internet.
PayPal and debit/credit card payments are the most widespread online payment methods in the UK. According to Statista, in 2019 about 29% of British consumers used digital wallets to make purchases, with PayPal being the most popular eWallet. Other digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, were used by a smaller share of consumers.
Open Banking is an emerging payment method that rapidly gains popularity among British merchants and consumers. According to the statistics, more than 2.5 million UK consumers and businesses already use Open Banking-enabled products to manage their finances and pay online.
The system plugs into over 48 partner banks in the UK, with customers like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, and Monzo able to utilise the real-time, safe and simple payment solution.
Learn more about Open Banking solutions provided by ECOMMPAY here.
With a population of 84 million, Germany is one of the biggest e-Commerce markets in Europe. Revenue in the e-Commerce sector in Germany is projected to reach $94,998 million in 2021.
Germany is one of the most fragmented markets in terms of payment preferences. German consumers prefer to pay with debit and credit cards (Mastercard, Visa), SEPA direct debit, as well as alternative payment methods with PayPal, Sofort, and Giropay being the most popular alternative purchasing methods.
Giropay is a popular real-time online bank transfer method in Germany. Giropay enables customers to make payments directly via their bank account. Since 2006 Giropay has integrated more than 1,500 German banks. Learn more about Giropay and how to connect this payment method here.
Sofort is an overlay banking system covering almost all consumer banks in Germany. Sofort allows accessing 99.9% of the German banks, enabling real-time transaction confirmation, no chargebacks, a high level of security for merchants and consumers, as well as other benefits.
Learn more about Sofort and how to connect this payment method here.
According to statistics, half of Spain's 47 million population is eager to pay for their online purchases using their debit card or credit card, whereas slightly over 40 percent were more inclined to use online payment systems, such as PayPal, as their payment method of choice.
With a population of 11.5 million people, the majority of which are already familiar with online payments, Belgium represents a well-developed and attractive e-Commerce market for doing online business. The number of e-Commerce buyers in the country is expected to hit 8.6 million users by 2025. Overall, the revenue in the e-Commerce sector is projected to reach $6,747 million in 2021, showing an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 4.57%, and resulting in a projected market volume of $8,067m by 2025.
The most popular options for making payments online are Bancontact payment system, debit (Bancontact/Mister Cash) and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), as well as alternative payment options, such as PayPal, iDEAL.
Bancontact is the leading online debit card payment method in Belgium offered by 80% of the local businesses. It is a widespread and trusted payment option in the Belgian market. Collaboration with over 20 different banks in Belgium makes Bancontact a must-have payment solution.
Learn more about the benefits and connecting Bancontact here.
The Netherlands is one of the most diverse and advanced European countries in terms of online payments. Along with bank card payments, such as Visa and Mastercard, Dutch consumers prefer to pay using alternative payment methods with iDeal being the most popular payment option in the country.
Other payment methods, such as SEPA, are also popular.
Offering iDEAL is crucial for a successful online business in the Netherlands. iDeal is a Dutch payment system allowing consumers to pay online through their own bank account. According to Statista, iDeal's market share of online payment methods reached 69% in 2020 dominating online purchases.
To learn more about connecting iDeal payments, click here.
The payments landscape in Portugal is dominated by a local payment solution Multibanco. Other options include card payments, PayPal and other e-Wallets, Open Banking, direct debit, and bank transfers.
MULTIBANCO is a Portuguese interbank network that can be used as a bank transfer or cash payment (run by Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços S.A. or SIBS Payment provider). Multibanco is supported by the main banks in Portugal therefore it is a well-known and widespread payment solution in the country.
Learn more and connect Multibanco method here.
When it comes to payment preferences of online shoppers in Austria, there is no distinct leader. Local consumers prefer to pay with credit and debit cards, use alternative payment methods like EPS, Sofort, PayPal, digital wallets, Open Banking, direct debit, and bank transfers.
EPS is a must-have payment method for a successful e-Commerce business in Austria. It is the main bank transfer payment method in Austria offered by more than 80% of all online merchants in the country.
Find out more about EPS here.
Sofort is one of the payment solutions widely known across several European countries including Austria.
To read more about Sofort, its benefits, and integration options, click here.
Payments with bank cards is the most popular payment option in France. According to Statista, 57% of French consumers prefer to pay via credit or debit card when shopping online. Unlike other leading European e-Commerce markets, such as the UK, card payments in France are dominated by a local card scheme - Cartes Bancaires.
Despite being perceived as a "cash culture", the e-Commerce segment in the country is projected to continue its growth showing an annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 5.58%, and resulting in a projected market volume of $28,611 million by 2025.
Although the adoption of e-payments is smaller than in many other European countries, debit and credit card payments, as well as digital wallet payments are widespread methods of payment in Italy. As per predictions, in 2021, 42% of total e-Commerce purchases in the country are expected to be paid by cards.
Poland represents a developing e-Commerce market with a projected growth rate of (CAGR 2021-2025) 7.28% and is expected to reach the revenue of $13,545 million in the e-Commerce market in 2021.
While direct payment through bank was still the leading payment option for Polish shoppers in 2020, alternative payment systems like PayPal and card payments are right on the edge representing 25% and 24% of online transactions respectively in the country in 2020.
Local payment methods Przelewy24 and BLIK are recommended methods to consider to localise your checkout for Polish users.
Przelewy24 is a must-have for merchants entering the Polish e-Commerce market. Przelewy24 is an online banking payment solution used by more than half of Polish online shoppers. It is a real-time bank transfer system covering all major Polish consumer banks.
Discover Przelewy24 benefits and integration options here.
BLIK is a Polish mobile payment system that allows millions of mobile phone users to pay online, make in-store purchases, and withdraw cash at ATMs.
Find out more about BLIK here.