Popular payment methods in Europe in 2022

Payment methods are integral to the success of e-commerce businesses. Knowing which payment methods are preferred by customers can increase conversion for online stores. Genome, a financial platform based in Lithuania, has compiled a list of current trends and the most popular methods in Europe.

The payments industry is still moving forward and due to covid businesses had to adapt and move online as lockdowns hit countries in 2020. The pandemic itself has spurred trends payments. Lithuania-based financial platform Genome has listed the biggest changes and the state of the market in Europe.

Electronic payments are becoming more mainstream, an increase in the use of mobile payments and digital wallets, the implementation of contactless payments in non-commerce settings, to name a few. In countries where cash on delivery remained popular, customers had to use payment terminals brought by delivery agents or order delivery to lockers to avoid using physical cash.

E-commerce payment methods are multiplying

Financial services are becoming more digital day by day, allowing faster and more user-friendly features to emerge for customers and new players. In Europe, the implementation of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) has contributed significantly to this. The directive has encouraged the adoption of online banking tools and enhanced the security of online purchases. With these, customers can now use third-party providers for more convenient and secure banking services.

“PSD2 has enhanced the security of online purchases.”

For merchants, this can be an efficient way to run their business, as companies like Genome offer the tools to accept payments across Europe in different currencies. All major payment methods are available in one financial system. This way, the e-commerce business doesn’t have to connect each of them separately, connecting with different acquirers looking for more options.

Current popular payment methods in Europe

It is expected that more third-party payment services will appear after PSD2 enabled Payment Initiation Services (PIS) to simplify electronic transactions. But what are currently the preferred means of payment in Europe?

Great Britain

Customers from Great Britain still prefer to use debit and credit cards when making payments online. No wonder, since 69% of adults have credit cards. E-commerce merchants are also pushing cards as the payment method of choice: 99% of them offer their customers to use Visa or Mastercard. Over 60% also accept American Express.

“UK customers prefer debit and credit cards.”

Nevertheless, the use of digital wallets has also gained popularity recently. Digital wallets are even expected to compete with cards in the payment method market in the future. For now, the most common options are PayPal, Google Pay.

Germany

Open Invoice is prevalent here, its popularity is only expected to increase to 35% by 2023. Apart from this, companies selling online also frequently offer customers to pay with Visa, Mastercard, prepay option (66%), digital wallets, and the Sofort payment service.

Other common online payment methods include local Giropay, Girocard and paydirekt, Apple Pay, Sofort, Klarna, Splitit, PayPal.

Spain

For now, debit and credit cards remain the payment method of choice for most people, although digital wallets are a close second. It is expected that by 2023 the popularity of cards will start to decline, with digital wallets and bank transfers starting to take over. Notable digital wallets include PayPal and Apple Pay, as well as local options BBVA Wallet and CaixaBank Wallet.

France

Overall, cards dominate the French market for online payment methods. Customers often use the National Blue Card. Other types of cards are less popular, but still around, such as American Express and Visa. Digital wallets are not as common, mainly used in mobile commerce. Popular options include PayPal, Paylib, Lydia, Amazon Pay.

Italy

The surveys provide different data on the ultimate preference of Italians for e-commerce payment methods. Credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, local CartaSi) and digital wallets (PayPal) share the top ranking.

“Credit cards and digital wallets share the top ranking in Italy.”

Before the pandemic, Italians used cash quite often, but now they have to use a more digital approach. Still, the e-commerce cash on delivery method is available on the country’s websites. Bank transfers should become more common for online purchases in 2 years.

Romania

It is one of the countries where the pandemic has had a massive effect on the use of cash. The number of people paying physical cash fell from 45% to 21%. Meanwhile, the popularity of contactless cards has reached 59%.

“Cash on delivery remains popular in Romania.”

Prepaid cards are the most common payment method in e-commerce, with mobile payments following quite a distance behind, but still a close second. What’s interesting is that cash on delivery is still one of the popular payment methods, while residents of the countries we talked about earlier don’t use it as eagerly.

The Netherlands

Most customers prefer local online payment solution iDeal, which has spread nationwide in recent years. Digital wallets and cards take second place – Mastercard, Visa and PayPal are people’s favourites. The Netherlands is very diverse when it comes to the type of e-commerce payment methods. Direct bank payments, invoices, postpay options (Klarna, AfterPay) and cash on delivery are available.

Poland

Direct bank transfers via Przelewy24, BLIK, PayU are what many customers from Poland choose when shopping online. Debit and cards (Mastercard, Visa) are less favorable. Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and a local YetiPay are a little less common, but still widespread. As in the case of Romania, cash on delivery remains one of the options that people tend to return to. Online payment methods such as Paybynet and BLIK also have their demographics here.

Sweden

Swedes are open to several e-commerce payment methods. It’s Klarna BNPL, of course, followed by bills and cards (Visa, Mastercard, Eurocard). And overall, online shopping is extremely common in the country, some of the relevant payment methods are Trustly, Swish, Tink, Qliro, Neteller, Skrill, Klarna, etc.

Finland

Choose the right payment methods on your B2B e-commerce siteHere, the survey data also show various results. All the main options are commonly used: bank transfers, digital wallets and cards. Some of the major payment methods used are Trustly, Klarna, Zimpler, and MobilePay. The number of online payments made by bank transfer is only expected to increase by 2023, not without the help of local Verkkopankki.

What this means for the e-commerce industry

As current statistics show, credit and debit cards are still the kings among payment methods in several European countries. But what is also clear is that there is a shift in the landscape of payment methods, driven by multiple factors. The demographics of alternative payment methods in Europe are growing and it is important that online sellers use them.


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Elaine R. Knight