eCommerce sales ballooned to 691 billion1 Euros across Europe in 2019. While Europeans are united in their growing adoption of ecommerce, their preferences vary wildly when it comes to how they like to pay. European consumers demand trusted local payment solutions and merchants must localize their payment acceptance strategies to satisfy consumer expectations in each country where they do business.
Localizing payment options is essential
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Cart abandonment rates across Europe are over 70%.2 Enabling consumers to make both cross-border and local online purchases using their preferred methods grows your customer base, reduces cart abandonment and creates repeat buyers.
Businesses must adapt to the needs of mature and developing markets
The UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany are the top-five ecommerce markets in Europe.3 Over 80% of their respective populations have made an online purchase in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, Central and Eastern European countries such as Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia are experiencing the most growth—15 percentage points or more between 2013 and 2018.
To do business successfully across such diverse markets, businesses must be prepared to accept many payment options, including:
Bank transfers – Local services, such as iDEAL in the Netherlands and Giropay in Germany, are gaining popularity throughout the region.
Credit and debit cards – In general, European cardholders are able to pay with one card all over Europe.
SEPA transfers – Direct bank transfers via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) are available in all 27 member countries, as well as non-EU members of the European Economic Area.
Real-time payments – Real-time payments, such as Faster Payments and Bankgirot in Sweden are popular because they offer immediate funds availability.
Cash – Cash-on-delivery (COD) is favored in Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
eWallets – PayPal remains the most used ewallet across Europe.
Here Are the Most Popular Payment Methods in Europe’s Top Markets.
Most popular payment methods in Europe are measured as percent of total online payment value in each country.4
59% of the population is making purchases online making France a great opportunity for ecommerce expansion.
Top ecommerce payment methods in France
- Cards – 53.9%
- eWallet – 20.9%
- Bank Transfer – 13.2%
Germans are among the populations most open to making cross-border purchases in the EU.
Top ecommerce payment methods in Germany
- eWallet – 26%
- Direct Debit – 20%
- Open Invoice – 20%
- Card – 13%
Italians are increasingly adopting ewallets as a popular payment method, with PayPal leading in terms of adoption.
Top ecommerce payment methods in Italy
- Card – 33.8%
- eWallet – 32.3%
- Bank Transfer – 11.6%
Only 39% of the population uses credit cards, and the average ecommerce spend per person is $1,030.61, making local payment methods, like iDeal bank transfers, critical to unlocking this market.
Top ecommerce payment methods in the Netherlands
- Bank Transfer – 60%
- Cards – 16%
- eWallet – 7%
- Cash – 5%
Poland’s population is less affluent than most EU countries and less digitally connected. However, as an emerging economy with a population of over 38 million people, Poland shouldn’t be overlooked.
Top ecommerce payment methods in Poland
- Bank Transfer – 50%
- Card – 22%
- eWallet – 15%
- Cash – 10%
Cash and credit cards remain the most popular payment methods in Spain.
Top ecommerce payment methods in Spain
- Card – 43.2%
- eWallets – 27.7%
- Bank Transfer – 16.4%
Sweden is closer than most European nations to becoming a cashless economy. In 2018, a survey by the country’s central bank found that only 13% of adults used cash for purchases.
Top ecommerce payment methods in Sweden
- Cards – 41.5%
- Bank Transfer – 23%
- Open Invoice – 22.8%
When it comes to online purchases, the UK leads in Europe. 87% of the population bought something online in the last 12 months.5
Top ecommerce payment methods in the United Kingdom
- Card – 53%
- Digital Wallet – 25%
- Cash – 7%
Want to know which local payment methods to accept to drive sales in Eastern and Central Europe, such as bank transfers and ewallets in countries like Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria? Read Rapyd’s Eastern and Central Europe eCommerce Explorer: People and Payment Trends.
Get In-Depth Data on Local European Payment Preferences
Download the Rapyd European Economic Profiles and Opportunities Guide Book
Open new markets and create new opportunities across Europe.
4. J.P. Morgan 2019 Payments Trends Global Insights Report: Data Provided by Edgar, Dunn and Company.