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Online payment methods in Europe

Every country in Europe is different. It is no surprise consumers of these countries have different preferences in online payment methods. Here, we will keep you updated on the latest trends in payment methods in Europe.

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In Europe there are many different payment methods available. There are also many local players. Consumers often prefer these over big international players. Therefore merchants often work with one of the many payment providers that have a gateway to several payment solutions.

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Popular online payment methods in Europe

Using online payment methods is becoming more common in Europe. At least 70 percent of German consumers, for example, use online payments, according to the Statista Global Consumer Survey. Countries like the UK, France, or Italy also reach shares above 50 percent.

According to research by Payvision in 2021, European consumers prefer using digital wallets (44 percent). This is followed by payments by card (42 percent) and PayPal is in third place (32 percent).

1 Digital wallets 44 percent
2 Card 42 percent
3 PayPal 32 percent
4 Local payment method 11 percent
5 Pay on delivery 11 percent
6 Apple/Google/Samsung Pay 3 percent

Digital wallets are among the most popular online payment methods in Europe.

Local popular payment methods

When comparing regions in Europe, it becomes clear that there are many big differences in payment preferences among the countries. For example, in the Netherlands the credit card is not very popular. Instead, 83 percent of the Dutch use the national payment method iDeal for online purchases.

There are many differences in preference per country.

And in Germany, consumers prefer to pay by digital wallets and invoice (53 and 42 percent, respectively), followed by direct bank transfers. Belgians prefer the national payment method Bancontact (53 percent). Consumers in the UK have a preference for credit cards (50 percent).

Spanish consumers prefer using PayPal (50 percent), while Italians and French consumers prefer other digital wallets.  The digital wallet that is most commonly used in Europe is PayPal. In Germany, France, Italy and the UK, 90 percent or more of the online payment users paid with PayPal in 2022. digital wallets europe

Cash-on-delivery popular in Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, cash-on-delivery is still very popular. In Slovakia for example, 72 percent of online purchases is made this way! Romanian consumers often use prepaid cards when ordering online, according to research in 2022. And in Poland, the majority of people use Payu, Przelewy24 or BLIK.

Adapt your offer in your online store to not miss out on sales.

One might think that when you offer a digital wallet, Visa/Mastercard and a domestic bank credit or debit card, you are welcoming all shoppers in Europe. You should adapt your offer in your online store to each country if you don’t want to miss out on sales.

Online payment preferences per country

Below, we’ve listed the most popular payment methods in European countries, which were published in research in 2021.

The UK Visa + Mastercard (50%)
The Netherlands iDeal (83%)
Germany Digital Wallets (53%)
Belgium Bancontact (53%)
Italy Digital Wallets (53%)
Spain PayPal (50%)
France Digital Wallets (46%)

Updated: December 2022