Popular payment methods in Europe

When it comes to online shopping, credit cards still rule the payments landscape in Europe. But alternate payment methods are growing at a fast pace. The latest data shows us again that you can´t see Europe as one region; every country has its own preferred payment methods. Let’s have a look.

Research organization released its latest report called “Europe Online Payment Methods: First Half 2014” and it shows that cards account for the largest share of business-to-consumer ecommerce transactions in Europe, while digital wallets are second best.

The United Kingdom
The largest contributor to the growth of card payments in the UK is online payment, with annual growth of over 10%. But contactless cards are gaining in popularity: Earlier this year, the monthly value of these kinds of payments in the UK exceeded 125 million euros for the first time.

In Germany, invoice is still the most popular payment method for consumers shopping online. For many of them it’s the most secure and the most convenient method. Credit cards and digital wallets however, are one the rise.

In France, consumers are more eager to pay for their orders by using a credit card. This payment method is followed by PayPal and similar services. The year-on-year growth of online credit card payments in France slowed to a single-digit percentage in the first months of this year.

Spain and Italy
The preferences of France are comparable with those in Spain, as the two most popular methods in this Southern European country are Bank Credit Card and PayPal. Meanwhile, in Italy online card spending grew year-on-year every single month in 2013.

Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland
In Sweden the share of online shoppers preferring to pay with credit card decreased between 2012 and 2013. But the credit card still remains the most popular payment method in Sweden. In Denmark and Norway payments in both ecommerce and mcommerce were dominated by cards, while in Finland online bank transfer leads the pack.

Austria and Switzerland
In Austria, credit card is also the most popular method, both in mcommerce and B2C ecommerce. Online consumers in Switzerland however, are more reager to use invoice when they have to pay for their online orders. The credit card was used by many Swiss shoppers when they were ordering using their smartphone or tablet.

In Russia, it’s still cash on delivery that’s preferred by most online consumers. But in this country it also seems that credit cards and alternative payments are gaining in popularity. Now more than half of online consumers like to pay on delivery with cash, but almost a quarter of shoppers prefers to pay with a card either online or upon delivery.

The Czech Republic and Turkey
Russia isn’t the only European country where cash on delivery is the most used payment method. This is also the case in the Czech Republic. Not in Turkey, where online shoppers want to pay using a credit card. This share of transactions reached a value of more than 10 billion euros. E-Commerce transaction with cards in Turkey reached a value of over EUR 10 billion.

As you see, there is still a wide variance in preferred payment methods across the regions. And it seems this is something that won’t change overnight.

If you want to have a closer look at popular payment methods, read our article “The most common payment methods in Europe” we wrote last year.


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  • Sandra T.

    I was hoping that the paysafecard would be mentioned. I feel that it is, and becoming more so, a major player in the online payment method matrix. I just read that they have expanded yet again, this time into croatia, and their new mypaysafecard program with the rewards seems to have caught the attention of frustrated users who wanted to combine their cards. Interesting that certain countries still use cash on delivery though, I would have never guessed that companies still do that!

  • As for Russia it is mentioned correctly, but paying with a card is on the rise and the card payment trend will be growing – it is going without saying.

  • Pingback: Europe: where credit cards are falling short | Ecommerce News()

  • Wayne Artmann

    I question the credibility of this article….Russia is Not an European country…..nor is Turkey.

    • HenochZ

      Hi Wayne,

      We understand the concern, but there’s no need to question the credibility, just because we mention Russia and Turkey.

      We know there are some different opinions or approaches whether to see these two countries as part of Europe. But we decided to also write about Russia and Turkey when we write about Europe.

      • Wayne Artmann

        The article is about Europe and it states that Russia is a European country. That is a false statment. Also to include Turkey under the title of “Payment methods in Europe” implies that it too is in Europe. Again, another false statment. Had the article included Russia and Turkey as neighboring countries, then you would be stating facts. Then I would see no issue. But the reader is being mislead, simply because facts are not checked properlly. This makes me question the articles creditability.