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Intense Competition among Payment Methods in Europe

Credit/Debit Cards struggle to stay on top

Competition is fierce among payment methods in Europe, with technological innovations empowering alternatives. Although slightly under half of European E-Commerce transactions are paid by card, in many countries, digital wallets and local payment methods are preferred over credit/debit cards when purchasing from online shops.

PayPal’s strong European following

When it comes to payment methods accepted by E-Commerce platforms in Europe, PayPal sits at the helm. Over the past several years, PayPal and other digital wallets have become more and more prevalent across the globe. Almost three-quarters of European online retailers accept PayPal, overtaking all other forms of payment by roughly a fifth. Between 2016 and 2018, PayPal and other digital wallets have stayed as the most popular payment methods on the regional average, with a growing share. Furthermore, PayPal is used as the payment method in virtually a third of all E-Commerce transactions in Europe.

Local payment methods act as a legitimate competitor

PayPal is not the only competition for the card companies, local online payment methods are also increasing in popularity in important European markets. The Netherlands’ iDEAL payment method dwarfs card and PayPal usage in the country and holds a strong grasp on the online payment market. Belgium’s Bancontact has seen a powerful rise in favor since 2011, with a mirroring decline in credit cards in terms of E-Commerce purchases. In regards to local payment methods, Poland has become an interesting case, in which multiple local payment methods have become prominent. PayU and Prezelewy24 lead this market and the combined usage of all local payment methods has overtaken every other form of payment in the Polish E-Commerce realm.

As the online payment market continues expansion in Europe, players progressively join and have acted as disrupters to legacy payment providers, heightening the competition in the region.

For more insights, see the report “Europe Online Payment Methods 2019” by yStats.com.