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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Demand for online payment methods in Europe accelerated: new yStats.com report.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Demand for online payment methods in Europe accelerated: new yStats.com report.

The new report from Hamburg-based market intelligence firm yStats.com, “Europe Online Payment Methods 2021” offers a comprehensive overview of the online payment market in the European region, and provides insights into possible future developments. Among other findings, the publication reveals that despite traditional payments still being important for European consumers, alternative payment methods such as Buy Now Pay Later has gained popularity during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Cards and digital wallets are still the top choice for online shoppers

The trend for online payments had already existed for quite a long time but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it started to grow by leaps and bounds. In Europe, consumers still tend to use traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, but they also started shifting payments into their mobile phones, rapidly increasing the value of mobile transactions amid the health crisis. With that, E-Wallets, such as PayPal, are among the top means of payment for E-Commerce purchases. In some European markets, including Germany and Italy, this method ranked even higher than cards, and in a few others, it came right after. Examples include the UK, France, Spain, and Belgium, according to recent research cited by yStats.com. Additionally, contactless payments received special attention during COVID-19, and in 2021 they still play an important role for European shoppers.

Alternative digital payments are on the rise in Europe

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a few other online payment methods also started gaining popularity: Buy Now Pay Later and cryptocurrency. As of 2020, on average, one-fifth of merchants in select European countries offered the BNPL option, with “growth mindset” businesses even more likely to do so. Moreover, on a country-level, almost half of German consumers who were aware of the existence of this payment method in 2020, had already used it, and around one-third were planning to use it in the next 12 months, according to recent research cited by yStats.com. Regarding cryptocurrency usage for payments, this is developing much slower than BNPL, for example, but seems to have some potential. Lastly, amid COVID-19, in a number of European countries, some innovative contactless payments appeared, such as Amazon payments, peer-to-peer payments, and biometric payments.

Choice of payment methods determined by security, convenience, and speed of payment

The three main considerations among Europe’s digital buyers when choosing a method to pay an E-Commerce merchant are security, simplicity, and speed of payment, according to surveys referenced in the yStats.com report. To shoppers in Germany and Spain, security has a clear lead over convenience, while for digital buyers in the UK ease of use and convenience were the top two requirements.