Which payment methods to support per country?

Introduction

 

For an online seller it is of great importance to offer the right set of online payment methods to be able to turn shoppers into buyers. Every country has its own specific online payment habits, cultural preferences and payment solutions.

 

For example, Brazilian shoppers prefer to pay their products with card installments and boleto, the majority of Turkish shoppers pay by credit card and most Belgium shoppers pay with their local payment brand Bancontact/MisterCash. In this chapter we have gathered the preferred payment methods per country from a consumer perspective and ranked them based upon (estimated) market share.

Notes:

  • payment preferences and payment method market share may change over time
  • new online payment methods and solutions will be introduced and could rapidly gain market share
  • payment preferences and shares can differ per individual online seller and industry, even when targeting the same country (e.g. gambling, insurances)
  • data is sourced from several sources including publications by Payment Service Providers, news websites and ecommerce shopping associations.
  • Please note that not all online payment methods (e.g. offline methods, cash on delivery payments) are supported by Payment Service Providers and are not always taken into account in reports. Online sellers should be aware that these "offline" payment methods could represent substantial volumes and could be "must haves" in order to convert shoppers into buyers.

 

Online Payment Methods in Europe

The Netherlands

 

Ranking[1]

  1. iDEAL (local alternative payment method – simplified online bank transfer (SCT)) – 56% marketshare
  2. Credit cards (1. MasterCard, 2. Visa, 3. American Express) – 12%
  3. Authorization (one-off or recurring SEPA direct debit) – 6%
  4. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfer) – 5%
  5. PayPal – 5%
  6. Giro (offline bank transfer) – 4%
  7. Maestro (offline, in store) – 3%
  8. Gift cards (Fashioncheque, YourGiftCard, ...) – 3%
  9. Afterpay (pay after delivery through iDEAL or online bank transfer) – 2%
  10. Other payment methods (SOFORTbanking, Klarna, Billink, Bitcoin) – 4%


The Netherlands: iDEAL is the must-have payment method

iDEAL is the number one online payment method in the Netherlands and a must have for merchants operating on the Dutch online market. iDEAL has a share of 56% of all online payments during the first half in 2015 and a 35% share on transactions originating on mobile devices (almost 50% growth compared to 2014). iDEAL is within the top 10 of well-known brands in the Netherlands.

The credit cards' market share (MasterCard en Visa) stabilizes at 11-12%. PayPal and Afterpay showed some growth (both 1% compared to the same period in 2014).

About iDEAL

iDEAL is an online payment method using simplified, real-time online bank transfers (SEPA Credit Transfers) to complete for online purchases or transactions. As a key driver for the usage of iDEAL, all issuing banks support iDEAL enabling over 10 million Dutch people to use iDEAL.

There is no chargeback mechanism and merchants benefit from payment guarantee. Processing costs are fairly low in comparison to other online payment options and they are fixed (roughly between 15-50 euro cents). Consumers feel confident using their familiar home banking and not having to share sensitive card data. Merchants benefit from instant payment confirmation, swift settlement (normally +1 or 2 days) and fixed fees, regardless the transaction amount.

More information:

For more information, please go to https://www.ideal.nl

 

Belgium

Ranking[2]

  1. Bancontact/MisterCash (local alternative payment method – simplified online bank transfer) – 32%
  2. Credit cards (1. Visa – 30%, MasterCard – 20%, American Express – 2%)
  3. Online Banking: KBC/CBC Online, ING Home'Pay and Belfius Direct Net, SOFORTBanking – 8%
  4. PayPal – 3%
  5. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfer)
  6. Maestro (online) – 2%
  7. SEPA Direct Debit
  8. Other payment methods (ping.ping, paysafecard, spaar&pluk, gift cards, Bitcoin)


About Bancontact/MisterCash

Bancontact/Mister Cash is the domestic debit card scheme in Belgium, allowing consumers to pay in real-time and guarantee payment to (online) merchants and businesses. Bancontact payments are immediately debited from the consumer's bank account. The seller’s account will be credited the next working day. Today, there are more Bancontact/MisterCash cards in circulation (15 million) than there are Belgian citizens (10.5 million). No less than 99% of all consumers know Bancontact/MisterCash and 86% of all payments by electronic card are Bancontact/MisterCash payments. Bancontact/MisterCash is the offline and online payment method in Belgium. Merchants are most often charged a fixed fee (0.25-0.50 euro) and a percentage of the transaction (between 1.50% and 2.25%)

Important notes

Almost every debit card issued in Belgium facilitates for both online Bancontact/MisterCash transactions as well as online Maestro (eMaestro) payments. Both local and international merchants should keep in mind that the costs for online Maestro could be substantially lower (interchange rates for Maestro domestic and cross-border are capped at 0.20% of the transaction), but also realize that Bancontact is the preferred and trusted payment brand in Belgium.

Whereas Bancontact/MisterCash requires the authentication procedure as enforced by the issuing bank, while online Maestro requires to use the 3D-secure protocol by MasterCard.

 

Luxembourg

  1. Credit cards (1. Visa, 2. MasterCard)
  2. PayPal
  3. SEPA direct debit
  4. SEPA credit transfer (regular Bank Transfer)
  5. Others (American Express, Diners Club, Bitcoin)

 

France

  1. Local debit/credit cards – Carte Bancaire, e-Carte Bleue (both co-branded Visa or MasterCard)
  2. Credit cards (1. Visa, 2. MasterCard, 3. American Express)
  3. PayLib (eWallet)
  4. PayPal
  5. SEPA direct debit
  6. Slimpay (SEPA direct debit solution)
  7. SOFORTbanking (overlay online bank transfer)
  8. Others (gift cards, paysafecard, credit consumption, Bitcoin, Yes by Cash (offline), FacilyPay)


Context

Carte Bancaire and e-Carte Bleue (part of CB scheme) are an interbank scheme that requires a connection to a local acquirer (otherwise these card payments will be processed as MasterCard or Visa payments as most cards are co-branded and capable of transacting online). A direct connection to a local French acquirer is supposed to result in higher approval rates for merchants.

From processing stats by several Payment Service Providers it seems that the number of (co-branded) Visa cards exceeds the number of co-branded MasterCard cards. The split between Visa and MasterCard is roughly 2:1.

PayLib (developed by three major French banks servicing over 23 million customers, and launched in 2013) is a digital wallet comparable to PayPal (unlock your wallet by username/password, pay by card). PayPal is assumed to have 7 million users in France.

It seems that French shoppers do prefer to split payments into more payments (pay by installments) if the option is provided, and is likely to increase conversion, especially in case of higher transaction amounts. Payment methods like FacilyPay make use of the Carte Bancaire card system and the option to offer installment options.

 

Germany

  1. ELV (SEPA direct debit)
  2. Credit cards (1. Visa, 2. MasterCard, 3. American Express)
  3. PayPal
  4. SOFORTbanking (online bank transfer)
  5. Giropay (online bank transfer)
  6. Open Invoice (e.g. BillPay, RATEPay, Klarna)
  7. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfer)
  8. Others (paysafecard, Bitcoin, gift cards)


Context

ELV refers to Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren and is widely used in Germany. ELV is semi-real-time payment method where the shopper authorizes the merchant to make a collection (direct debit). The authorization can be provided in (electronically) written form, by email or through a web interface set up by the merchant. Consumers have the right to cancel ELV direct debits. Merchants should be aware that they bare the risk in case of fraud and there is no chargeback protection.

 

Besides ELV, credit cards (MasterCard, Visa predominantly), PayPal, SOFORTbanking and GiroPay, merchants should consider to offer the eInvoice payment methods such as BillPay, RATEPay and Klarna. These third parties pay merchants for the products and services purchased by shoppers, and then they collect payment from the shopper after delivery. It provides confidence and trust to (first-time) online shoppers and does not require to use cards, PayPal, or an online banking system or overlay payment service at the time of purchase, and thereby increasing conversion.

 

United Kingdom

  1. Credit cards – 1. Visa (dominant 70-80%), 2. MasterCard, 3. American Express
  2. Debit cards – 1. Visa Debit, 2. Maestro
  3. PayPal
  4. Bank Transfers
  5. Others (Discover, Skrill, Klarna, paysafecard, Bitcoin)


Context

Credit and debit cards are very popular in the UK, as many shoppers holding 2-3 cards. Cards approximately account for 90% of all online payments. Online bank transfer type of payment methods are virtually non-existent.

 

Italy

  1. Cartasi (local credit card co-branded with Visa or MasterCard)
  2. PostePay (visa co-branded card)
  3. MyBank (online bank transfer, multiple banks participating)
  4. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  5. PayPal
  6. SOFORTbanking
  7. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  8. SEPA Direct Debit
  9. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Austria

  1. EPS e-Payments (internet banking transfers, multiple banks participating in one scheme)
  2. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  3. PayPal
  4. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  5. SEPA Direct Debit
  6. SOFORTbanking
  7. Others

 

Denmark

  1. Dankort (debit card)
  2. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  3. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  4. PayPal
  5. Klarna
  6. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  7. SEPA Direct Debit
  8. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Finland

  1. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  2. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  3. Klarna
  4. PayPal
  5. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  6. SEPA Direct Debit
  7. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Ireland

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. PayPal
  3. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  4. SEPA Direct Debit
  5. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Norway

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Bankaxess (internet banking transfers, multiple banks participating in one scheme)
  3. PayPal
  4. Bank Transfers
  5. Klarna
  6. Trustly
  7. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Sweden

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Bank Transfers
  3. Klarna
  4. PayPal
  5. Trustly
  6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Portugal

  1. MultiBanco (offline, ATM-based payment method)
  2. Payshop (offline, ATM-based payment method)
  3. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  4. PayPal
  5. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  6. SEPA Direct Debit
  7. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Spain

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal Internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  3. Trustly (overlay online bank transfer service)
  4. PayPal
  5. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  6. SEPA Direct Debit
  7. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Switzerland

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. SOFORTbanking
  3. PostFinance Card (Debit card)
  4. Bank Transfers
  5. PayPal
  6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Bulgaria

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. PayPal
  3. Bank Transfers
  4. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Croatia

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. PayPal
  3. Bank Transfers
  4. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Czech Republic

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal Internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  3. PaySec (Wallet)
  4. PayPal
  5. Bank Transfer
  6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Slovakia

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  3. PayPal
  4. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  5. SEPA Direct Debit
  6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)

 

Lithuania

  1. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express)
  2. Pay-by-Links (bank transfers initiated through payer's personal internet banking environment (if supported by bank)
  3. PayPal
  4. SEPA Credit Transfer (regular Bank Transfers)
  5. SEPA Direct Debit
  6. Others (paysafecard, bitcoin, ...)
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