As many of you may know, one cannot compare easily between the preferred online payment options of the United States and Europe.
In the United States, Visa and MasterCard (and other credit cards like Amex, Discover, etc.) are by far the most used e-commerce payment solution. It is true that online credit card usage is quite high in some Scandinavian countries and the UK, but this is not the case in important markets like Germany, Russia, the Netherlands (Holland), Poland, Sweden and Belgium.
In Europe, many people don’t have a credit card (this holds true in higher income households, too) and Europeans are used to paying online with advanced Alternative payment methods (definition: Alternative = other than credit card). Depending on the market, the Alternative payment method of choice will vary between debit cards, invoicing (in Sweden), wallets, direct debit and bank transfers.
Here are some (uncited) numbers to share with you from our internet scrolling efforts of market data as we were writing this blog entry:
Germany – 47% of Online Transactions conducted via Payments OTHER THAN credit card, debit card, or invoice
Russia – 44%
Netherlands (Holland) – 75% !
Poland – 42%
Belgium – 36%
In fact, it isn’t just a European wrinkle. It is estimated that WORLDWIDE 22% of ALL online payments are done without a credit card.
To put it simply, online businesses that have significant traffic and client mass domiciled outside of the United States leave money on the table if they only offer credit cards as a payment method (sorry, PayPal doesn’t fill the gap here).
HERE IS WHY EUROPEANS PREFER ALTERNATIVE PAYMENT METHODS:
- Web consumers in Europe strongly prefer their local country payment method because it is much more trusted than credit cards. It gives them a safe and secure consumer experience.
- Another reason Europeans opt for Alternative payment methods is that they find it to be a much faster and easier process when compared to having to type-in credit cards details online.
In the Netherlands, iDeal is by far the most popular payment method.
In Germany (where you find yourself operating in the #1 European economy), DIRECT e-banking outranks credit card usage. As well, another popular Alternative method in the German market is the ELV debit card.
In Eastern Europe e-consumers prefer online bank transfers as well as cash on delivery (COD).
And, in Russia online consumers prefer to pay via cash and such e-wallets as QIWI and Yandex.
THE EUROPEAN BOTTOM LINE FOR ONLINE PAYMENT METHODS:
To boost sales with your European traffic and customers, it is imperative to offer all the popular and trusted local country payment options. Otherwise, you increase the frequency of purchase/shopping-cart abandonment during the check-out process.
Said in another way: if you are doing business in Europe you ought to offer the preferred and trusted payment solutions popular with your European customers or you “leave money on the table.”
We hope you found our little blog entry helpful.
For more information and help with obtaining and integrating European payment methods for your website(s) and payment platforms, please contact us [here link to contact page]