Europe has the world’s largest B2B e-commerce market, valued at over $400 billion. Countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Spain, and German are vital players. With rampant European market growth, new and robust payment gateways have found their way into the online shopping scene. However, the payment methods for different European countries vary, and what works for one country may fail in another.
What Are the Leading Payment Methods in Europe?
MasterCard and Visa payments dominate the European payment sectors. Digital wallets have also taken center stage in most of the region’s e-commerce businesses and online marketplaces. Visa and PayPal are the most utilized payment methods, with over three-quarters of European countries adopting them. For companies expanding to Europe, here are the top five e-commerce markets and their favorite payment methods.
The United Kingdom is the leader in global digital shopping, with its annual e-commerce revenue expected to reach $199.9 billion by the end of 2022. Studies have shown that more than 82% of UK residents purchased at least one product online in 2021. Approximately 51% of all online purchases in the UK are completed via mobile devices, with smartphone penetration at 92%.
The robust online shopping industry combined with heavy smartphone use has made many e-commerce marketplaces and sellers integrate digital payments into their platforms. Credit and debit cards are the most utilized payment gateways, while digital wallets come second. PayPal is the most used digital wallet, followed by Apple Pay.
France is the second largest European e-commerce market, generating over $92.7 annually, with figures expected to reach $43 billion by 2025. The smartphone penetration is significantly high at 84%, while laptop penetration stands at 90%. In fact, over 79% of digital shoppers prefer buying online using their laptops instead of smartphones.
The high use of mobile and laptops has fueled the introduction of e-commerce-friendly payment methods. The French prefer paying for their online purchases with credit cards, with 50% of digital transactions completed using this payment method. The most selected online payment cards are Visa, MasterCard, and Cartes Bancaires. Digital wallets are also popular, with PayPal being the most used. For bigger transactions, most French clients use bank transfers.
Germany is Europe’s third largest e-commerce market, with its market revenue projected to reach $95.7 billion by 2022. Most Germans shop online through mobile devices, with phone penetration at 97.6%. Open invoices remain the most used payment method for completing digital transactions. Third-party bank transfers like SOFORT and GIROPAY are the second most popular payment methods, and digital wallets are a distant third, with PayPal leading this category.
Spain comes forth as the biggest e-commerce market in Europe, with its market revenue estimated to hit $41.16 billion by the end of 2022. Its smartphone penetration stands at 72.96, while laptop penetration is at 77.5%. Most digital transactions happen through smartphones and laptops.
A large percentage of digital shoppers pay using credit cards like MasterCard and Visa, which dominate the e-commerce payment scene. Digital wallets such as PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay are also popular. Lastly, most Spanish clients prefer paying for larger purchases using bank transfers, much like the French.
The fifth biggest e-commerce market in Europe is the Netherlands, with market revenue projected to reach $34.18 billion in 2022. Smartphone penetration in the Netherlands is 93%, with most online purchases conducted using smartphones.
As for payments, the iDeal, a revered Dutch online bank transfer system, is the leading payment gateway. Digital wallets and credit cards are also favorites. The iDeal is available to all Dutch bank account owners but doesn’t connect to financial institutions from other countries. If you pay for your orders online using iDeal, you must use a Netherland IP address from this trusted proxy provider: https://iproyal.com/proxies-by-location/europe/netherlands/.
The e-commerce markets in Europe are massive, and the growth rates are exceptionally high. Businesses are wise to invest in this region, with more clients realizing the benefits of digital shopping. Whether you’re a buyer or an investor, listed above are the leading European e-commerce markets and payment methods you should know. In most countries, credit cards and digital wallets are the favorite payment methods. In the future, we might see more Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes enter the landscape.