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Payment methods in Europe: the new trends in e-commerce

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Payment methods in Europe: the new trends in e-commerce

The most widely used payment method in European electronic commerce is the credit card. Direct debits and invoices are very common in Germany. In France, the traditional check is still used and, as a general rule, the British are the ones that offer the fewest payment methods. These are the results obtained by the idealo price comparator about the payment methods when making purchases online. idealo has analyzed which payment options are available in the online stores in Europe and the differences between the information about phone number in pakistan examined. For this, the best online stores * of the idealo portals in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Poland have been taken as a reference. Despite the great weight of standard payment methods, such as credit card or PayPal, the study also reveals some of the most notable differences between countries.

Star payment methods: Credit card and electronic payment systems Only five of the observed payment methods are represented in all the study countries: credit card, debit card, electronic payment systems, advance payment and surprisingly also payment in installments. However, its distribution differs greatly from country to country. For example, while prepayment is accepted in almost all stores in Poland (96%), very few UK stores offer this option (4%). The most widespread payment methods in Europe are credit card and electronic payment systems, and they are the only methods offered in more than 70% of the stores analyzed in each country. Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard dominate Europe The most widely accepted credit card in Europe is Visa. In Spain, Great Britain and France it is accepted in all the stores analyzed and only the Mastercard has a similar acceptance. In total, the visa and / or the MasterCard are accepted in at least 72% of the stores analyzed in each country. In third place is American Express (AMEX), which is used mainly in the United Kingdom, but is also accepted in half of the German stores analyzed (52%).


E-payment: PayPal takes first place The countries where e-payment is most accepted are Germany and Italy, where nine out of ten stores offer electronic payment options. PayPal dominates the electronic payments market in all the countries studied extensively. However, it is closely followed in Germany by the Sofort Banking payment service, where it is offered as a means of payment in 80 percent of the online stores analyzed in our study. The big news comes from Poland for the wide variety of electronic Forex Email List systems offered. In addition to the leader PayPal, the analyzed Polish stores accept six other electronic payment systems (SOFORT Banking, PayU, Przelewy24, dotpay, Paybynet und Skrill). The largest competitor of PayPal (62%) which in this case represents the Polish payment service Payu, 56 percent of retailers provide for payment in the available online store. The m-payment climbs positions but very slowly Mobile phone payments by NFC, BLE or QR codes are rarely used in e-commerce. The main reason is that these payment options are more designed to pay in retail stores. Rather, they add little value to online commerce, since many electronic payment providers have apps and mobile versions that allow you to pay over the phone and make it as convenient and simple as from the PC.

In Germany, only 3 of the 50 stores analyzed (6%) explicitly offer mobile payment methods. Two of these use the Yapital service, through which a QR code is generated that appears on the screen. To formalize the payment, just scan the code with your smartphone. The system used by the third store is mpass: with this method, payment is made by entering the phone number, a password and an mTAN, which is an authentication number generated to verify a transaction through a mobile phone. Country-specific peculiarities in online payment Despite the predominance in Europe of credit cards and electronic payments, especially PayPal, interesting differences can be observed between countries.

Spain: Advance payment wins cash on delivery Although Spain, together with Germany, is the only country in the study in which direct debit is found, it is not a widely accepted method, since only one of the stores examined accepts this type of payment. As in Italy, in Spain prepayment is very widespread (84%). However, here only one in 5 stores offers the option of cash on delivery. In the same way that it happens in the neighboring country, France, none of the analyzed Spanish stores accepts the purchase on account. In Germany: direct debit, a peculiarity In Germany, credit cards as a means of payment are less common than abroad, something that can also be seen in electronic commerce. While in Spain, France and the United Kingdom it is possible to pay by credit card in all the shops examined, in Germany 1 in 5 shops (22%) does not accept payment by credit card. In this country, electronic payment methods dominate (90%), which are far ahead of credit cards.

On the other hand, the variety of payment options offered in Germany is greater than in all the other countries studied. This analysis has identified up to a total of ten different payment methods, from advance payments to m-payments, by analyzing the top 50 stores in Germany. These include many “classic” payment options such as cash on delivery, invoice or prepayment. The “product first, money second” principle is quite unpopular with most distributors. In German online stores, payment after invoice (called Rechnung in German) is relatively widespread. More than half (64%) of analyzed distributors offer it. Some merchants use third-party distributors such as Klarna Bill or Safe to offer this service, thus avoiding both the administrative burden and the risk of default on payments.

Compared to other countries (except Poland), cash on delivery (22%) is also generally offered in Germany, a sign of the growing mix between online and offline channels. Curiously, in Germany payment by direct debit is very rare, offered by only 19% of the online stores analyzed. In fact, except for a single store in Spain, this option is not offered in the other countries analyzed as a payment method. Of all the stores analyzed, mobile payment options are only used in Germany, and even in this country, only in 3 of the 50 stores. France: check, the Gallic star France is, together with Italy, the only country in the study in which payment by money order is also possible. However, it is much less common in French stores, where only 8% offer it, than in Italian ones (22%). More than three-quarters of stores in France accept installment payment, a figure much higher than in other countries.

The greatest French specificity is the check. This payment method, quite outdated in the rest of Europe, is accepted in 68% of French stores. However, what is not found in any of the stores examined is direct debit, payment after invoice and cash on delivery. Italy: the Italian specialità, the money order Prepayment or cash on delivery options are also common in Italy. In addition to the most common online payment methods (credit card, electronic payment), advance transfer ranks third, being accepted by 84% of Italian stores. The next most popular method is cash on delivery, offered by 72% of stores. Payment in cash in the store has a very secondary role, such as direct debit or payment on account. However, the Italian specialty is the money order, in which the customer pays the amount owed in cash at a post office, from where it is delivered to the store, and no bank account is required to pay the outstanding invoice. In Italy this payment method can still be found in one out of every five stores analyzed.

United Kingdom: few alternatives to payment by card and PayPal The smallest range of payment options can be seen in UK online trading. This is probably due to the fact that the credit card has long been established as another payment method. Therefore, most stores offer credit or debit card (100%) or electronic payment services (70%) as the only payment method. There are hardly any alternatives to these two methods. 12% of retailers accept payment in installments and only one of the stores analyzed accepts payment in store, the same happens with the check. National payment habits in the internationalized context In addition to sales strategies, marketing channels and customer service systems, choosing the right payment methods is a challenge for online stores. Those customers who cannot find the preferred payment system cancel the purchase in half of the cases.

With the increasing internationalization of electronic commerce, certain payment methods are spreading rapidly, especially payment by credit card and PayPal. However, as the study shows, there are still special characteristics of each area when it comes to online payment methods. It is important that sellers take this information into account and can adjust their offer accordingly, especially if they want to successfully enter other countries.

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