PayPal usage in Europe is highest in the UK

The UK had more than 330,000 daily active PayPal users in 2019

While digital payments are playing an ever greater role even in stationary retail – especially in contactless corona times – they have been a fundamental part of the eCommerce customer journey from the very start of the online shopping industry. In times when a seamless online shopping process is crucial to customer satisfaction, the simplicity and convenience of eWallets has helped PayPal and the like to make their way to the top in the lucrative mobile payments market. PayPal is one of the old hats in the business, but still among the most popular eWallets worldwide. When considering the online mobile payments landscape in Europe, it turns out that the market is fragmented, with local providers being of great importance in each country. U.S.-based PayPal, however, is used throughout the continent:

In 2019, PayPal’s smartphone app was used all across Europe. The three biggest countries by inhabitants also registered the highest absolute PayPal user numbers: Between January 1 and December 31, the mobile wallet founded and headquartered in the U.S. registered the highest number of daily active users on the European continent in the UK: 330,134 people on the islands used the service per day. This puts the UK at the top of the European rankings not only in absolute terms but also relative to the number of inhabitants. More precisely, nearly 0.5% of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom are on average active on PayPal on a daily basis. In Germany, the service was almost as popular: 312,011 daily active PayPal users were registered in Germany in 2019. By number of daily active users, France comes in third in the European comparison, with 96,124 people using PayPal per day. When taking a look at the Nordics, it leaps to the eye that Sweden had almost double as many daily active users as Denmark, 2.5 times as many as Norway, and more than four times as many as Finland. However, if these numbers are considered with respect to the final population, this difference is somewhat less significant. To be more precise, in Sweden 0.14% of the population uses PayPal daily, whereas the numbers are comparable in Denmark (0.13%), Norway (0.10%), and Finland (0.06%). Finland had the lowest number of daily active users of PayPal of all countries in the comparison. Together with Turkey, Czechia, Romania, Hungary, and Denmark, it recorded daily active user numbers below 10,000 in 2019. One reason for PayPal’s success in Europe might be the fact that it is open for payments across borders. As eCommerce in many smaller countries in Europe relies on foreign online stores, domestic payment providers would do well to enable cross-border transactions.


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October 2020