Payment methods in GER, FR and UK

Online stores in France and the UK offer a similar range of payment methods – Germany is different

The checkout process is one of the most critical stages in the eCommerce customer journey. A smooth and seamless payment process that is not too time consuming is essential for a positive shopping experience. Consumers that come across too many obstacles at the end of their online purchasing process are likely to abandon their shopping cart – and a poor choice of payment possibilities can be one of those obstacles. Online shoppers in different countries also have different expectations when it comes to payment methods. According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, only about one third of consumers in Germany used credit or debit cards for their online payments in the past 12 months1, but 61% paid online by invoice. Consumers in France and the United Kingdom hardly used invoice payment at all, but the usage of card payments there is a lot higher than in Germany. ecommerceDB.com analyzed the payment methods that the online stores in their database actually offered2 to their customers. The results are quite similar:

Credit and debit cards are accepted by almost all online stores in the United Kingdom and France: 99% of online stores in those countries offer card payment. This makes debit and credit cards the most common payment method for online stores in France and the UK. Also when it comes to the other payment methods analyzed, online stores in France and the UK have quite a similar portfolio – just above 80% in both countries offer eWallet payment, and around one in four online stores in both the UK and France offer payment by invoice. Only when it comes to direct payment, there are significant differences between France and the UK. Germany takes up a special role in this comparison – the landscape of payment methods offered is almost completely different: Firstly, online stores in Germany seem to offer a greater range of payment possibilities, as all methods analyzed are offered by a double-digit percentage of stores. Secondly, cards do not top the list in Germany: With 95% of online stores offering the service, eWallets like PayPal are the most common payment method in Germany, cards only come in second, with 94%. Moreover, invoices and direct bank transfer still play a major role in German eCommerce: 88% of online stores offer invoice and direct bank transfer as payment methods. This is probably due to the fact that Klarna, the Swedish direct payment provider, is highly popular in Germany. Finally, it remains to be seen whether or not the corona crisis will have an impact not only on consumers’ shopping behavior but also on the way they make payments in the long run, especially in cash economies such as Germany.

 

1: “How have you conducted payments online in the past 12 months?” (multi-pick), representative online survey conducted among adult residential online population in Germany, France, the UK, and other countries in July and August 2020

2: Base: 500 biggest online stores by net sales listed on ecommerceDB.com for which payment information is available. Payment methods offered in the main country. Stores can offer more than one payment option (multi-pick).

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October 2020