PPRO: Digital payments in Europe forecast to grow by 70%

Research by PPRO has suggested that local payment methods will dominate as cross-border e-commerce grows

PPRO, a fintech company that globalises payment platforms for businesses, allowing them to offer more choice at the checkout and boost cross-border sales, has released the 2021 edition of its Payment Almanac.

PPRO’s 2021 Payment Almanac provides research on local payment methods, consumer behaviour, e-commerce data, trends and projected market growth for 150+ countries around the world.

 For payment service providers and other businesses with payment platforms, the ability to enable alternative and local payments is complex – requiring knowledge about local payments cultures, regulations and local payment methods specific to each market. The Almanac provides the e-commerce industry with a resource to better understand the payments landscape, learn about the future trends, and meet the needs of their target markets.

 “The reality of today’s e-commerce landscape is that brands are no longer siloed to one country or region, but instead conducting business across multiple borders,” said Claire Gates, Chief Commercial Officer. 


Key findings per region from the Almanac 


  • Overall use of digital payments in Europe is forecast to grow by 70% between 2020 and 2025.
  • Western and Central Europeans pay for 45% of online purchases using a credit or debit card. The next most popular payment method is bank transfer, which consumers use in 25% of online purchases, followed by e-wallets, standing at 23% of online transactions.
  • In 2020, e-commerce shipment volumes in Europe increased by 149% for internal purchases and 123% for cross-border purchases coming into the continent.
  • The e-commerce market in the UK is worth 282.8 bn $US (£204.8 bn) and the figure is expected to grow to 355.0 bn $US (£257.1 bn) by 2025.


North America:

  • US-based merchants remain a top seller worldwide, making up almost 50% of cross-border e-commerce purchases in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Brazil.
  • In Canada, where 49% of its cross-border shopping activity comes from the United States, 23% of transactions are from digital wallets. For US-based merchants, that means offering Canadian consumers the option to use popular local methods like paysafecard, paysafe:cash and Hyperwallet.
  • Popular local payment methods like PayPal’s Buy-in-4, AfterPay, Venmo and more are continuing to increase in popularity, driven by the Buy Now Pay Later trend within e-commerce transactions.


Asia Pacific (APAC):

  • 60% of consumers in the APAC region conduct payments with digital wallets, higher than any other region.
  • 72% of payment transactions in China are done with wallets like Alipay and WeChat Pay, and with 17% of cross-border transactions originating from the US, this is a growing region for US-based merchants.
  • 42% of Australian e-commerce activity is cross-border, as Australia and New Zealand continue to grow into a major e-commerce hub for the globe.


Latin America (LATAM):

  • 14% of transactions in LATAM are bank transfers and 60% are card-based — signaling the popularity of local bank cards and payment methods such as Boleto Bancário, PIX and Oxxo.
  • Similar to other countries in LATAM, e-commerce growth in Argentina was up 76% in 2019 alone and growing, with 71% of e-commerce traffic being conducted cross-border.


“This boom in cross-border e-commerce and the proliferation of niche local payment methods has intensified the challenge for companies who seek to make transactions simple and secure. The 2021 Payment Almanac not only provides a resource to better recognize consumer trends in each country, but showcases how the complexity of payments is increasing. Brands need to understand these regional differences if they want to capture new customers,” added Gates. 



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