London, UK. 02 May 2023: FYST, a one-stop payments consultancy for ecommerce businesses, has today released the third and final instalment of its new three-part report, ‘The Map of World Payments’, that reveals exclusive data on ecommerce payment trends across Europe.
With its mission to empower merchants to tap into more revenue opportunities by offering locally used payment methods, FYST’s report gives merchants valuable insights that they can use to optimise their online checkouts, reduce cart abandonment rates, and boost sales.
Following previous reports on the Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions, the third part of FYST’s report drills deep into Europe’s ecommerce landscape, a dynamic but diverse region encompassing starkly contrasting online payment method trends from country to country. FYST’s proprietary data has been gathered across 34 countries (18 in western Europe, and 16 in eastern Europe), throwing a spotlight on the proportion of cards, bank transfers, digital wallets and other methods used for online purchases in each country.
Crucially, for merchants looking to enhance their cross-border sales strategies, FYST’s report illustrates the importance of not viewing Europe as a homogenous mass – there are clear distinctions between countries in how consumers and business make online payments. For example, the proportion of individuals using the internet for ordering goods or services swings from a high 92% in the UK down to a low of 38% in Romania. This necessitates tailoring merchants’ online checkouts according to local consumer preferences, the scale of online infrastructure and interoperability of domestic schemes, and payment solution acceptance availability in each market.
- Ecommerce shoppers in mature and heavily developed markets like Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Lithuania overwhelmingly favour bank transfers ahead of cards, thanks to long-established and trusted credit transfer schemes which have been optimised for mobile usage too.
- In Italy, digital wallets have overtaken cards as the most popular online payment method.
- In less-developed markets like Kazakhstan, almost a fifth of online retail in 2021 was done via mobile phones, while in Azerbaijan, mobile payments comprise around 60% of online transactions.
With the outbreak of conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, international sanctions were imposed on Russian-owned banks, remittance companies and other payments firms. This led to Visa and Mastercard suspending the processing of Russian-issued card transactions outside of Russia, restricting their usage to within Russia’s borders only.
Consequently, the Russian domestic card scheme MIR has surged in usage as Russian consumers turn to alternatives to Visa, Mastercard and other methods for cross-border online transactions. In tandem, several eastern European nations are renewing their focus on domestic payment schemes, like Uzbekistan’s HUMO, in the hope of making them viable home-grown competitors to western-operated schemes.
With the value of cross-border payments anticipated to hit $250 trillion by 2027, the launch of FYST’s report is timely, as ecommerce businesses move beyond merely offering digital payment capabilities to seek full 360-degree advice and support, and first-hand market insights to help them unlock new opportunities in the fast-evolving ecommerce space. FYST brings together leading payment and fintech innovators under one brand, combining unparalleled technical ingenuity, in-depth tailored advice to help fledgling businesses to scale up successfully, and easy access to more than 70 global payment methods.
FYST is led by CEO Ryta Zasiekina, a payments industry expert and entrepreneur with an impressive track record of taking dynamic and disruptive fintech businesses forward. Previously an independent market consultant advising payments businesses on compliance, AML and KYC processes, Ryta moved to Latvia following the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in early 2022 and has established FYST to provide businesses with agile digital-first payment services, API integrations and establishing acquiring relationships.
Ryta Zasiekina, CEO of FYST, comments: “Harmonised legislation like PSD2 has helped European Union consumers to adapt to shared payment instruments like SEPA bank transfers, with schemes like iDeal of the Netherlands and Poland’s BLIK being optimised for mobile usage, contributing to stellar growth. Consumers in western Europe take it for granted that they will enjoy widespread acceptance of Visa and Mastercard, and a variety of payment methods that are interoperable across borders. On a broader scale, the emergence of Open Banking, account-to-account payments and real-time settlement systems are profoundly impacting on how consumers and businesses across Europe make payments, and in many cases these new payment types are directly competing with cards.
“At FYST, we want to arm merchants with the data they need to succeed on a global scale, and that’s why we have produced our ‘Map of World Payments’. It offers merchants valuable insights on what payment methods are used where, which payment methods are used cross-border, and the ecommerce trends affecting each of the 34 European countries profiled in the report. By offering our expert knowledge, agile payment services and friendly support, FYST is helping businesses go beyond just offering payments, and is reimagining money to make it flow seamlessly.”
The FYST “Map of World Payments” regional report for Europe can be found on its website.