Payments and e-commerce in Portugal

Discover how Portuguese people like to shop and pay online

Portugal: an e-commerce & payments primer

Portugal isn’t as developed as some other European markets but it’s growing strongly — over the four years from 2022, the e-commerce market will expand by 13% a year [1] — and Portuguese consumers are banked and willing to spend. For merchants willing to invest in localisation, Portugal can be a lucrative market.

The Portuguese use credit and debit cards to pay for less than a quarter of all online purchases [1]. In the remaining three quarters of transactions, the shopper uses an alternative or local payment method, such as bank transfer or an e-wallet [1]. For a Western European market, cash is still surprisingly important — online shoppers use it in around 10% of all their transactions [1]. Any merchant entering the Portuguese market must support alternative payment methods. 

Like everywhere else in the world, Portugal shopped online during the pandemic. But by the end of 2022, e-commerce volumes had settled back to more or less their pre-pandemic levels [2]. Nevertheless, the e-commerce market continues to grow and is set to reach a value of almost US$23 billion by 2026 (up from US$14 billion in 2022) [1]. The average Portuguese online shopper spends US$1,108, a year with e-commerce merchants. The most popular online purchase categories are fashion (bought by 32% of online shoppers), electronics (26%) and toys (21%) [1].

Almost two thirds of online shoppers buy from merchants based outside of Portugal [1]. Unsurprisingly, neighbouring Spain is a popular online shopping destination, with 32% saying they have bought items from Spanish websites [1]. But even more, 40%, have bought from China [1]. Proximity may lower the barriers to trying new merchants but the hunt for a bargain, it would seem, will take the Portuguese to other side of the world, at least if it is good enough.

Portuguese e-commerce: enabling and limiting factors

Seventy-two percent of Portuguese have an Internet-enabled smartphone [1], There almost 90 mobile broadband connections for everyone hundred inhabitants of the country [3] and Portuguese shoppers complete nearly 40% of all online-shopping transactions on a mobile device [1]. Any e-commerce strategy that hopes to succeed in Portugal must be mobile first. 

Credit cards are relatively popular in Portugal. Thirty-seven percent of the country’s adult population has one [1]. But that still leaves 63% unreachable unless your payment strategy includes alternative and local payments. In a notable achievement for a country with a per capita income just 57% of the eurozone average, all Portuguese adults have a bank account [1].

Portugal is 23 out of 160 countries in the World Bank Global Logistical Performance Index [4]. The Portuguese parcel delivery sector, having grown by an average of 1% a year for the last eight years, is now capable of delivering more than 100 million parcels a year [5].

Seventy-eight percent of Portuguese have an Internet connection of some kind [1]. But according to the International Telecoms Union (ITU), just 42% of households have a fixed-line Internet connection. Again, this underlines the importance of supporting a mobile first e-commerce strategy and a mobile payment experience. Without optimising for both, merchants will struggle to gain acceptance with Portuguese consumers.

Footnotes

  1. Original PPRO research 
  2. https://www.esmmagazine.com/retail/online-shopping-in-portugal-drops-to-pre-pandemic-levels-227138 
  3. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx 
  4. https://lpi.worldbank.org/international/global 
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1219816/courier-express-parcel-market-volume-portugal

Portugal

General Information

  • Population 10.2 m
  • Population 15 + 8.9 m
  • Online population 8.0 m
  • Area 92,212 km2
  • Currency EUR
  • GDP 251.7 bn $US
  • GDP per capita 24,757 $US
  • Card-based payments
  • Cash-based payments
  • Bank transfer
  • Wallets
  • Other
[{"label":"Card-based payments","value":"23"},{"label":"Cash-based payments","value":"10"},{"label":"Bank transfer","value":"24"},{"label":"Wallets","value":"12"},{"label":"Other","value":"31"}]
Banked population
  • Portugal 100%
  • Western & Central Europe 96%
  • World 67%
Credit card penetration
  • Portugal 37%
  • Western & Central Europe 47%
  • World 19%
Internet penetration
  • Portugal 78%
  • Western & Central Europe 92%
  • World 62%
Smartphone penetration
  • Portugal 72%
  • Western & Central Europe 81%
  • World 70%

Cash and payment cards are the most popular form of payment in Portugal with both sharing a 93% share of the market. Cash is used more often than cards when it comes to how regularly both categories are in use.

The Portuguese central bank Banco de Portugal released their payments report in Spring showing that contactless payment methods increased in usage by 102.2% in volume and 130.9% in value over the past year.

The Portuguese economy has started to slow after GDP growth dropped from 2.5% to 2.3% and core inflation rose to 6.2%.

The top Portuguese e-commerce website in July 2022 was olx.pt with 18.7 m visits that month.

Future e-commerce trends (2021-2026)

B2C e-commerce ($US billion)
2022 13.9
2023 16.3
2024 18.6
2025 20.7
2026 22.6
E-commerce spending per capita ($US)
2022 1352
2023 1588
2024 1816
2025 2030
2026 2217
E-commerce spending as % of GDP
2022 5.5%
2023 6.1%
2024 6.7%
2025 7.3%
2026 7.7%

Portugal

The E-Commerce Market

Top e-commerce segments

  1. Fashion: 32%
  2. Electronics & Media: 26%
  3. Toys, Hobby & DIY: 21%
  4. Furniture & Appliances: 11%
  5. Food & Personal Care: 11%

Cross-border e-commerce

  1. Cross-border proportion of total e-commerce – 14%
  2. Value of cross-border e-commerce – 1.6 bn $US
  3. Online shoppers who have shopped cross-border – 65%

Top 3 cross-border shopping origin markets

  1. China: 40%
  2. Spain: 32%
  3. UK: 6%
B2C e-commerce growth 20->21
  • Portugal 25.1%
E-commerce % of total retail
  • Portugal 5%
  • Western & Central Europe 17%
  • World 20%
E-commerce completed on a mobile device
  • Portugal 39%
  • Western & Central Europe 44%
  • World 53%

The Credit Card Split

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Other
[{"label":"Visa","value":"54"},{"label":"Mastercard","value":"37"},{"label":"Other","value":"9"}]
  • E-commerce market size 11.4 bn $US
  • E-commerce spending per capita 1,106 $US
  • E-commerce spending as % of GDP 4.8%

The information on our Insights pages has been compiled by us in cooperation with Datamatics and Wright & Brown. The data shown is partially owned by us and partially owned by GlobalData. © 2021 by PPRO Financial Ltd. No data and information can be used for any further publication without the explicit approval of PPRO.

Portugal

Local Payment Methods

BitPay Type Cryptocurrency Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Hyperwallet Type Bank transfer, Gift card, Prepaid voucher Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Multibanco Type Bank transfer, Cash Regions Western & Central Europe Market relevance High PayPal Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Paysafecard Type Prepaid voucher Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Paysafecash Type Cash Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, North America + 1 Paysera Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High SEPA Direct Debit Type Bank transfer Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, Western & Central Europe Market relevance High Skrill Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Trustly Type Bank transfer Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, North America + 1 Market relevance High TrustPay Type Bank transfer Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, Western & Central Europe Allied Wallet Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High UnionPay SecurePay Type Local payment card Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Apple Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Amazon Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, North America + 1 Market relevance High Boku Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High DaoPay Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Google Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Mobiamo Type Carrier billing Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Razer Gold Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High SEPA Credit Transfer Type Bank transfer Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, Western & Central Europe Market relevance High SWIFT Type Bank transfer Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance High Lydia Type Wallet Regions Western & Central Europe Market relevance Medium Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance Medium SEPA Instant Credit Transfers (SCT Inst) Type Bank transfer Regions Eastern Europe & the CIS, Western & Central Europe Market relevance Medium Boloro Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 G2A Pay Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Market relevance Medium IberCaja Pay Type Bank transfer Regions Western & Central Europe MB WAY Type Wallet Regions Western & Central Europe MEO Wallet Type Wallet Regions Western & Central Europe NETELLER Type Wallet Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3 Payshop Type Cash, Prepaid card Regions Western & Central Europe Market relevance Medium Splitit Type Instalments Regions Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe & the CIS, Middle East & Africa + 3

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