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Local payment methods – why you need them

Quick facts

Whatever the locally preferred payment methods in a given market, if merchants and PSPs wish to prosper in that market, they need to be tailored to local consumer payment preferences. Our research found 20% of consumers will abandon their purchase if their preferred payment method is not offered.  If you or your merchants want to break into a particular market, then you’ll need to build a platform that meets local payment preferences.

This is why merchants should offer locally preferred payment methods. Because without the right mix of known and trusted payment methods for the local market, their site will underperform.

But how can you tell if your store, or a store operated by your customers, doesn’t have the right mix of local and alternative payment options at the checkout? What are the signs that you may need to revise your payments strategy to include more local or alternative payment methods?

Your conversion rates are low

As we have already seen above, almost a quarter of all customers in some markets will fail to convert if they get to the checkout and don’t see their preferred payment method.

Taking the time to understand the payment preferences of consumers in a market and then to localise your checkout experience accordingly is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing your cart-abandonment rate.

Scenarios in which a failure to accept local payment methods may be hurting your conversion rate:

  • You’ve opened a store in a new market, but you don’t have the right payments strategy, causing customers to abandon their transactions.
  • You’ve started a campaign to attract cross-border shoppers to your domestic store, but you haven’t taken the time to optimize your checkout for cross-border payments.
  • Due to disruptions in their shopping habits and brand loyalty, cross-border shoppers are organically finding your store, but you haven’t optimized your payment strategy for them.

If, in any of these scenarios, your conversion rates are lower than they should be, it is probably time to move away from only supporting conventional payment types and add credit-card alternatives such as e-wallets, bank-transfer, mobile wallets, and even online cash-payment methods.

Your return on UX investment is low

The average conversion rate for a user on a product page is under 8% [1].  At the checkout, the conversion rate is closer to 50% [2]. This means that leakage at this point in the sales journey is far more expensive than leakage further up the sales funnel.

If you focus all your time and money on improving the earlier stages of your customers’ journey without optimising your checkout, then you may see a lower-than-expected return on investment (ROI) for your efforts to improve the user experience (UX).

One of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment at the checkout is to add local and alternative payment methods.

A particular channel is underperforming

Underwhelming conversions in particular channel, such as mobile sales, could be a sign that you need to integrate local payment methods. In Africa, for instance, mobile money accounts — which allow users to pay using a feature phone via SMS — are growing in number by 12% a year [3]. Transactions from these accounts were worth US$495 billion in 2021 [3].

We could go on. But the point is clear. If a merchant expanded into some African countries without adding support for mobile money, that merchant would cut themselves out of consideration for many consumers paying by both smart- and feature phone. By the same token, merchants in Asia who don’t support e-wallets for smartphones will increasingly see their mobile e-commerce underperform, compared to other channels.

To ensure that all channels perform at their peak — leading to an increase in checkout conversions — you must support the range of different payment methods that customers prefer in that channel.

PPRO is a market leader in online and digital payments integration. We can help you integrate and offer a range of different payment methods for markets worldwide. Our experts will optimize your payment experience, so you can expand your business in new markets.

Do you have the right LPMs for your market?

One of the quickest ways to tell that you don’t have the right payments mix at the checkout, and need to add LPMs in order to optimise your conversion rate, is if you don’t support some or all of the most popular LPMs and payment types for the markets you operate in.

Listed below are some of the most popular payment types for regions around the world.


The APAC market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • E-wallets — 60%
  • Payment cards — 25%
  • Bank transfers — 7%
  • Cash — 4%
  • Other — 4%

Popular payment types in Asia-Pacific include China’s WeChat Pay, with a massive 800 million users [4], Southeast Asia’s GrabPay, with 180 million users [5] and India’s UPI, which has around 300 million active users [6].

North America

The North American market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • Payment cards — 63%
  • E-wallets — 27%
  • Bank transfers — 6%
  • Other — 3%
  • Cash — 1%

Popular payment types in North America include ApplePay, with 44 million users, Google Pay with 25 million and Samsung Pay with 16 million [7].

Western & Central Europe

The Western and Central European market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • Payment cards — 45%
  • Bank transfers — 25%
  • E-wallets — 23%
  • Cash — 5%
  • Other — 2%

Popular payment types in Western and Central Europe include Sofort with 85 million users [8], Klarna with 147 million users [9] and Giropay with 45 million users [10].

Eastern Europe & the CIS

The Eastern European and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • Payment cards — 33%
  • Cash — 24%
  • E-wallets — 23%
  • Bank transfers — 17%
  • Other — 3%

Popular payment types in Eastern Europe and the CIS include QIWI Wallet, with 17 million users [11], YooMoney, with 18 million [12], and WebMoney with 29 million users [13].

South & Central America

The Southern and Central American market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • Payment cards — 60%
  • Cash — 14%
  • Bank transfers — 14%
  • E-wallets — 11%
  • Other — 1%

Popular payment types in South and Central America include Rapipago, OXXO Pay and Pago Fácil.

Middle East & Africa

The Middle Eastern and African market breaks down as follows by type of online payment method:

  • Payment cards — 47%
  • Cash — 18%
  • Bank transfers — 17%
  • E-wallets — 14%
  • Other — 4%

Popular payment methods in the Middle East and Africa include M-Pesa with 51 million users [14], Airtel with 21 million users [15] and CashU with 2.3 million users [16].