PPRO research confirms local payment methods will dominate as cross-border e-commerce grows


PPRO, the leading global provider of digital payments infrastructure, today released the 2021 edition of its Payment Almanac.

As the global e-commerce landscape grows to be worth an expected $US 6.9 trillion by 2025, consumers expect to make purchases with their preferred payment method. Yet many firms still lack the knowledge, licensing, and technology to conduct local transactions. To help overcome this challenge, PPRO’s 2021 Payment Almanac provides comprehensive 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. Considering 77% of global online purchases are not made with an international credit card, but with a local payment method, 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.

Throughout the pandemic, many merchants, especially those based in the US, expanded their e-commerce presence worldwide. For companies looking to sell into a new market, the Payment Almanac will help refine their cross-border strategy by providing an analysis of market trends and payment methods in every region.

Some of the key findings per region from the Almanac include:

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 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.
  • The unbanked population in areas like Brazil is reducing as an effect of government actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased reliance on emerging payment methods like e-wallets, connected to a growing reliance on e-commerce.


  • 24% of transactions in Eastern Europe are cash-based, while Western Europe is heavily dependent on bank transfer payments.
  • 32% of consumers in the United Kingdom rely on various wallets for payments, and with the UK’s dominance as the top e-commerce market, it’s likely that mobile and wallet payment methods will continue to grow.

“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. “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.”