Western & Central Europe

The Region

With a population of over 480 million, over 420 million Internet users and an average GDP per capita of almost $43,000, Western and Central Europe is one of the most lucrative retail markets in the world.

2019 and 2020 have undeniably been a challenging time for the EU and region in general. Neither inflation nor the economic growth rates hit the targets set by policymakers. But despite this, the finance industry registered rising confidence for much of the year. With new leaders, with new approaches, in both the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness (BICC), there’s reason to be optimistic.

The Western & Central European
Payment Landscape

The Local Payment Culture

For this report, PPRO surveyed 19 key markets to find out what the payment landscape looked like. Those markets are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

The most popular way of paying for online purchases in Western Europe is with a credit or debit card. They have 43% of the online payments market1. Bank transfer comes in at 24% and e-wallets have 21%. Various smaller payment methods have a 7% share of the online market. And cash has a 6% share. Be warned, however, that these averages contain sharp differences between national markets.

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The E-Commerce Market

The value of goods sold online in Europe by the end of 2019 was planned to reach more than $680 billion. Analysts expect more and more Western Europeans to start looking online for bargains, rather than on the high street. According to PPRO’s own research, 14% of all retail purchases in this region are made online, but that figure varies widely from country to country. At the same time, the value of e-commerce as a whole is set to grow by 38%.

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