4 European payment methods that I should know to include in my online store


Published 09/11/2021 · 5 min read

Do you have an eCommerce and sell products online in the European Union? How do you charge your customers?

If you have an online store that sells products to European customers, you will probably want to know the most common payment methods used by consumers across Europe. Remember that the best way to charge your customers will always depend on two factors: the type of business and the country where it is conducted.

Integrating payment options that add value to your customers' shopping experience is key for your business, because a prerequisite for a satisfied customer is that they find the payment method that best suits their needs. If a consumer is not familiar with the payment method you offer, they are very likely to abandon the shopping cart.

That is why one of the main keys of any eCommerce is to know which European payment methods to include in their online store. And that the chosen options convey confidence, security and simplicity.

What payment methods should you include in your online store? Which are the most used and why?

4 Global eCommerce Payment Methods in Europe

Choosing payment methods for your eCommerce is crucial. The best option will depend on the type of payment being made and the country where the payment takes place. Ideally, however, users should be able to access a range of local payment methods in all the European countries where your business operates, so that you can adapt to the specific needs of consumers.

With this in mind, we have compiled 4 of the most popular payment methods in the European market that you can enable in your eCommerce through PayXPert:

1. iDEAL

What is it?

It is the most popular payment method in the Netherlands, as well as an interbank system supported by the leading consumer banks in the Netherlands. When a customer selects this option at checkout, a log in is required to verify the transaction. Customers who choose this payment method in online stores have 4 options:

  • Bank transfer (quick, easy and secure).
  • Payment by credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Euro 6000).
  • Cash on delivery (10% of the total amount of the purchase must be paid by bank transfer).
  • Payment with PayPal (it is fast and applies a surcharge of 2.5% on the total amount of the purchase plus 0.35 euros).

Where is it used?

iDEAL is a fabulous choice for online stores selling products in the European market, specifically to charge Dutch customers. It is the preferred payment method for online consumers in the Netherlands, as more than half of their online transactions use this payment method.

iDEAL is available to merchants processing payments in most EU countries.

Why is it popular?

Dutch users choose iDEAL because it is an easy-to-use, fast, simple payment system with low transaction fees. Online stores targeting this audience are including iDEAL because they know that this audience is familiar with this payment method, in addition to high conversion rates, guaranteed transactions and a fast settlement cycle (between 1 and 3 days).

2. Bancontact

What is it?

It is a standard addition for any Belgian consumer opening a bank account with a Belgian bank. In fact, it has become the preferred payment method for online consumers in Belgium. It is a fast and secure system that users trust and the main choice for merchants offering their products and services to Belgian consumers. When paying with Bancontact, buyers have several options:

  • Bancontact card (this is a a regular card payment without a security code, which complies mandatorily with 3D Secure requirements).
  • Bancontact mobile (this is a secure and fast payment option via the Payconiq by Bancontact mobile app).
  • QR code payment via smartphone. Electronic payments can be made in physical or online stores, stations, gas stations, etc.
  • They are innovative means of payment that allow you to pay with Bancontact, without contact, using wearables such as a smart ring, watch, bracelet or keychain.

Where is it used?

It is the most common card and payment method in Belgium. In fact, more than 50% of all eCommerce transactions in the country are processed with this method. In addition, it is available to merchants processing payments in most EU countries.

Why is it so popular?

Bancontact is a very popular payment method due to its secure transactions, guaranteed and fast payments, as well as consumer confidence.

3. Klarna (Sofort)

What is it?

It is an online payment service that allows any eCommerce to accept bank transfers quickly and securely. It is common for consumers with a bank account in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the United Kingdom, although its popularity is spreading to other countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It is the main method for direct online payment and is key for any company wishing to operate in these countries. It is now also known as Sofort and is done through a direct bank transfer.

It works as follows:

  • User selects the country and bank.
  • He enters the online banking data, which is encrypted and sent to the bank.
  • A confirmation pin is received.
  • The transfer is made and the eCommerce receives the confirmation.

Where is it used?

Klarna is not available in every country in the world, but it can be integrated by merchants processing payments in most EU countries. This secure payment tool is an ideal solution for eCommerce since it also allows you to buy now and pay later. It can be implemented with all types of businesses thanks to PayXpert.

Why is it so popular?

Its popularity is not only due to the simplicity and speed of its transactions, but also to the support of a team specialised in security and its easy integration into eCommerce.

4. Trustly

What is it?

It is a secure payment method that allows users to send money from their bank account to the merchant's account instantly. It works on the basis of interbank transfers. With Trustly, even though 10% of transactions made by small banks are not instantaneous, they are confirmed the next day. Thanks to this payment method, users can pay quickly, without cards, applications or sign-ups.

  • It allows accepting payments, issuing disbursements and accessing valuable data to better understand customers.
  • It is easy to activate and allows the use of different currencies.

Where is it used?

It operates in 17 different countries and is available to merchants processing payments in most European countries. It allows online store customers to enjoy easy payments and faster refunds, making it a guaranteed successful experience.

Why is it so popular?

Because it allows payments to move from one account to another with no sign-up, uses state-of-the-art technology and is easily integrated into all European markets.

Statistics on the most used digital means of payment

If we talk about payments worldwide, the figures that show the use of digital payment methods vary by country. For example, we have collected some relevant data from the latest Statista report on The most used payment methods in e-commerce during 2020:


  • 45% of Spanish consumers claim to have used PayPal as a payment method when shopping online.
  • Debit cards are the second most chosen payment method by Spaniards when paying for their online purchases, accounting for 30%.

United Kingdom

  • 30% of online consumers chose to pay for their products using debit cards.

United States

  • Digital wallets and credit cards were the preferred payment options for most US consumers, accounting for about 30%.
  • 20% of consumers used debit cards to pay for their online purchases.

Asia Pacific

  • 60% of eCommerce transactions were made via digital wallet.

Latin America

  • The use of digital or mobile wallets to pay for online purchases accounted for around 20%.

How to collect payments from your European customers? Key findings

The online growth of the European market has triggered new needs for businesses and users, leading to the adoption of new payment solutions tailored to the needs of today's consumers. Despite the remarkable success of payment methods in Europe (iDEAL, Bancontact, Klarna (Sofort) and Trustly), it is important to know that they are not the only ones.

At PayXpert, we help eCommerce to enable all these and other payment methods, depending on the country and type of business. You need to think carefully when choosing your payment methods to charge your European customers, so we help you through the process.

Do you want to know more about the preferred payment methods in markets around the world? Follow us every week on our blog.

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