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European shoppers slowly embracing mobile forms of payments, Mastercard study shows

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While online banking and cards are still the most popular forms of payment EU consumers have expressed a strong interest in new payment methods such as e-wallets, banking apps, QR code scanning and digital currency. There is also a huge shift towards contactless payments – often seen s the pre-stage to a move to mobile payments.

However, at the moment that interest is not translating into use, as is typical with new innovative technologies, it can often take time to be adopted by users. The important thing from an e-commerce and payment perspective is that the motivation is there and with so many different options for consumers, the practicality of shopping online becomes easier.

So finds the Masterindex 2017, a new Mastercard report on e-commerce and payment trends across the continent. The report included a survey 43,000 consumers in 23 European markets and it suggests that one in four Europeans with access to the internet purchased products or services online at least once a week in 2016.

According to the wide-ranging study of ecommerce habits, for one in three European online shoppers cards and online banking are the most used form of online payment from mobiles. Just under a fifth use online banking apps and only two per cent use digital currency.

Overall, interest in online banking apps (35%) is similar to e-wallets (35%) across Europe, pointing to potential for growth in these categories. In contrast, Europeans seem least open to digital currencies (11%) among all categories surveyed. Looking at the individual countries, Spain leads the way in interest in new technologies, with over half the people interested in e-wallets and 1 in 3 interested in contactless. However, only 14% of Spaniards use the technology, lagging behind Norwegians (20%), Greeks (20%) and Finns (19%).

When we combine this interest in innovative payment methods with the fact that consumers don’t feel that skills or acceptance of paying online are big barriers we can see that the conditions for continue growth of e-commerce are there. It is up to the market to attract increased use and more consumers through offers, convenience and reliability.

One of the most interesting emerging payment trends is that of contactless payments. Whilst contactless is an in-store purchase method it is often seen as a step towards the use of mobile phones as payment devices. The Masterindex shows that 43% of the cards in Europe are contactless enabled, however there are wide discrepancies across countries. In Poland and Czech Republic, nearly 90% of the cards are contactless enabled. However in Germany 83% of cards are not contactless enabled and this number is 90% in Belgium.

7% of Europeans use contactless payments on a daily basis, 26% using it once a week and 38% once a month. However, nearly half of the population has never used it.

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