A study by Payments Europe, an association of global and European card-based payment solutions providers, concludes that cards are the preferred payment method in Europe. It is both preferred by merchants and consumers. According to the research, the use of cards has increased over the years, with 87% of European consumers feeling comfortable paying this way.
Cards were the most used electronic payment method. 52% of all non-cash transactions in the EU were paid by card while credit transfers accounted for 24% and direct debits for 19%. Meanwhile, new forms of payment are emerging across the EU through fintech mobile/online applications. This opens up more possibilities within the market.
Preferences and benefits
According to the study by Payments Europe, almost nine in ten consumers feel comfortable paying by card. Consumer benefits are convenience (49%), speed (35%), retailer acceptance (40%), complementary insurance (36%), and cash-back on purchase (35%). On the merchant side, 91% of retailers say the benefits of payments by card outweigh associated costs. For merchants, the main benefits of card payments are guaranteed payment (53%), increased sales (44%) and access to a broader customer base (38%).
Kris Peeters, MEP and former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Consumers, says in the research that: “The cost for electronic payments with debit cards has fallen in recent years, despite the perception that sometimes still exists with merchants. In past years, the payments market has seen various technological innovations and therefore became more competitive. It is in the interest of the merchant to compare the different tariff formulas as often cheaper alternatives exist.”