European companies lag behind when it comes to digital payment methods

  • Just 28 percent of European companies offer their customers digital payment methods
  • On average, four different payment options are offered
  • Mobile payment is gaining ground, but cryptocurrencies are rarely accepted

Hamburg, September 18, 2019 – In Europe, digital payment methods continue to play a minor role, with just 28 percent of companies offering their customers digital payment options, down slightly on the previous year (2018: 29 percent). Whereas in Western Europe just under a third (32 percent) offer their customers this option, only around a quarter of companies in Eastern Europe do so (26 percent). Just 23 percent of European companies offer online transfers via third-party providers, while the availability of mobile payment is seven percent and rising (up from five percent in 2018). Cryptocurrencies continue to be a niche phenomenon and are rarely accepted as a means of payment. On average, customers are only offered four different payment methods. The survey commissioned on behalf of financial services provider EOS polled 3,400 companies in 17 European countries.

Across Europe, conventional payment methods dominate

The most popular payment method in Europe is still the traditional bank transfer, which is offered by 81 percent of all companies. This is followed by payment on account (69 percent) and advance payment (50 percent). “As our survey shows, European companies are still lagging far behind when it comes to using digital payment methods,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. “In a digitalized environment it will not suffice in the long term to rely solely on traditional payment methods. Companies should gear themselves systematically to customer needs and increase the number of payment options possible so as not to miss the boat. At EOS we also regularly check which payment methods are best suited to which country, so that defaulting payers can settle their debts in a way that is convenient for them.” EOS Group is represented in 26 countries worldwide.

Payment methods in Europe (ENG)

Payment methods offered in Europe:

  2019 2018
Traditional payment methods 100% 100%
Bank transfer 81% 82%
Payment on account 69% 64%
Payment in advance 50% 52%
Cash payment/payment on collection 42% 39%
Direct debit 38% 29%
Credit card 37% 32%
Payment in installments/financing 31% 33%
Debit card 28% 26%
Digital Payment methods 28% 29%
Online transfers via third party providers 23% 23%
Mobile payment 7% 5%
e-Wallets 4% 5%
Cryptocurrencies 1% 1%

“Please state which of the following payment methods you currently offer your 
customers for settling their bills.” / Multiple responses possible.

Please find further information in our EOS newsroom.

About the EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

About EOS Group

EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.


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