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Let’s talk about digital payments

By now, it’s pretty clear that the pandemic changed how we make payments and do e-commerce. But the thing about e-commerce is that it’s complex. Getting people to actually hit the “buy” button isn’t all that easy.  That’s not considering integrating payment methods in the first place, UX, and necessary everyday business tasks like invoice reconciliation and accounting.

All of this leads to one question: How can you stay ahead of the e-commerce competition? 

Go local

The checkout experience is an e-commerce battleground. Over 60% of people abandon their carts online when they’ve already put in items. Of this high number, 20% don’t purchase because the payment method they like using isn’t at checkout.

So, when it comes to payment methods, it’s all about having the relevant local payment methods (LPMs). This comes down to offering whatever methods people like using in a certain country or region. If you’re in the Netherlands, you’ll need iDEAL. In France, you can’t go without Cartes Bancaires. In Portugal, Multibanco and MB WAY are a must. LPMs also include “alternative payment methods,” which are basically anything that’s not a credit or debit card – including payment methods like Sofort, AliPay, Boleto Bancario and Klarna.

Now, the payment methods popular in a certain place can also be heavily influenced by shopping behaviour. In Germany, for example, people don’t shy away from returning items, as 32% of clothes purchased are returned, which can partly explain their preference for using Buy Now, Pay Later payment methods.

It’s not only about the LPMs

Eighty-eight percent of consumers expect companies to fast track digitisation. So, the new expectation for consumers is very much digital first.

And by “digital-first” for payments, it’s not just about doing payments online but putting digital payments in face-to-face environments. QR codes across Europe are on the rise as are app-based payments for small merchants. The flexibility of digital payments means they can be used anywhere and tailored to today’s complex buying journeys.

Speaking of that, most customers cover around nine different contact points with brands when they buy, preferring certain ones depending on what they want. For example, 97% of Belgians prefer email for communications with brands, so it’s also important to know how customers like to be engaged along with, of course, with how they like to pay. In other words, the right consumer data is key.

The right payments partner

It’s all easier said the done when it comes to making e-commerce work. That’s why the best way to deal with all the complexities of the space is to take on a payments partner or platform.

You should look out for companies that can help guide you with issues like deciding whether to add the latest e-wallet or taking on a new currency and can provide the data and services needed to navigate operational complexities.

And, most importantly, keep an eye out for providers that integrate multiple payment methods and can help optimise payments to fuel conversion. This all will usually happen in a single platform where everything around settlements, transaction routing, and payment authorisation are taken care of. So, if there’s one question to ask when looking for a payments partner, it’s this: how can you help me stay ahead of the competition? Let that guide your way. 


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James Booth

James Booth

VP Head of Partnerships, EMEA


Member since

25 Jan 2022



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

The Payments Business

Share opinion and experience on how the payments landscape is changing and learn about the challenges and opportunities facing payments stakeholders in the future.

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