The Most Popular Payment Methods in Europe

Most common payment methods in Europe
PCMI logo
Insights » EMEA » The Most Popular Payment Methods in Europe

By 2026, cards and wallets will be battling it out for overall market share in Europe, according to data from Worldpay, FIS and PCMI. This is one of the trends we discussed at our recent megatrends webinar for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the graphic below offers a closer look, along with comparisons to other regions (it’s important to note that the data below only applies to e-commerce purchases).

2026 forecast of payment methods in five regions worldwide: North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

At PCMI, our work in global payments market research often focuses on payment methods, as clients explore opportunities in different areas, seek hard data and sights to drive new strategies and look to achieve other goals.

But in this piece, we’ll primarily be sharing top payment methods in Europe. While our team produces payments market research for the EMEA region, we’ll treat top payment methods in the Middle East and top payment methods in Africa in separate stories.

Most Common Retail Payment Methods in Europe

Recent data from Worldpay looked at common payment methods in Europe for the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

In the aggregate, the most common payment methods for these European country at the point of service (POS, or retail) are:

Top POS Payment Methods in Europe

While cards are dominant at the POS, Worldpay forecasts that there will be considerable shifts by 2027:

Top POS Payment Methods in Europe (2027)

Here we see the top 3 methods lose significant share as digital wallets gain hugely in share—14 percentage points, while the last 2 methods stay the same.

Most Common E-commerce Payment Methods in Europe

As has occurred in other markets, digital wallets are used for a significant amount of e-commerce transactions in Europe, significantly higher than cards:

Most Common E-commerce Payment Methods in Europe

By 2027, Worldpay projects that digital methods will gain a greater share of e-commerce payments in Europe as cards, Buy Now Pay Later and other methods stay flat or lose share.

Top E-commerce Payment Methods in Europe (2027)

Top Payment Methods in Specific European Markets

While aggregate information can be helpful, drilling down into specific markets can serve strategic planning more effectively. With that in mind, below we break down top retail and e-commerce payment methods in key European markets, based on 2023 data published by Worldpay.

To facilitate browsing, you can choose the country you are interested in from the menu below.

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN FRANCE

Most common e-commerce payment methods in France

In France, while digital wallets are in the lead, cards still retain significant market share. It’s projected that cards will lose share by 2027 and wallets will become dominant.

Top E-Commerce Payment Methods in France

Most common retail payment methods in France

With point of service (POS) transactions, digital wallets have a very low share and cards remain dominant. While it’s projected that wallets could double in share by 2027, this growth won’t be enough to displace cards as the leading payment method for retail transactions in France—though wallets are likely to surpass cash.

Top Retail Payment Methods in France

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN GERMANY

Most common e-commerce payment methods in Germany

Cards have a fairly low share of online purchases in Germany, where more than half of e-commerce transactions involve digital methods. It’s projected that wallets will pull ahead of other methods to have a 45% share by 2027.

Top E-Commerce Payment Methods in Germany

Most common retail payment methods in Germany

Cash commands a powerful 36% of retail payments in Germany, followed by debit cards. These two methods will account for more than 60% of transactions by 2027, though wallets should eventually double their current 13% share by 2027.

Top Retail Payment Methods in Germany

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN ITALY

Most common e-commerce payment methods in Italy

Digital wallets and credit cards are used for more than half of online transactions in Italy, and it’s projected that by 2027 these two methods will lose only 2 percentage points in combined share. Other methods will lose share or remain flat over the next few years.

Top E-commerce Payment Methods in Italy

Most common retail payment methods in Italy

Currently, 6 of 10 retail transactions are made with either cash or debit cards in Italy, with digital wallets placing a distant third. It’s projected that wallets will double in share by 2027 to become the #2 method in retail payments share, surpassed only by debit cards.

Top Retail Payment Methods in Italy

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN POLAND

Most common e-commerce payment methods in Poland

BLIK is embedded in banking apps, with 35% penetration among adult users in Poland and 71% transactions growth since 2022, as per PCMI analysis of World Bank Findex and FIS data. So it’s no surprise that A2A dominates Poland’s e-commerce transactions.

Top E-Commerce Payment Methods in Poland

Most common retail payment methods in Poland

But when it comes to in-store payments, cash still has a strong grip in Poland, along with debit cards.

Top Retail Payment Methods in Poland

Worldpay forecasts that cash’s grip on retail payments will be considerably weakened by 2027, when its share will drop to 18% and digital wallets will double in share to 40% and surpass even debit cards.

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN SPAIN

Most common e-commerce payment methods in Spain

While Bizum, a mobile payments system in Spain, has an impressive 63% penetration among adult users and 23% transactions growth since 2022, other methods remain strong as well.

Top E-commerce Payment Methods in Spain

However, Worldpay forecasts that by 2027, digital wallets (42% projected share) and A2A (24% projected share) will emerge as the dominant forms of payments for online shopping in Spain.

Most common retail payment methods in Spain

Cash is still king when it comes to in-store purchases, followed by cards.

Top Retail Payment Methods in Spain

However, Worldpay forecasts that digital wallets will more than double in share by 2027 to reach 27% to become the #2 method. Cash will still remain #1 at 30%.

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN TURKEY

Most common e-commerce payment methods in Turkey

Credit cards dominate online purchases in Turkey, with four times the share of wallets, the nearest competing method.

Top E-commerce Payment Methods in Turkey

However, Worldpay forecasts that wallets will gain ground to reach 28% share by 2027, while other methods will either lose share or remain flat.

Most common retail payment methods in Turkey

Credit cards are also dominant in retail payments in Turkey, followed by cash, debit cards and wallets.

Top Retail Payment Methods in Turkey

Worldpay forecasts that credit cards and cash will still command significant share in 2027—but digital wallets will more than double to reach 28% and become the #2 retail payment method in Turkey, surpassing cash.

TOP PAYMENT METHODS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Most common e-commerce payment methods in United Kingdom

As is the case in Italy, France and Germany, digital wallets dominate e-commerce payments in the UK…

Top E-commerce Payment Methods in The United Kingdom

…and they are projected to reach 50% by 2027. Cards will lose ground by several percentage points, while A2A will increase by 1%.

Most common retail payment methods in United Kingdom

While cards are still dominant for retail purchases in the UK, digital wallets are expected to grow.

Top Retail Payment Methods in The United Kingdom

In fact, Worldpay forecasts that digital wallets will more than double in share to reach 29%, surpassed only by debit cards, forecasted to have 37% share in 2027.

Next Steps

Contact us to go beyond these numbers to fully understand the payments trends in Europe. Our Europe payments market research can help your company in a variety of ways, including:

  • Opportunity benchmarking

  • End user insights

  • Competitive intelligence

  • Market sizing and projecting

And much more. Our data and insights help global payments companies determine their strategic approaches, make key investment decisions, inform product launches, understand near term market trends and guide other crucial initiatives. Contact us.


Keep up to date with our e-commerce, payments and crypto insights:

Sources:

  1. Worldpay, 2024. “The Global Payments Report 2024
  2. PCMI, 2024. “2024 Payments Megatrends — Americas”.
Avatar photo
PCMI
info@paymentscmi.com

Payments and Commerce Market Intelligence (PCMI) is a strategy consultancy specializing in the global payments industry.