More than 50% of online consumers in the EU do not have a credit card.
“Alternative payments appeal to overlooked customer segments. More than half of European online buyers do not own a credit card…These buyers need alternatives when shopping online.” – Excerpt from “Understanding Online Payment Preferences in Europe” by Forrester Research
The most commonly cited reasons for the lack of credit card usage by Europe’s citizens are: Security concerns and aversion to debt. Here in the US we have recently seen the high profile and massive thefts of our data and credit card information from retailers both online and brick & mortar. It seems clear that this concern is well founded.
Simply put the widespread use of credit, as a means of day to day consumption, is a rarity outside the US. Banking in Europe was fragmented even within countries. So even where plastic was used it was often one many local and regional debit card networks. Credit card brands have had to push hard to market to the typical European. Even with their considerable brand recognition and marketing dollars(or Euros) Visa/Mastercard haven’t been able to crack the 50% mark.
Half a billion people make up the world’s largest marketplace the EU. If you want the opportunity to sell to all of them you have to offer alternative payment methods.