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Boku Breaks Down Regional E-commerce Payment Trends as Local Payment Popularity Soars

“Cash is king” and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” are common phrases heard in the payments industry. However, digital payments have had an undeniable impact in the sector, and according to new research from Boku, the global network for localised payment solutions, there has been a continued decline in the market share of traditional card payments.

Produced in collaboration with Juniper Research, the Boku report, titled 2024 Global Ecommerce Report: The Changing World of Payments surveyed 10,500 consumers. It analysed data from 37 major markets across the globe to identify global, regional and country specific trends. The findings highlight significant and rapid consumer shifts in e-commerce payments away from the traditional card networks (and in emerging economies cash on delivery) towards local payment methods such as digital wallets.

Nick Maynard, VP of fintech market research at Juniper Research
Nick Maynard, VP of fintech market research at Juniper Research

Nick Maynard, VP of fintech market research, at Juniper Research said: “Our research for this report from Boku highlights that against a backdrop of continued strong growth in e-commerce, the global card schemes (credit, debit and card-linked wallets) continue to lose share to regional and local payment methods. This is a trend seen at an aggregate global level but also repeated in every region across the world.”

Emergence of A2A payments

Further findings revealed that account-to-account (A2A) payments (instant payments and bank transfers) such as PIX in Brazil, UPI in India, or iDEAL in the Netherlands are revealed as the fastest-growing payment method within e-commerce. A2A payments are forecast to more than double and become the fastest growing local payment method within e-commerce. This accounts for 18 per cent of all e-commerce transactions by volume by 2028 globally (up from eight per cent in 2023).

Furthermore, instant A2A and non-card-linked wallets will account for over 50 per cent of e-commerce transaction value globally by 2028.

Declining card transactions and growing local payment methods.

The report also found that card values will decline to 19 per cent of transaction value by 2028 (down from 31 per cent in 2023). By volume, card payments will account for just 30 per cent of e-commerce transactions in 2028 ( down from 41 per cent in 2023).

By 2028, local payment methods will account for 58% of ecommerce transaction values (up from 47 per cent in 2023), accounting for a majority of transaction value online for the first time. Boku also estimated that in four years 37 per cent of all individuals globally will actively use local payment methods.

Younger generations are paving the way

Payment choice is key for consumers around the world. Today’s mobile-first generations – with whom access to and affinity with card networks is low – prioritise the convenience and seamless nature of paying with digital wallets, direct carrier billing and Instant A2A payments. As with the adoption of many new technologies, the adoption of localised payment solutions by younger generations and populations is paving the way for adoption by older consumers.

Stuart Neal, General Manager for Identity, Boku Inc
Stuart Neal, CEO, Boku

Stuart Neal, CEO of Boku said, “Our research shows the way the world transacts online is changing fast, and that change is being driven in the main by a consumer preference for convenient, seamless payment methods like digital wallets, direct carrier billing and Account to Account transfers.

“Merchants now realise that the key to their future global growth and success lies in their ability to offer consumers more payment choice. At Boku, we’re excited to provide the world’s largest merchants with access to our global network of localised payment solutions so their customers can more easily pay for the things they love, the way they want – no matter where they are in the world.”

Regional takeaways include:
Africa & Middle East

Africa & Middle East is in many ways already a local payments and mobile money success story, with the region’s services such as M-PESA and MoMo seeing strong adoption. As such, merchants require highly localised payments strategies in these markets to ensure continued results.

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific payment requirements are changing quickly. While card payments will continue to account for a significant amount of payments – around a third of e-commerce payments by volume by 2028 – local payment methods are fast gaining traction, winning market share from card payments.

Europe

Europe, in particular, will see a dramatic shift away from cards, with the proportion of e-commerce transaction volume featuring cards dropping from 53 per cent in 2023 to just 30 per cent in 2028. A2A payments will experience massive growth from 16 per cent volume of transactions in 2023 to 25 per cent in 2028, due to the ability it provides in moving money without additional intermediaries.

Far East and China

Far East and China is a mobile wallet-dominated market, with great emphasis on ‘super apps’ such as WeChat and Alipay. E-commerce payment methods are anticipated to stay somewhat consistent with this over the forecast period with little shift in the payment methods used, due to how well-established the market already is.

LatAm

LatAm is a market in motion – e-commerce payment methods are changing rapidly, which means merchants must alter their acceptance strategies, or they will fail to take advantage of e-commerce growth. PIX is the obvious early success story, but CoDi in Mexico, as well as PSE in Colombia are also winners.

North America

North America is a heavily-developed market in regards to e-commerce, with the majority of consumers having access to bank accounts and plastic cards. One of the greatest concerns for e-commerce consumers across North America is the ability to checkout seamlessly, as well as having the ability to pay in installments resulting in growth of lower friction payment methods such as; Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), A2A payments and non-card-linked wallets.

The Indian Subcontinent

The Indian Subcontinent is seeing an increasing shift towards local payment methods, with A2A payments in particular gathering momentum. Local payment methods are anticipated to have a sizable share of payment methods by 2028, equating to 72 per cent of e-commerce transactions by value, an increase from 58 per cent in 2023.

India is the largest driver of both volume and value within the Indian Subcontinent, therefore it is unsurprising that the highly successful UPI scheme is driving local payments forward, providing a template for future growth.

Author

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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