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Digital Payments Forecast To Grow by 70% Between 2020 and 2025, PPRO Almanac Finds

The latest edition of PPRO‘s Payment Almanac has been released by the financial service provider, which forecasts 70% growth in European digital payments over the next 5 years. 

As the global e-commerce landscape is expected to top $6.9 trillion in value by 2025, consumers have a right to expect to be able make purchases with their preferred payment method. Yet many firms still lack the knowledge, licensing, and technology to meet such demand.

To help overcome this challenge, PPRO’s 2021 Payment Almanac highlights local payment methods, consumer behaviour, e-commerce data, trends and projected market growth for 150+ countries around the world.

For payment service providers and other businesses with payment platforms, the ability to enable alternative and local payments is complex – requiring knowledge about local payments cultures, regulations and local payment methods specific to each market.

Considering 77% of global online purchases are not made with an international credit card, but with a local payment method, the Almanac provides the e-commerce industry with a resource to better understand the payments landscape, learn about the future trends, and meet the needs of their target markets.

Throughout the pandemic, many merchants, especially those based in the US, expanded their e-commerce presence worldwide. For companies looking to sell into a new market, the Payment Almanac will help refine their cross-border strategy by providing an analysis of market trends and payment methods in every region.

Some of the key findings per region from the Almanac include:

  • Europe:

  • The use of digital payments is forecast to grow by 70% between 2020 and 2025.

  • Western and Central Europeans pay for 45% of online purchases using a credit or debit card. The next most popular payment method is bank transfer (25%), followed by e-wallets (23%).

  • In 2020, e-commerce shipment volumes in Europe increased by 149% for internal purchases and 123% for cross-border purchases coming into the continent.

  • The e-commerce market in the UK is worth $282.8 billion (£204.8 billion) and the figure is expected to grow to $355.0 billion (£257.1 billion) by 2025.

  • 32% of consumers in the United Kingdom rely on various wallets for payments, and with the UK’s dominance as the top e-commerce market, it’s likely that mobile and wallet payment methods will continue to grow.

  • 24% of transactions in Eastern Europe are cash-based, while Western Europe is heavily dependent on bank transfer payments.

  • North America:

    • US-based merchants remain a top seller worldwide, making up almost 50% of cross-border e-commerce purchases in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Brazil.

    • In Canada, where 49% of its cross-border shopping activity comes from the United States, 23% of transactions are from digital wallets. For US-based merchants, that means offering Canadian consumers the option to use popular local methods.

    • Popular local payment methods like PayPal’s Buy-in-4, AfterPay, and Venmo are continuing to increase in popularity, driven by the Buy Now Pay Later trend within e-commerce transactions.
  • Asia Pacific (APAC):

    • 60% of consumers in the APAC region conduct payments with digital wallets, higher than any other region.

    • 72% of payment transactions in China are done with wallets like Alipay and WeChat Pay, and with 17% of cross-border transactions originating from the US, this is a growing region for US-based merchants.

    • 42% of Australian e-commerce activity is cross-border, as Australia and New Zealand continue to grow into a major e-commerce hub for the globe.

  • Latin America (LATAM):

    • 14% of transactions in LATAM are bank transfers and 60% are card-based — signaling the popularity of local bank cards and payment methods.

    • Similar to other countries in LATAM, e-commerce growth in Argentina was up 76% in 2019 alone and growing, with 71% of e-commerce traffic being conducted cross-border.

    • The unbanked population in areas like Brazil is reducing as an effect of government actions taken during the Covid-19 pandemic and an increased reliance on emerging payment methods like e-wallets, connected to a growing reliance on e-commerce.
Claire Gates, Chief Commercial Officer, PPRO
Claire Gates, Chief Commercial Officer, PPRO

“The reality of today’s e-commerce landscape is that brands are no longer siloed to one country or region, but instead conducting business across multiple borders,” said Claire Gates, Chief Commercial Officer. “This boom in cross-border e-commerce and the proliferation of niche local payment methods has intensified the challenge for companies who seek to make transactions simple and secure. The 2021 Payment Almanac not only provides a resource to better recognise consumer trends in each country, but showcases how the complexity of payments is increasing. Brands need to understand these regional differences if they want to capture new customers.”


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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