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FYST: Digital Wallets Take Top Payments Spot in Italy as Domestic Scheme Take Precedence in Russia

Payments consultancy for e-commerce businesses FYST has released the third and final instalment of its three-part report, ‘The Map of World Payments’, revealing e-commerce payment trends across Europe.

The FYST report reveals clear distinctions between countries in how consumers and businesses make online payments. The proportion of individuals using the internet for ordering goods or services swings from a high of 92 per cent in the UK down to a low of 38 per cent in Romania.

Other payment trends highlighted by the report include:

  • In Italy, digital wallets have overtaken cards; becoming the most popular online payment method
  • In less-developed markets like Kazakhstan, almost a fifth of online retail in 2021 was done via mobile phones, while in Azerbaijan, mobile payments comprise around 60 per cent of online transactions
  • E-commerce shoppers in more developed markets including Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and Lithuania overwhelmingly favour bank transfers ahead of cards – due to long-established and trusted credit transfer schemes which have been optimised for mobile usage
Adapting payments due to conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Because of the outbreak of conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, international sanctions were imposed on Russian-owned banks, remittance companies and other payments firms. This led to Visa and Mastercard suspending the processing of Russian-issued card transactions outside of Russia, restricting their usage to inside Russian borders only.

Consequently, the Russian domestic card scheme ‘MIR’ has significantly grown in usage. Russian consumers caused this growth by turning to alternatives to Visa, Mastercard and other methods for cross-border online transactions.

Meanwhile, several eastern European nations are renewing their focus on domestic payment schemes, like Uzbekistan’s ‘HUMO’, in the hope of making them viable home-grown competitors to Western-operated schemes.

Western Europe takes Visa and Mastercard ‘for granted’
Ryta Zasiekina, FYST payments
Ryta Zasiekina, CEO of FYST

Ryta Zasiekina, CEO of FYST, discussed how trends have changed across Europe. Zasiekina said: “Harmonised legislation like PSD2 has helped European Union consumers to adapt to shared payment instruments like SEPA bank transfers, with schemes like iDeal of the Netherlands and Poland’s BLIK being optimised for mobile usage, contributing to stellar growth. Consumers in Western Europe take it for granted that they will enjoy widespread acceptance of Visa and Mastercard, and a variety of payment methods that are interoperable across borders.

“On a broader scale, the emergence of Open Banking, account-to-account payments and real-time settlement systems are profoundly impacting on how consumers and businesses across Europe make payments, and in many cases, these new payment types are directly competing with cards.”

FYST’s report gives merchants valuable insights that they can use to optimise their online checkouts, reduce cart abandonment rates, and boost sales.

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