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Worldline Hits a Billion Transactions in Belgium as Electronic Payments are on the Rise

Worldline is proud to announce that it has reached a major milestone in the history of its Belgian business and saw a billion electronic payments processed in the first half of 2019, up 12% on the same period last year. 

While cash is still widely used when making physical payments, Belgium, like many European countries,  has embraced digital payments and there is an undeniable rise of electronic payments with growth rates both in store and of course the soaring e-commerce. In this segment, the number of online transactions in Belgium has grown 30% this year to 105 million electronic payments in the first half compared to 80 million for the same period last year.

Outside of e-commerce, card and smartphone payments are proving extremely popular with the public.  There was an increase in almost a fifth (18%) in contactless and electronic payments for transactions with a value of less than 5 euros. 

Key trends of the Belgian payment landscape:

A growing share of the omni-channel experience: a sharp rise in online shopping

While Belgians still enjoy buying at the point of sale, they are increasingly supplementing it with online purchases. Today, one payment in 10 is made online. This trend is now closer to overall payment trends seen across Europe, demonstrating that the Belgian payments landscape is now more closely aligned with its European neighbours.

the number of online transactions in Belgium has grown 30% this year to 105 million electronic payments in the first half compared to 80 million for the same period last year.

This trend is confirmed by the sales figures; during the 2018 winter sales, Belgians made 15.8 million online payments. This year, there were 20 million online transactions, a 27% increase. The latest sales accounted for 184.5 million electronic payments in total, a 14% increase compared to 2018. Worldline expects the future to be dominated by omni-channel commerce, which supports customers, increases footfall in stores, and improves the user experience and customer loyalty.

The growth in contactless payments

As at 31 May 2019, Worldline had already recorded 36 million contactless payments (284% increase from May 2018 to May 2019), equal to the number of contactless payments during the whole of 2018 and 7% of all electronic payments in the country at the beginning of this year. It is important to note that 91% of all contactless payments via Bancontact totalled less than 25 euros. This is in line with the trend in many European countries where cardholders are finally adopting contactless as a fast, secure and simple payment method.

Small value transactions increasingly paid by card or smartphone

Until recently it was unthinkable to pay for a loaf of bread or a newspaper electronically, the trend today is clearly to pay for any type of purchase by card or smartphone, even for amounts less than 10 euros. So we see that electronic payment of small amounts is growing in popularity every year.

In the first half of 2019, Worldline had already recorded a 13% increase in electronic payments of up to 10 euros compared with the same period in 2018. For amounts under 5 euros, the company has seen an increase of 18%.


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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