Best Payment Methods for Selling in Europe: Updated for 2024

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In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, staying up-to-date with the latest payment methods is crucial for businesses that want to thrive in Europe’s diverse market. With the ever-changing landscape of online payments, it’s essential to adapt and provide your customers with convenient, secure, and localized payment options.

In this article, we’ll explore the best payment methods for selling in Europe in 2023, helping you make informed decisions to enhance your e-commerce strategy.

TL:DR: ThriveCart lets you accept payments via PayPal and Stripe, which means customers can choose from any supported payment method.

Europe is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and payment preferences. To succeed in this market, you need to offer a variety of payment options that cater to the needs and preferences of European consumers. Let’s dive into each of these methods and discover the key considerations when it comes to the best e-commerce strategy.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets have gained immense popularity in recent years. They are mobile applications or online platforms that allow users to store payment information in a secure way, allowing consumers to make transactions without having to enter card details every time.

In Europe, digital wallets have become a preferred method for online shopping due to their convenience and security.

How Do Digital Wallets Work?

Digital wallets store your payment information, such as your credit card number and expiration date, in a digital form. When you make a payment, you simply enter your username and password, and your payment information is automatically entered into the payment form. This eliminates the need to carry around your credit card or cash, and it also helps protect your personal information from fraud.

Leading Digital Wallets in Europe

PayPal: While often considered a global payment platform, PayPal remains a top choice in Europe. It supports multiple currencies and allows customers to link their bank accounts or credit cards for seamless transactions.

Apple Pay: Apple’s digital wallet is widely used in Europe, thanks to the prevalence of iOS devices. It offers secure, contactless payments in physical stores and online, making it a favorite among Apple users on iPhones and Apple Watches

Google Pay: Google Pay is another popular digital wallet in Europe. It integrates with Android devices – including smart watches – and offers a streamlined checkout process on websites and in apps.

Samsung Pay: Although primarily associated with Samsung smartphones, this digital wallet has gained ground in Europe. It supports both NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technologies for wider compatibility.

What You Need to Know About Digital Wallets

Users Love Them: In 2020, there were approximately 2.8 billion mobile wallet users worldwide, and this number is expected to increase to over 4 billion by 2025, according to Juniper Research.

Security: Digital wallets prioritize the security of customer data when handling transactions. Most wallets use tokenization – the process of replacing sensitive info with unique identification symbols – to protect sensitive information.

Mobile Optimized: Ensure your e-commerce website or app is mobile-friendly, as digital wallets are predominantly used on smartphones. Smartwatches are also becoming a more popular payment method that support digital wallets.

Transaction Fees: Be aware of any transaction fees associated with digital wallet payments, as they can vary depending on the wallet and the region. PayPal is one of the more affordable options in Europe.

Card Payments

Everyone Loves Card Payments

Credit and debit card payments have long been the bedrock of e-commerce in Europe. As credit and debit cards have become a part of consumers’ everyday life for quite a while, accepting card payments is now pretty much non-negotiable when it comes to running a successful online business.

Types of Card Payments

Credit Cards: Widely used for online purchases, credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted virtually everywhere nowadays.

Debit Cards: Debit cards, which deduct funds directly from a customer’s bank account, are also commonly used for online shopping.

What You Need to Know About Card Payments

Payment Processors: Choose reliable payment processors to handle card transactions. Stripe and PayPal are popular options known for their security and easy-peasy integration.

Payment Security: Credit and debit cards are widely known as being very safe forms of online payment, and in recent times banks have upped their online security when it comes to protecting consumers from fraud.

Accepting Multiple Card Types: By using a platform such as Stripe, your platform can accept various card types, no matter where the customer lives, to accommodate a broader customer base.


The Global Payment Giant

PayPal is a widely recognized and trusted payment method worldwide. It offers a secure way for customers to make online payments without sharing their card details with merchants.

Advantages of PayPal

Trust and Familiarity: Many European consumers trust PayPal, and its logo is synonymous with secure online transactions.

Buyer and Seller Protection: PayPal provides buyer and seller protection programs, enhancing trust on both sides of the transaction.

Global Reach: PayPal supports multiple currencies, making it suitable for international e-commerce.

What You Need to Know About PayPal

Fees: Be aware of PayPal’s transaction fees, which can vary based on your location and the specific services you use.

Integration: Integrate PayPal seamlessly into your checkout process to offer a frictionless payment experience for customers.

Account Verification: Ensure that your PayPal account is verified to access advanced features and higher transaction limits.

Local Payment Methods

The Importance of Localization

While global payment methods are essential, don’t underestimate the power of local payment methods in Europe. Different countries often have unique preferences, and offering these options can significantly boost conversion rates.

Examples of Local Payment Methods

SOFORT: Popular in Germany, SOFORT allows customers to pay directly from their bank accounts using online banking credentials.

iDEAL: This Dutch favorite enables bank transfers for customers in the Netherlands.

SEPA Direct Debit: SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) direct debit is widely used for recurring payments across Europe.

Giropay: Giropay is another German favorite that facilitates bank transfers for e-commerce purchases.

Want to offer local payment methods? PayPal and Stripe both support SOFORT, iDEAL, SEPA direct debit as well as Giropay, and more.

What You Need to Know About Local Payment Methods

Market Research: Identify the local payment methods preferred by your target audience in specific European countries.

Integration Challenges: If you choose to go the self-build route, it can be initially complex to add local payment integrations to your platform. (Good news: with ThriveCart, that’s no longer a problem).

Currency Handling: Ensure your system can handle multiple currencies if you are catering to customers across various European countries. Stripe is one of the best options to handle multiple ways of payment, no matter where your customer is based.

Buy Now, Pay Later

The Rise of BNPL Services

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) services have gained immense popularity in recent years. These solutions allow customers to make purchases and spread the cost over several installments, often with no interest or fees.

Advantages of BNPL

Increased Conversion: BNPL options can lead to higher conversion rates as customers appreciate the flexibility in payments.

Attracting Younger Shoppers: Younger generations are particularly drawn to BNPL services, making them a valuable demographic to target.

Reduced Cart Abandonment: BNPL can reduce cart abandonment rates as customers are usually more likely to complete a purchase if they can spread the cost.

Key Considerations for BNPL

Integration: Choose a BNPL provider that integrates seamlessly with your e-commerce platform. PayPal Credit is the BNPL service from PayPal, which is popular in Europe.

Transparency: Clearly communicate the terms and conditions of BNPL options to customers to avoid any confusion. Don’t make your small print so small!

Apple/Google/Samsung Pay

The Mobile Payment Revolution

Mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay have transformed how consumers make payments, both online and offline. These services provide a convenient and secure way to complete transactions using smartphones and wearables.

Benefits of Mobile Payment Solutions

Contactless Payments: Mobile payment solutions support contactless payments, which have become increasingly popular due to hygiene concerns.

Enhanced Security: These services use biometrics and tokenization for secure transactions.

Faster Checkout: Customers can complete purchases quickly without the need to enter card details.

What You Need to Know About Mobile Payment Solutions

Device Compatibility: Ensure that your e-commerce platform supports the devices and operating systems that these mobile payment solutions require. (Hint: ThriveCart checkouts look amazing on mobile!)

More Sales: According to Statista’s Market Insights, mobile e-commerce sales reached $2.2 trillion in 2023 and now make up 60 percent of all e-commerce sales around the world.

ThriveCart Has PayPal and Stripe Built-In

In order for your business to be a roaring success in Europe, you need to figure out how to offer a wide range of payment methods that will be popular with people across diverse regions.

Luckily, some clever people have already done that for you: Stripe and PayPal.

With these payment platforms, you can provide your customers with multiple payment options that can lead to higher conversion rates and more profits. They are two of the leading payment providers on the globe, and with ThriveCart, you get to take advantage of them with a simple one-click integration.

All you need to do is choose which payment platform you want – or both! – and you’ll be able to take any form of payment listed here. When combined with payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, ThriveCart is your number one solution for your e-commerce business.

Diverse Payment Options: ThriveCart supports various payment methods via Stripe and PayPal, including digital wallets, card payments, BNPL (buy now, pay later) and even the integration of local payment methods.

Security: ThriveCart takes security seriously and ensures that transactions are processed securely, helping you build trust with your customers.

User-Friendly: Our checkouts are designed to provide a seamless and user-friendly journey, reducing cart abandonment rates and increasing the chance that you make a sale.

Customization: You can tailor your ThriveCart themes to your brand’s look, add features and integrations and much more.

The European e-commerce landscape is dynamic and diverse, and consumers have high expectations of a variety of payment options. By offering digital wallets, card payments, local methods, buy now, pay later services, and mobile payment solutions with ThriveCart, you can rest assured that no matter how your customer wants to pay, they can pay safely with you.

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