moneyHow do customers pay for your goods and services? The trade association for the payments industry, Payments UK, has released it’s 2016 report: ‘How consumers around the world make payments’.

It reveals that consumers in the UK benefit from high levels of choice, convenience and protection, compared with many others around the world. It’s all good news for British business.

Japan kicked-off electronic payments

Japan was the first country to introduce real-time payments back in 1973. Switzerland, Turkey and Iceland were the first, second and third to do the same in the European regions. The UK was the fourth in Europe, introducing real-time internet and mobile payments via the Faster Payments Service. In the USA this type of service has yet to be launched.

Cheques in decline

Cheques and giros are used by all major economies. There is a general trend away from cheques towards electronic payments. The decline in cheque payments varies from around 10% a year in the UK, Australia and Sweden to about 5% in France, Italy, Canada and the USA. Since 2001, the balance has tipped, with more electronic payments than cheque payments made by UK businesses. But the general trend doesn’t include everyone, certain businesses, including some sole traders, independent shops and schools still prefer to receive payment by cheque.

UK first for chip and PIN

The UK was the first country to adopt the global technology for chip and PIN. It’s ten years since this technology became the norm in the UK. The USA is one of many countries, which has yet to complete their rollout of chip and PIN technology.

Poland top for contactless cards

Information from Datamonitor, on contactless cards in 26 countries, shows that in 2014, the UK had the 4th highest number of cards on issue with contactless functionality, after Poland, Italy and Singapore. The UK Cards Association estimates that around 10% of card transactions are now contactless.

Japan and China hold the most debit cards

The number of debit cards in China more than doubled between 2010 and 2014. On average each person has 3 debit cards, which is the same as Japan. This compares to 1 debit card (well actually one and a half!) for people in the UK. Most people (93%) of those in the UK have a debit card.

USA tops the credit card list

In the USA people have almost 3 credit cards each on average. Whilst barely anyone in Germany does, at an average of 0.06 cards per head. In the UK the average is just below one card per person at 0.88. In fact, 60% of people in the UK have a credit card.

Germany happy paying by direct debit

Whilst the use of Direct debits in the UK is above the European average, in Germany, people are twice as likely to pay by Direct Debit than we are in the UK. Direct Debits are used to pay for regular bills and in Germany, in contrast to the UK, a significant proportion of Direct Debit payments are made by businesses. Direct Debits in the UK are 200 times more popular than they are in Russia.

Portugal has more cash machines per person

According to 2014 statistics, Portugal has the highest number of cash machines per head in Europe, with 1,540 per million inhabitants. The Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland and Sweden along with the Netherlands have the lowest number of cash machines ranging from 333 to 448 per million people. By comparison the UK has 1,074 cash machines per million people; that’s one machine for every 930 people.

Read the full report 

Marketing Zone can help you to communicate the payment options you provide to customers. When it comes to e-commerce websites, we can incorporate secure electronic payments. Talk to Mark on 07801 419800, email or tweet @MarketingZoneUK