The most popular payment methods for Insurance in Europe by country 

While various payment methods are popular worldwide, payment method preferences and solutions vary widely depending on various factors. In Europe alone, multiple solutions apply only to a specific country. Knowing your customers’ exact payment preferences is vital to reducing drop-offs at the checkout stage, which applies to any industry. For instance, insurance premiums, unlike eCommerce purchases, are mostly paid out through several installments, rather than a one-off transaction. Offering methods that enable recurring payments, such as direct debits and credit cards, may contribute to a better customer experience and a more efficient collection operation for insurers.  

There are many demographic factors to take into consideration when choosing which payment methods to offer, including age, gender, and class. The insurers’ target customers will have an effect on payment methods too. For instance, millennials and gen z are likely to be more tech-savvy and to choose less mainstream payment methods. In this report, we focus on the variety of payment solutions across specific European countries and how they differ from each other.     

Advantages of offering country-specific payment options at checkout  

ECommerce has boomed drastically over the last few years, and it has been shaping customer expectations for all the other sectors. As increasingly more consumers turn to digital to make purchases, ecommerce has seen the greatest advancements and innovations of all times. From AI-powered personalisation to single-click checkouts, consumers are offered the simplest and most seamless buying experiences, particularly at checkout. The challenge, however, is that customers now expect this quick and straightforward payment service for any product they buy online, including their insurance policies.     

Despite the advancements of eCommerce, the average checkout drop-off rate for desktop users is still at 69.75%, and Baymard Institute estimates that $260 billion could be recoverable by providing better checkout experiences. In a recent survey, 9% of the respondents mentioned the lack of payment method variety as their main reason for dropping off at checkout. Other causes include high extra fees, the requirement to create an account, and the unreliability of the website regarding safety.  

This applies to insurance too, as customers want to be able to pay for their products quickly, efficiently, and using their preferred payment method. Being able to convert that 9% of people who dropped off into real customers poses a serious profit opportunity that can’t be disregarded. It starts with knowing what your customers want and offering the payment methods that are specific to them and to where they are based.  

Imburse is a cloud-based payment middleware offering connectivity to the entire payments ecosystem. Once connected to Imburse, enterprises can easily integrate with any payment provider or technology, in any market, for both collections and payouts, gaining the flexibility to adapt to different markets and unique customers’ needs. Our data team developed a thorough report that covers some of the most popular payment solutions across various European countries. This report highlights the variety of solutions available, as well as the importance of meeting customers’ specific needs at checkout.  

Payment methods in Europe  

Debit or credit cards are the most popular payment method in Europe, with Western and Central Europeans using this payment methods for 45% of their online purchases. Bank transfer is the second most popular payment method, used for 25% of all online purchases in Europe. E-wallets coming in as the third preferred option of Europeans, followed by cash and other less known payment methods (Ppro report). 

Payment methods in the UK 

50% of the UK population prefers using credit and debit cards to make purchases online, with some of the most popular card networks being Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Digital wallets such as ApplePay, GooglePay, Amazon Pay, and PayPal come in second as the choice of 28% of UK consumers.  

8% of UK residents prefer using cash through payment methods such as Paysafecard, and PaysafeCash. Another 8% prefer other payment methods, including Boku and Zip, as well as Buy Now Pay Later solutions like ClearPay, that enable them to pay in installments and spread the costs throughout a designated period. Bank transfers are actually the preference of only 5% of UK residents, making them one of the least popular payment methods in the UK.  

When it comes to financial recurring payments, Direct Debit is the preferred method of 74% of UK residents. 30% of all recurring payments are financial and include mortgages, insurance, loans, pensions, and investments (GoCardless report).   

Imburse offers over 60% of payment coverage in the UK and over 80% of insurance-specific coverage. Once connected to us, you can connect with most payment providers and technologies, both international and UK-specific, and offer your customers the payment variety they are looking for.  

Payment methods in Portugal 

Credit and debit card payments such as Visa and Mastercard are the most popular payment method in Portugal, preferred by 44% of Portuguese consumers. Digital wallets take second place as the preferred payment choice of 26% of Portuguese. These wallets include the well-known Apple Pay and Google Pay, but also country-specific solutions such as MB Way.  

Imburse has over 60% payment coverage in the Portuguese market and over 80% insurance-specific coverage. By connecting to us, you can easily access most of the payment providers and technologies available in Portugal and offer your Portuguese customers the payment methods of their choice.  

Payment methods in Spain 

Similar to Portugal, Spain’s preferred payment method is debit or credit card, chosen by 47% of Spanish consumers. This is followed by digital wallets such as bizum and CaixaBank, both Spain-based solutions. Bank Transfers take third place and are preferred by 16% of Spanish consumers. Some of Spain’s most popular technologies for bank transfers include BBVA, Safety Pay, Sabadell, and iberCaja.  

Other popular payment methods in Spain include cash, chosen by 8% of Spain residents, and other solutions such as Oney, Mobiamo, and ClearPay. Imburse provides over 60% of payment coverage for the Spanish market and over 80% of insurance-specific coverage.  

Payment methods in Switzerland 

Contrary to Portugal and Spain, a bank transfer is actually the most popular payment method in Switzerland. 53% of Swiss consumers prefer bank transfers to pay for products and services. The technologies used for these transfers vary widely, some of the most popular ones being SEPA, Powerpay, Availabil, and Trustly. This is followed by 24% of the Swiss population opting for credit or debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and Myone. Digital wallets come in third place, chosen by 20% of Swiss consumers. Aside from ApplePay, GooglePay, and PayPal, there are other equally popular digital wallets such as Twint and Skrill.  

Imburse covers over 30% of all the Swiss payment providers and technologies and over 50% of the insurance-specific payment market. Our solution also enables you to add or change providers easily and quickly to adapt to customers’ ever-changing needs.  

Payment methods in Germany 

Bank transfer is Germany’s most popular payment method, with 49% of German residents preferring it over other methods. The technologies used include SEPA, Giropay, Paydirekt, Sofort, Paymorrow, Laterpay, and Klarna, so there is a mix of international and Germany-specific bank transfer technologies.  

Digital wallets such as Bluecode, Skrill, and Zimpler are chosen by 28% of German consumers, followed by credit and debit cards, preferred by 11% of German consumers. Other solutions and cash come in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Imburse offers coverage for over 30% of payment providers and technologies in Germany and over 50% of insurance-specific payment coverage.   

Offer country-specific payment methods with Imburse.  

Ensuring that your customers have their payment needs met should be of utmost priority to any business. Unlike in other sectors, insurers need to focus on premium collections and claims payouts or claims reimbursements. They need to deliver a great payment experience on both occasions to ensure customer satisfaction. However, connecting to multiple payment providers and technologies is nothing short of a hassle, mainly when insurers are reliant on traditional IT systems incompatible with modern technologies.  

Imburse is a cloud-based middleware connecting large enterprises to the payments ecosystem, regardless of their existing IT infrastructure. Through a single connection to Imburse, enterprises can collect or pay out using various payment technologies and providers around the globe. 

In a world where consumers’ payment preferences and technologies are ever-evolving, Imburse works with insurers to future-proof their payment requirements. Regardless of the business area, market, or needs, Imburse will connect you to your choice of technology and provider. 

Reach out to our team below should you want to discuss how Imburse can help you. Our team is happy to show you what our platform can do for your business and offer you a free demo. 


Bruno Soares

Bruno Soares is the Chief Product Officer at Imburse. Bruno is responsible for designing and implementing Imburse’s payments middleware. He has over two decades of experience in digital product management, spanning diverse industries including Digital Banking, Payments, E-commerce, Interactive Television, and Aeronautics.

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