Shopping online – what are the most popular payment methods worldwide?

31 March 2017

Business Insight

All around the world, people are shopping more and more online. This means that shoppers are no longer limited to what is sold in the local store and as a seller, the world really is your oyster. So long as you have a payment gateway which accepts international cards, you can start taking orders from all over the world.

Now it’s probably not surprising that paying by card is the most popular option in many countries around the world. Below in green you can see countries in which the majority of online payments are made by credit or debit card (in red are the countries which have another preferred method and the countries in grey were not included in the research).


Popular payment methods - Lemon Way


The most popular cards are Visa and MasterCard, together accounting for the majority of card payments.

There are some interesting variations between countries, however, with some countries even having their own local payment methods. Here are five payment methods which are the most popular or second most popular methods in certain countries.



In several countries, such as Argentina, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, customers can pay for online purchases in cash by visiting a convenience store or other establishment.



Cash on delivery is the most popular payment method in Egypt and Russia and the second most common in the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Taiwan, where 19% of purchases are paid for in this manner. In Indonesia the preference is explained by the fact that many people do not have bank cards.



In Germany the most popular payment method is invoicing. German shoppers receive an invoice by email or with their delivery and then proceed to payment. This removes any worries about being dissatisfied with the purchase as they can choose to return the product without ever having paid for it. This method is the second most popular in Sweden.

Individual vendors choose the payment method they prefer so invoicing is always combined with another payment method, such as a payment link from Lemonway for E-commerce.



In some countries, customers prefer to pay by bank transfers. This method is the most popular in Finland and Indonesia and the second most popular in Switzerland, Portugal, Norway and Malaysia.

In some countries there are also systems which allow you to pay by bank transfer using a centralised system which has every bank listed. This simplifies the process as the amount and the seller are already entered and the buyer only has to enter his or her bank details and code to pay. The Netherlands has a system called iDeal which works in this way and is the most popular payment method.



There are some payment methods which only exist in certain countries. In Brazil you have the Boleto Bancario as the second most common payment method and the second most common method in the Netherlands is the Acceptgiro. Both are systems for invoices. The Boleto Bancario can be paid in cash in various places, including the post office, lotto houses and supermarkets. The Acceptgiro has the banking details of the payee to facilitate the payment.

Belgium has the BanContact card, formerly known as BanContact/Mistercash. This card can be used as a debit card or to make payments online.