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Study finds: German online shoppers prefer to pay by invoice

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Study Payment in Germany

Unsplash/Artem Beliaikin

Despite slight losses, purchase by invoice remains the payment method with the highest turnover in online shopping in Germany. Further, the payment service PayPal is becoming increasingly popular. This is confirmed by the new study “Online Payment 2019” conducted by the German retail research institute EHI, for which 111 online traders from different sectors and sales figures were surveyed.

Paying after receiving the goods is still the preferred payment method of German online shoppers: According to the current study “Online Payment 2019”, 27.9 percent of e-commerce sales in 2018 were settled by invoice. The second most popular payment method is the online payment service PayPal with a 20.5 percent share of sales, followed by direct debit (19.7 percent) in third place and credit card payment (10.7 percent) in fourth place.

Among the four most popular payment methods, only PayPal was able to slightly increase its market share by 0.6 percent. The other payment methods – invoice, direct debit and credit card – suffered losses of up to 0.4 percent compared to the previous year.

New safety standards

The study also examines the new requirements for security in online payment. From mid-September 2019, a new directive will apply throughout Europe, which is primarily intended to make credit card payments more secure. 68 percent of the traders surveyed are already using the new 3D-security standard (3DS) to secure credit card payments and avoid chargebacks. In 2017, the figure was 55 percent. A further 16 percent of online traders state that they only use the increased security standards under certain preconditions; the remaining 16 percent are not yet aware of the 3D-secure procedure.

3D-secure – increased cancellations of purchases

The additional security check will make online payment by credit card much more complex. The study shows that this already has an impact on consumers’ purchasing behaviour: According to the study, 40 percent of traders using 3DS report more cancellations after choosing the payment method credit card. 37 percent, on the other hand, state that the additional security step does not or only insignificantly lead to purchase cancellations when paying. Three percent of online traders even note a decline in cancellations.

In addition, 37 percent of traders surveyed observed lower credit card sales. In contrast, 7 percent reported an increase in sales.

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