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Home » Entrepreneur » Why are digital wallets so popular in ecommerce?

Peter Charmant

Head of Corporate Retail, Pan-EU and Ireland – Elavon Europe

Digital wallets are on the rise. Research by the card brand Discover shows that across Europe,1 digital wallets are the single most popular way of paying when shopping online. 

That might come as a surprise to some, but perhaps it shouldn’t. Anyone familiar with digital wallets will know they provide a level of convenience and security almost unrivalled by other methods of paying. 

Peter Charmant, Head of Corporate Retail for Pan-EU and Ireland for payments experts Elavon Europe, says: “Business owners should familiarise themselves with digital wallets to capitalise on this growth area. 

“Digital wallets are deceptively simple – in many cases, there isn’t a physical card behind it,” he says. “Remember: a digital wallet isn’t just on a phone, where it’s sometimes called a mobile wallet. It can also be on a laptop.”

Paying online is as easy as a click of a button 

The most common types of digital wallet in Europe are Apple Pay and Google Pay, but there are several others you might come across including Amazon Pay, PayPal and Alipay, which is widely used in China. 

Take Apple Pay as an example. Once a user has set up their card in the wallet, they can pay in-app or while browsing your website just by double clicking the button on the side of their smartphone. It’s a very similar process, and just as simple, with Google Pay or a wallet on a desktop computer.

Digital wallets are deceptively simple – in many cases there isn’t a physical card behind it.

At this point, you should think about where most of your customers are based and make sure you accept the schemes most popular in those locations. 

Whichever digital wallet your customer uses, there’s now no need for clumsy entering of long card numbers or going through the lengthy 3-D Secure authentication process. 

[1] Global Merchant and Consumer Payments Survey 2022. 451 Research, on behalf of Discover Network, asked 3,257 people: what is your preferred way to pay when shopping online? 36% of European respondents preferred digital wallets.

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