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UK Consumers Shift to Digital Wallets and BNPL as Costs Rise

UK BNPL Digital-Wallets
March 25, 2023

UK Consumers Shift to Digital Wallets and BNPL as Costs Rise

UK consumers are turning to alternative payment methods such as digital wallets and buy now, pay later (BNPL) to cope with the cost of living crisis, according to the Worldpay from FIS Global Payments Report 2023.

The report reveals that digital wallets accounted for over a third of UK e-commerce transaction value in 2022 and increased their share of POS transaction value to 10 per cent. BNPL rose to  of e-commerce spend in 2022, up by 33 per cent YoY from 2021, while account-to-account payments (A2A) accounted for nine per cent of e-commerce transaction value in 2022, up from eight per cent in 2021.

The report also highlights that the UK e-commerce market reached $319billion in 2022, with debit cards (47 per cent) and credit cards (29 per cent) dominating in-store payments. However, the use of digital wallets in-store increased to 10 per cent in 2022, and it is predicted to account for 21 per cent market share in 2026.

Meanwhile, the rate of cash use in the UK continues to decline, falling to 10 per cent of point of sale (POS) transaction value in 2022, down from 21 per cent in 2019.

While digital wallets lead the way in the UK, payment methods vary greatly across Europe, with A2A payments having a much larger market share in Poland (67 per cent) and the Netherlands (62 per cent). BNPL is the leading payment method in Sweden (24 per cent), while credit cards dominate in Turkey (53 per cent). The report attributes these differences to factors such as local culture, regulation, and technological innovation.

Innovation in payments

According to Pete Wickes, EMEA general manager at Worldpay Merchant Solutions, FIS, innovation in payment solutions can help businesses thrive through economic troubles while potentially gaining market share from competitors.

“Although the threat of a global economic slowdown may have hampered consumer spending, e-commerce continued to grow in the UK last year. Innovation in payment solutions is running at a hot pace right now, greatly improving the experience for customers, reducing headaches for merchants, and unlocking new avenues for growth.”

The Worldpay from FIS Global Payments Report 2023 is based on a survey of 46,000 consumers, secondary research, and validation by payments experts from each region. The report tracks consumer payments when shopping online and at the point of sale, identifies key payment trends, and projects future scenarios for payment method shares and market size.

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