Global study highlights regional variations in payments

Payments UK, trade association for the payments industry, has published a second report in its World Class Payments series, titled: ‘How consumers around the world make payments’.

The report provides an overview of how payment methods are used in various countries in Europe and around the world and highlights key regional differences.

Among the report’s findings:

• The UK was the first country to introduce the global technology for chip and PIN, which rolled out nationally 10 years ago on 14 February 2006. Some countries, notably the US, are still to complete their rollout of the technology.
• The number of debit cards in China more than doubled between 2010 and 2014: 3.28 debit cards are held per person in China, compared with 1.48 in the UK.
• Direct debits are more than twice as popular in Germany than the UK, and 200 times more popular in the UK than in Russia.
• Instantaneous internet and mobile payments have been available in the UK since the launch of the Faster Payments Service in 2008. An equivalent service is yet to be launched in the US.
• In 2014, Portugal had the highest number of cash machines per head in Europe, with 1,540 per million inhabitants. Sweden had the lowest, with 333 per million inhabitants, while the UK has 1,074 cash machines per million people.

“This report provides a fascinating insight into how much variation exists in consumer payment behaviour around the world and the high level of choice, convenience and protection which UK consumers enjoy, compared with many others around the world,” said Maurice Cleaves, chief executive (CEO) of Payments UK.

“The UK has a great track record of leading where others follow, with both contactless payments and Paym being recent highlights. By using the findings from this report to focus on the future and what customers need next, Payments UK will ensure that customers benefit from the best possible payment services and the industry we represent remains central on the global payments stage.”

The World Class Payments report that Payments UK published last year set out 13 core payment capabilities that are needed for a payments environment to be world-class, and identified four priorities that it believes should be the initial focus to help the UK achieve its vision.

The new report is available to download from:


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