Romania’s online shopping rates among the lowest in Europe; most prefer to pay on delivery

Anca Alexe 30/07/2018 | 12:21

The high number of people who own a smartphone and their improved internet access has led to a growing number of Europeans who use their smartphone to maintain their relationship with their banks, for either shopping or payments.

For example, the share of people in Europe who use their phones for banking has increased from 48 to 61 percent in the past year, according to an international survey conducted by ING which observed the behavior and attitudes of almost 15,000 people in 13 countries in Europe, as well as the US and Australia.

As for online shopping, people in the UK and US are the most active compared to consumers in Europe and Australia. In general, 77 percent of the UK population makes online purchases at least once a month, compared to the European average of 67 percent. At the other end of the spectrum are Belgians, Romanians and the French, who do the least online shopping.

During store shopping, Europeans make 92 percent of payments using cash, credit or debit cards. For online payments, on the other hand, consumers are using more and more payment methods, which offer different experiences.

Growing number of online payment options

42 percent of Europeans choose to pay for their shopping immediately through a debit or credit card, 32 percent choose PayPal, 11 percent prefer paying on delivery and 11 percent choose local payment solutions. Decisions are motivated either by convenience, security or the compatibility of devices used or the presence of fees. At the same time, the survey shows that in Romania the share of those who buy online but prefer paying cash or card upon delivery is 46 percent.

While the popularity of various payment methods varies from one country to another, alternative technologies are starting to gain more ground. Of these, the most widely accepted is PayPal, with only 13 percent of respondents saying they will never use this online service.

However, the study shows that other online giants like Amazon, Google or Apple have a lot of work to do to compete with PayPal. In Europe, 25 percent, 31 percent and 32 percent respectively say that they would never use such services for payments for goods and services in stores or online. The news is even worse for Facebook: half of Europeans (52 percent) say they would never use this platform for payments.

Short-term control of money

In order to better manage their money, consumers would appreciate memos or notifications related to their operations, which would inform them but wouldn’t restrict their decisions. For example, 80 percent of Europeans like being informed about their updated balance after a payment, and 76 percent would like to receive notifications after every payment made above a certain amount.

On the other hand, Europeans see more value in notifications regarding weekly spending and memos about long-term financial goals. Behavioral science shows that people tend to pay more attention to notifications that refer to the short-term rather than those about the long-term, and it is possible for these to encourage people to feel more confident in their decisions.

“Physical stores that have remained on the market need to adapt to consumers’ changing habits and expectations, which includes flexibility of payment. This way, the use of cash will continue to decrease and there will be more options for alternative payment methods. Most likely, credit and debit cards will benefit in the short term, but as alternative method awareness grows, it is possible for their market share to also decrease.



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