European Mobile Payments Report 2024

Steven Jacob
Francesco Burelli
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Management Summary

The European mobile payments landscape exhibits significant fragmentation, driven by rivalry among international digital wallets, local mobile payment solutions, and overarching initiatives like the European Payments Initiative (EPI). Our analysis reveals a landscape characterized by steady growth and intense competition, as well as showing early signs of the next stage of maturity.

Across virtually the entire periphery of Europe (Nordics, Eastern Europe, and the Iberian Peninsula) and Switzerland, banks have successfully established fast-growing “best practices” with high penetration and usage of mobile payment solutions. But there is a strong impetus among players to achieve scale across multiple countries in the region. For example, WeRo, the newly established EPI digital wallet solution, is multicountry by design, initially targeting Benelux, France, and Germany. At the same time, some national solutions are pursuing organic/inorganic paths to capture new markets and set cross-border standards.

Looking forward, it remains highly uncertain whether any local methods—or the EPI for that matter—will emerge as a multi-country or even European champion in the long run. Within the context of predicting what the 2030 European mobile payment landscape will look like, there are three possible scenarios:

1. Single European solution: The emergence of a dominant European mobile payment method likely led by the EPI, subject to decisive political backing and adequate financing.

2. Multi-country clusters: Cross-regional clusters formed through the expansion and consolidation of existing systems, supported by technical harmonization and interoperability, e.g., through industry alliances such as the European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA).

3. Continued fragmentation: Persistent fragmentation with numerous local options and bank-specific apps, with international wallets and payment schemes remaining the common solutions throughout the region.

Banks, merchants, and investors should monitor changes in payers’ preferences and the overall landscape to spot and capture value-creating opportunities, especially as the relevance of mobile payments and banking continues to rise. Additionally, our analysis highlights the overarching success factors derived from local best practices. Amongst others, success factors include: comprehensive coverage across all value transfer channels (point-of-sale, ecommerce, peer-to-peer (P2P)); a favourable market environment with limited alternatives; strong collaboration among local banks; and an evolution from P2P to retail payments.

We view these success factors largely as a conditio sine qua non (essential condition) and believe they should serve as a benchmark for all positioning decisions.

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European Mobile Payment Landscape
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