Market size of POS transactions in Europe 2018, by country

Transaction values at domestic points of sale (POS) in 2018 were highest in the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany when it comes to absolute numbers. When comparing the market size to GDP, on the other hand, it shows that POS transactions were lowest in Switzerland, Norway, and Luxembourg. This based on an overview that attempts to give an estimate of how much money consumers spend in offline brick-and-mortar stores in different European countries. This is a difficult estimate to make, as data is not readily available on all payment types. The use of cash money, for example, is not tracked. This overview can provide a first glimpse, however, the differences that exist in Europe when it comes to payment behavior. Countries where POS transactions seem relatively less important, like aforementioned Switzerland, Norway, and Luxembourg but also Sweden and the Netherlands, could very well be into either domestic e-commerce or cross-border e-commerce. The relative market size of domestic e-commerce in Norway was notably among the highest in Europe.

POS transactions market size in 32 countries in Europe in 2018

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period


Special properties

All number shown are estimates, because not all payment methods are tracked. No country in Europe, for example, has exact numbers on cash or the value of mobile payment transactions.

Supplementary notes

POS transactions stand for all types of payments done (cash money, cards, mobile payments, etc.) in offline shops, but in Europe, these numbers are either incomplete or vary in quality. In order to make an estimation, this list looked at the following indicators:

  • Value of ATM cash withdrawals (either with cards issued by resident PSPs at any terminal, provided by either a resident or non-resident PSP, or with cards issued by non-resident PSPs at terminals provided by resident PSPs;
  • Value of OTC or over-the-counter cash withdrawals;
  • Value of card payments, issued by resident PSPs;
  • Value of e-money payment transactions, issued by resident PSPs.

In short, "POS transactions" in this statistic aims to include both cash money as well as its most likely substitutes. The full market size could be larger than what is presented here (as it does include mobile payments, for example, as this data was not available), although it should give an indication of most of the POS transactions.

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