COVID-19 led to a dramatic increase in the daily active users (DAU) of PayPal apps on iOS and Android among European users, but at varying degrees. This according to numbers calculated from Airnow PLC. Big surges can be observed, for example, in Turkey, France, and Belgium, whereas Poland barely showed an increase. In 2019, figures for the United Kingdom and Germany were already significantly higher than those of other European countries. Europe has many different digital payment methods or mobile wallets. Overall, debit cards rank as the most popular online payment method, with mobile fintech applications being slightly more popular than credit cards. PayPal is widely considered to be one of the few apps that sees use among multiple countries in the European continent.
Payment options in Europe
In theory, PayPal can be used in every country on the European continent except for Belarus. Note, however, that several countries offer domestic payment options that work both offline as well as online. Comparing the many payment brands within Europe shows how different each European country is in this. Visa and MasterCard, globally regarded as leading brands in payments, had varying market shares across Europe in 2018. Sometimes their market share was significantly lower than domestic payment card schemes. In Denmark, for example, domestic card scheme Dankort (a payment card as well as a mobile wallet) had a market share of 68 percent (combining offline and online payments). In short, PayPal is available in Europe but might have domestic alternatives that very per country.
Differences in European (cross-border) e-commerce
PayPal use in Europe is very much connected to e-commerce. Like for payment methods, however, there are many differences in online shopping in Europe. In 2019, the United Kingdom was Europe's biggest B2C e-commerce market in absolute terms, followed by Germany. This picture changes somewhat when looking at the share of e-commerce within a country's GDP, however. Then, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Belgium join the UK and France as countries where online shopping made up more than three percent of GDP. Differences are even larger for cross-border e-commerce. Smaller European states, such as Malta, Cyprus, Montenegro, Luxembourg, and Iceland were most likely to buy something online from a foreign seller, either from within or outside the EU. Consumers from Turkey, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, on the other hand, tended to buy more from domestic sellers.
Average change of daily active users (DAU) of the PayPal app in 21 countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020
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Airnow. (May 15, 2020). Average change of daily active users (DAU) of the PayPal app in 21 countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117593/coronavirus-effect-on-daily-active-users-of-paypal-in-europe-by-country/
Airnow. "Average change of daily active users (DAU) of the PayPal app in 21 countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020." Chart. May 15, 2020. Statista. Accessed June 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117593/coronavirus-effect-on-daily-active-users-of-paypal-in-europe-by-country/
Airnow. (2020). Average change of daily active users (DAU) of the PayPal app in 21 countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: June 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117593/coronavirus-effect-on-daily-active-users-of-paypal-in-europe-by-country/
Airnow. "Average Change of Daily Active Users (Dau) of The Paypal App in 21 Countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 15 May 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117593/coronavirus-effect-on-daily-active-users-of-paypal-in-europe-by-country/
Airnow, Average change of daily active users (DAU) of the PayPal app in 21 countries in Europe from 2019 to 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1117593/coronavirus-effect-on-daily-active-users-of-paypal-in-europe-by-country/ (last visited June 27, 2022)