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How to fix cross-border payments in Europe

Cross-border payments are growing every year as consumers seek out more choice and better prices from markets around the world.

Currently worth around $2.5 trillion annually, business to consumer e-commerce will be worth about $7.4 trillion by 2030[1] – around one-third of today’s entire US economic output.

According to McKinsey and Company[2], more than one dollar in seven ($1 trillion) of this value will be transacted across borders.

A new white paper, Solving cross-border payment challenges for Europe’s merchants, PSPs and consumers outlines the key challenges European merchants, consumers and payment service providers (PSPs) face in paying across border.

These include complexity from slow transactions, a lack of interoperability in an overly-diverse ecosystem, and limited accessibility caused by low bank account penetration in some countries.

The white paper also highlights the opportunities merchants are missing when using inefficient, slow, risky and often costly cross-border payment methods.

In an increasingly diverse financial ecosystem, merchants will miss out on revenue without having a wide range of payment options for their customers – research from PaymentsNext shows up to half of consumers abandon a transaction if their preferred payment method is unavailable.

Wallets trump cards

Digital wallets are fast gaining ground as the world’s preferred payment method, especially among the young, thanks to their ease of use and flexible functionality.

If wallets are the future, then they bring their own challenges, including poor acceptance and low incentivisation for both consumers and merchants.

The white paper argues that the market needs an easy-to-use, flexible digital wallet solution built for cross-border commerce that enables the use of national and international payment schemes while rewarding both users and merchants.

Founded in Brazil thirteen years ago, AstroPay’s digital wallet solution was built to overcome the challenges faced by consumers paying across borders.

Their digital wallet is free for users to register and features no user transaction charges. As a solution developed for emerging markets, AstroPay has an absolute commitment to security and privacy while ensuring a fast and simple user experience for those paying or looking to withdraw money from their AstroPay wallet.

AstroPay’s digital wallet solution simplifies cross-border acceptance for merchants by providing a single API for accepting transactions and receiving funds.

The wallet encourages more conversions and increases the range of consumers merchants can reach thanks to the more than 200 different payment methods supported.

Meanwhile, consumers benefit by making transactions, deposits and withdrawals internationally without using a debit or credit card.

The fact that AstroPay is free of charge for users encourages usage and revenue growth for merchants. As one of the few digital wallet schemes to offer a user reward programme, AstroPay also helps merchants to convert more browsers to purchasers.

Having experienced very rapid growth across Latin America and Africa, AstroPay is now available in Spain, Portugal and the UK and plans to expand into more countries in the years ahead.

With dedicated researchers and product developers providing in-depth insight into each market’s user behaviour and payment landscape, AstroPay meets the challenges today’s consumers and merchants face in cross-border e-commerce.

To find out more about how AstroPay is solving cross-border commerce challenges for merchants, consumers and PSPs, download our white paper here.

[1] See Precedence Research, 21 April 2022: “B2C e-commerce to hit $7.45 trn by 2030

[2] See Logistyx, “McKinsey projects cross-border to exceed $ 1 trillion by 2030


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