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The problems with online payments in Europe — and how to solve them

Let’s face it: online payments in Europe are far from perfect. Countries such as France, Spain and Ireland still rely heavily on outdated card payments. And even newer methods such as buy now pay later (BNPL) have their own drawbacks.

    The problems with online payments in Europe

Luckily, there’s an alternative: TrueLayer Payments. Powered by open banking and Europe’s fastest rails, TrueLayer Payments lets you offer instant pay-ins, pay-outs and refunds to customers across the continent.

So what are the problems with online payments in Europe, and how do methods like TrueLayer Payments avoid them?

Here are just a few of the biggest barriers facing businesses and consumers alike.

Settlement is still stuck in the past

As the internet has accelerated daily life, methods like card payments remain stuck in neutral. Card transactions can take up to 10 days to settle, which makes common services far less convenient. Take trading apps, for example. If users top up their accounts using cards, they often can’t access their pay-ins until their funds settle.

These delays are problematic for both customers and businesses. TrueLayer research shows that slow deposits have caused a quarter of European investors to miss out on opportunities. And nearly 50% of investors surveyed said they’d switch trading platforms if the new provider offered instant withdrawals.

TrueLayer Payments lets businesses do just that: offer instant pay-ins and pay-outs so customers can access their money faster. Consumers can transact with the speed they need, while companies gain an edge on slower competitors.

Payments are expensive

Online payments are essential for a number of businesses, but they’re also costly. With cards, merchants are on the hook for steep interchange fees, processing costs and chargeback penalties.

Buy now pay later (BNPL) is a popular option, but its merchant service charges are substantial even compared to cards. Other methods, such as standing orders and manual bank transfers, involve manual processes that raise operational costs.

Not so with TrueLayer Payments. They lack the interchange fees of cards, and they also let businesses automate drawn-out processes like reconciliation.

Checkouts create too much friction

A smooth checkout process is an effective checkout process. Paying by card or manual transfer requires significant data entry, a slow, cumbersome and unreliable process.

Cards introduce additional problems. Strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements have made the checkout process even longer and more difficult, while card failure rates remain high at five to 15%.

TrueLayer Payments use open banking technology, eliminating the need to manually enter details. SCA is also built into its payment flows, creating a smoother and more secure experience that protects users from fraud.

Online transactions need to move quickly and smoothly. TrueLayer Payments can help you keep up. See how you can access instant bank payments in Europe at

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