EU Directive PSD2 set to boost online payment transactions: only a quarter of companies offer digital payment options

  • More secure online payment methods reduce payment defaults and offer great potential for German companies
  • EOS survey shows that mobile payment is becoming more important especially in Germany

Hamburg, Germany, September 10, 2019 – The difficulties associated with implementing the EU Payment Services Directive PSD2 are causing its potential benefits – greater security and more choice of digital payment methods – to be overlooked. And the new directive can still make a lot of difference, given that just 27 percent of the German companies surveyed offer their customers digital payment options. This is one of the findings of the representative survey “European Payment Practices” 2019, which was conducted by financial services provider EOS. The figure of 27 percent puts Germany at roughly the European average (28 percent) but far behind innovative trailblazers like Denmark (47 percent). This is despite the fact that digital payment methods reduce payment defaults, especially when compared with payment on account, which is particularly popular in Germany.

PSD2 set to boost digital payment methods and reduce payment defaults

As the EU Directive prescribes a complicated customer authentication process for online transactions, retailers fear that many more online purchasing processes will be abandoned without completion. “This anxiety on the part of retailers is understandable,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of EOS Group. “Nevertheless, we will soon be seeing new innovative payment methods on the market thanks to the opening of account interfaces for third-party service providers. Moreover, a higher level of security in digital transactions, for example due to the two-factor authentication process, will mean less fraud and fewer payment defaults. As professional receivables managers, we think that PSD2 genuinely does offer companies a multi-million euro potential.”

The security advantage offered by digital payment methods could be of particular interest to retailers in Germany, where even in online commerce, payment on account after receipt of the goods is especially popular. This is why 81 percent of the companies in Germany offer this method, compared with the European average of just 69 percent. Germans also love direct debit and 56 percent of companies offer this method (Europe: 38 percent). The problem for the retail sector with these payment methods in particular is that payment defaults are very frequent, as customers can refuse or revoke the payment and keep the goods.

Mobile payment gaining ground

The example of mobile payment shows that progress is being made in respect of digital payment methods. Even if it still plays a minor role overall, this form of payment is becoming increasingly important. Across Europe, 7 percent of companies offer mobile payment meanwhile, compared with just 5 percent in 2018. In Germany, customers can use mobile payment at 6 percent of the companies, a significant increase on the previous year (2018: 1 percent). The launch of Apple Pay in Germany in December is likely to be one of the reasons for this. A look at Germany’s neighbor Denmark is a good indicator of how far mobile payment could spread, as 28 percent of Danish companies already offer mobile payment options, a European record.

  Germany Europe

Traditional payment methods

99% 100%

Bank transfer

92% 81%

Payment on account

81% 69%

Payment in advance

73% 50%

Direct debit

56% 38%

Cash payment/payment on collection

55% 42%

Payment in installments/financing

32% 31%

Debit card

28% 28%

Credit card

23% 37%

Digital payment methods

27% 28%

Online transfers via third party providers

14% 23%


13% 4%

Mobile payment

6% 7%


0% 1%

“Please state which of the following payment methods you currently offer your
customers for settling their bills.” / Multiple responses possible.

About the EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

Downloads / further information

You will find the complete survey report and numerous infographics in the survey section of our website: Download now!

About EOS Group

EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.

For more information on EOS Group, please go to