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The Ultimate Guide to Online Payment Methods Across the Globe

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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  1. What Are the Most Popular Digital Payment Options Globally?
  2. Summing Up: Identifying the Right Payment Methods for Your Audience

Popular Digital Payment Options Around the World

In today’s globalized world, companies have the opportunity to expand their business across borders and reach out to consumers in every corner of the planet. However, to truly thrive in this environment, it’s crucial to find the right approach to local audiences. One effective way of achieving this is by adapting to the diverse payment preferences linked to various geographical areas.

So, whether you’re establishing a new business and plan to venture into international markets or are part of an established organization looking to broaden your customer base, it is essential to familiarize yourself with diverse payment systems around the world. Thus, without further ado, let’s explore some of the most widespread online payment methods across different locations!

What Are the Most Popular Digital Payment Options Globally?

Popular Digital Payment Options Around the World

Digital payment options vary from one region to another due to factors like technological infrastructure, regulatory environments, and cultural preferences. Here are some of the most common digital payment options segmented by region:


Europe is a diverse region that boasts a wide variety of renowned digital payment options, such as:


This electronic payment scheme popular in Belgium allows consumers to make payments online and in-store using a Bancontact card or the Bancontact app.


BLIK is a popular mobile payment system in Poland. It enables users to make payments and transfers using their smartphones and is supported by most major banks in the country.


This Buy Now, Pay Later service originating from Sweden has been steadily gaining popularity across Europe due to its convenience and flexibility.


Trustly is another Sweden-based payment solution that provides online banking services across Europe. This PSP gives consumers the opportunity to make direct bank transfers for purchases without having the need for a credit card or separate account.


This digital payment app allows users to make payments and money transfers via their smartphones. It’s widely accepted in Switzerland for both online and in-store transactions.


Some of the most popular digital payment methods specific to Africa include:


This mobile money service offered by Econet Wireless in Zimbabwe empowers users to conduct financial transactions seamlessly via their mobile phones.


M-Pesa is a mobile money service that has revolutionized financial transactions, particularly in African countries. After being launched in 2007 by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network operator, it quickly gained popularity and expanded beyond the country’s borders to other African nations, including Rwanda, tanzania, Uganda, and more.


Paga is a Nigerian-based mobile platform offering various financial services, from money transfers to bill payments.

Asia-Pacific (APAC)

The APAC region is well-known for its readiness to hop on technological trends, which is also reflected in its abundance of popular payment methods, such as:

Afterpay (Clearpay)

Afterpay, also known as Clearpay in some regions, is a Buy Now, Pay Later service originating from Australia. It allows consumers to pay for purchases in installments over time without the need for traditional credit checks.

This service has gained popularity for its ease of use and flexibility, especially among the younger demographic of shoppers who prefer budget-friendly payment options.


Developed by Alibaba Group, Alipay is one of the leading third-party online payment platforms in China. While initially it was created to facilitate transactions on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms, it has gradually evolved into a one-stop-shop financial services platform, offering features like mobile money transfers, wealth management, and bill payments.


GrabPay is a Southeast Asian mobile wallet and payment service offered by Grab, a ride-hailing and delivery company. With its help, users can not only pay for Grab services but also make purchases from partner merchants both online and offline.


UnionPay is a Chinese financial services corporation that issues debit and credit cards, facilitating transactions both domestically and internationally. These cards are widely accepted in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China, where they dominate the payment market.

WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay is a mobile payment platform integrated into the popular super app WeChat. Its users can make payments for a wide range of services, including in-store purchases, online shopping, and utility bills. WeChat Pay has become an integral part of daily life in China, offering users a seamless and convenient way to manage their finances and interact with a wide range of businesses.

Latin America (LATAM)

In many parts of LATAM, cash is still king. Due to this, local digital payment methods are often used to streamline and optimize cash transactions rather than replace them entirely. Here are some of the most common payment options in Latin America:

Boleto Bancário

Boleto Bancário is a popular payment method in Brazil. It generates a unique barcode that represents users’ payment details, which they can print out and take to a bank, post office, or any authorized retail location to make a payment. Boleto is particularly popular among older consumers who prefer cash transactions or have limited access to traditional banking services.


This Brazilian credit card brand was established through a collaboration of multiple local banks. Nowadays, it operates as a domestic payment network, offering credit and debit cards with competitive rates that are widely accepted domestically.


OXXO is a convenience store chain in Mexico that offers a cash payment option for online purchases through a voucher system. Customers can generate vouchers online and pay for their purchases in cash at any store in the OXXO chain.


This instant payment system introduced by the Central Bank of Brazil allows individuals and businesses to make real-time payments and transfers using smartphones, computers, and other digital devices. PIX transactions are available 24/7 and are processed within seconds, which makes them an excellent alternative to traditional local payment methods.

North America

The North American continent is home to an extremely diverse population, which translates to a wide variety of consumer preferences and payment options, such as:

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service developed for consumers with compatible Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Mac computers. It uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to securely transmit payment information to contactless payment terminals and is widely accepted at various retailers, restaurants, and apps.

Cash App

Cash App is a mobile payment service through which users can send, receive, and request money from friends and family. Users can also use Cash App to make purchases, invest in stocks, and receive direct deposits. The app’s user-friendly interface and customization capabilities have made it popular among millennials and younger consumers in North America.


Discover payment cards are widely accepted in the United States and offer various benefits, such as cashback rewards, no annual fees, and competitive interest rates. What’s more, Discover’s network includes millions of merchants across the country, making it a convenient payment option for consumers across the continent.


PayPal is an online payment platform that allows users to send and receive money, pay for purchases, and transfer funds between bank accounts. It’s widely used for e-commerce transactions and is accepted by millions of merchants.

The industry giant offers buyer and seller protection, secure payment processing, and multiple currency options, which results in it being one of the top choices for online payments in North America and beyond.

Middle East

The Middle East stands at the intersection of tradition and modernity, which is clearly reflected in the payment methods that are widespread in the region, including:


BENEFIT is a leading electronic payment network in Bahrain. It offers a variety of financial services, including payment processing, money transfers, and bill payments, which makes it a preferred service for many individuals and businesses in the Middle East region.


This is a national electronic payment scheme in Kuwait that provides services to both consumers and merchants. Throughout its existence, KNET has had a significant impact on the growth of digital payments in the country.

Summing Up: Identifying the Right Payment Methods for Your Audience

As you know, identifying and understanding which payment methods are right for your audience is crucial in today’s diverse and rapidly evolving global landscape. After all, by succeeding at adapting to local preferences, businesses can build trust, enhance user experience, and ultimately foster smooth and convenient transactions in an increasingly interconnected world.

Fortunately, by leveraging the regional insights covered in this guide and keeping up to date with payment industry trends, you will be well-equipped for efficient and fruitful business expansion across international markets.

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