From mobile banking to contactless phone payments to blockchain wallets, there is no shortage of money transfer solutions nowadays.
Growing investment in fintech innovation has fueled disruption not only in the way financial institutions work, but also in the way consumers behave. Non-cash payments have been growing by nearly 7% each year, with card payments accounting for 75% of transactions – an encouraging outlook for the connected, cashless society.
But even as long physical distances no longer take a toll on the speed or cost of money transfers, new challenges emerge. The diversity of local currencies, financial culture, and consumer preferences with regard to payment methods create gaps in spite of geographic proximity.
While SEPA aims to harmonize digital payments inside the EU, Europe on the whole experiences the effects of such fragmentations.
A money transfer from France to the UK, or from Germany to Poland can come at a heavy price for consumers – due in equal measure to currency conversion charges and to the varied cost structures of different payment methods.
Because if in the eurozone bank to bank transfers remain the preferred choice, local and regional solutions are quietly booming. iDEAL, the most popular method for online payments in the Netherlands, Alipay in…