In e-commerce and online services, local payment methods grow in importance in many nations around the globe. On an international scale, the global credit card schemes have dominated online payments for a long time. But currently, they are in decline: Estimations state that in 2026, only around 16% of online payments will be conducted via credit cards. At the same time, payment solutions by BigTech companies like Apple, Tencent and Amazon grow in favor. They are popular and well-known all over the globe. In addition, digital financing like Buy Now, Pay Later find widespread adoption on platforms. Customers flock to such payment options as they guarantee them greater financial flexibility in the face of high inflation and times of economic downturn.
In any case, local payment methods are gaining steam: Some purely digital, some including offline interactions. Many such local payment methods have limited reach, only seeing adoption in specific regions or nations. However, sometimes a local payment method is able to expand beyond the confines of its region and become an international player. Today’s BigTech payment titans belong to this category.
Alternative payment methods encompass a variety of options, including:
- Bank Transfers
- Direct Debit
- Electronic Wallets
- Voucher Payments
- And more…
The Payment Options Line-Up Reflects Local Payment Preferences
Irrespective of their form, these alternative methods shape a country’s payment culture, which can vary greatly even between neighboring nations. Therefore, businesses looking to expand into new markets must consider local payment preferences. It’s estimated that up to 77% of transactions are made via alternative payment methods in some counties.
This article is intended to assist companies in understanding the payment cultures of regional markets. It provides an overview and aims to offer businesses a starting point for their own in-depth research. The article will cover the following regions:
- Africa and the Middle-East
- Asia and the Pacific
- North America
- South America
What payment methods do people in these parts of the world prefer? Let’s spin the globe a bit and have a look.Read More