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Payment in Spain

Historically, Spain modernized its economy quickly, notably after World War II and the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. However, the last years were characterized by the implement of several austerity measures by the government, in a bid to reduce the large budget deficit. This market has a lot of growth potential, especially in relation to Cross-Border business within the EU: 60% of Spaniards make purchases from international websites - 90% of which are within Europe. E-commerce is expected to grow at a 10% compounded annual growth rate until 2022, while m-commerce growth is expected to double within the next few years. In 2017, Spaniards spent 761$ US per capita online, compared to 12,383$ US per capita at point of sale locations.

After the crisis - Optimism

E-commerce market growth in Spain is somewhat slow due to the effects of the financial crisis. It should be nonetheless noted that e-commerce was one of the least impacted industry sector during the crisis. Last year, Spain’s real GDP increased by 3%. While this is less than in 2015, it was not the worst in Europe. Unemployment rates, at 20%, are still high, but decrease of 2%. In a country were 46% of the population is aged between 25 and 54 years old, unemployment has a huge impact. Deflation is slowly but surely turning into inflation. In other words, things are going better and positive economic signals are increasing consumer’s confidence, which boosted consumer finance. This trend should maintain itself in the following years and encourage card transactions at the detriment of cash.

Preferred payment methods

46% of online transactions are processed through card payment - mostly through debit and charge cards. Only 20% of those card transactions are done through credit cards. The number of cards payments is expected to decrease in the next few years as alternative method of payments such as bank transfers and e-wallets gain in popularity. Mobile wallets were used to pay for 19% of e-commerce and 3% of POS transactions in 2017.

Alternative payment methods

In addition to classic pay on delivery and the well-known e-wallet PayPal, the payment providers Allopass, Hipay Wallet, SafetyPay, Teleingreso and Trustly are commonly used. Contactless payments are becoming increasingly popular in Spain. ImaginBank, the first 100% mobile bank system, was launched last year by the Caixabank. Samsung Pay was introduced on the market in early June 2016. Apple Pay has also been available in Spain since July 2017, making it the sixth European countries where it is accepted, after France, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. Small purchases are most likely to be paid for by debit card using contactless technology, a change embraced by millennials and younger generations.

Online Fraud Prevention in Spain

The rapid growth of e-commerce and m-commerce has also increased the fraud risk in these areas. The travel, tourism, game and betting industry are particularly extremely vulnerable. Businesses in this domain should ensure that they have good fraud detection and prevention mechanism. Spain is the country with the strongest smartphone penetration in Europe. The focus is therefore increasingly on Mobile Fraud Protection. Authentication and verification, which have been successful on the Web, may not be effective in Mobile Fraud Management and need to be rethought.

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Debit card 20%



Credit card 20%



E-wallet 19%



Charge debit card 13%



Bank transfer 13%




Desktop 68%



Mobile 32%



40 Bil. USD




Population: 46 Mil.



Internet Usage: 87%




Ecommerce News Europe – Ecommerce in Spain
Euromonitor – Financial cards and payments in Spain
The Paypers
Samsung – Newsroom
Worldpay - Global payments report, Nov 2018

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