Belgium was relatively late to embrace ecommerce, compared to its neighbors in France and the Netherlands. However, the nation's online shopping market has surged in recent years, with rapid growth expected to continue.
Belgium’s French speakers and Dutch speakers have their own favorite ways to pay, but over two-thirds of online payments across both groups are made with credit cards and the nation's domestic debit card, Bancontact.
In this article, I’ll discuss the 6 most commonly used payment methods in Belgium to help you expand your business into this country.
6 Top Payment Methods in Belgium
Bancontact is Belgium’s most popular payment method, with millions of cards in circulation and more than 150,000 average daily transactions. In fact, more Bancontact cards exist than Belgian residents.
Bancontact is linked to the majority of Belgian banks. Users can pay online or in person through contactless and chip-and-pin payment terminals. They can also use the Bancontact app and send payments with a custom-generated QR code.
Business owners appreciate the fact that Bancontact payments are irreversible once confirmed, which reduces the number of chargebacks. If you’re hoping to accept payments from Belgian customers, you'll benefit from Bancontact's national popularity and its robust fraud protection measures.
2. Credit Cards
Once holding the top spot, credit cards are now Belgium's second most common payment method. The most popular credit card brands among Belgian customers are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
Belgians tend to make higher-value average purchases with credit cards than with Bancontact. This suggests that your customers may prefer Bancontact for smaller payments, and favor credit cards for larger ones.
PayPal's popularity in Belgium has grown significantly in the last decade. A 2018 PayPal survey found that 72% of Belgians use it to buy items from foreign retailers.
PayPal gives its Belgian users the option of contactless payments. The app supports touch-free transactions through smartphones and other connected mobile devices.
4. Online Bank Transfers
Online bank transfers are one of the most widely used payment methods in Belgium. They're used in about 19% of the nation's ecommerce transactions, according to Statista.
The most popular bank transfer service for Belgians is SOFORT, a European payment method with millions of users across Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Users can securely make real-time payments directly from their bank accounts.
5. Amazon Pay
Amazon only recently launched its Belgium-specific store. However, the nation's shoppers have been loyal users of Amazon’s French and Dutch outlets for years. As a result, Amazon Pay is fairly widespread in Belgium.
6. Apple Pay
Several major banks and payment providers in Belgium support Apple Pay. Customers with Apple devices can connect their credit and debit cards to pay for products and services.
iPhones are the most widely used mobile device in Belgium. Giving your Belgian customers the option to use Apple Pay can help you tap into the brand's vast user base with a familiar and convenient way to check out.
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The Bottom Line
When accepting payments from Belgium and other countries, it’s vital to offer your customers trusted, familiar ways to pay. If you can tap into some of the methods listed above, you’ll be ready to accept payments from Belgian customers.
Pay.com processes global payments easily. Your Pay Dashboard gives you access to real-time transaction data with robust reporting features. You can analyze sales metrics and use them to optimize business growth.