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UK consumers prefer PayPal over credit cards, and expect to be offered a choice of payment methods: study

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PayPal is the payment method of choice for UK consumers, according to new research.

In a study commissioned by international electronic payment specialists The PPRO Group, OnePoll surveyed 1,000 UK adult online shoppers between July 24 and 28 2014 and found that 45% preferred to pay via the alternative payment method. Some 22% said they preferred to use credit cards while 23% opted for debit cards.

The study also found that 68% of UK shoppers had abandoned retail websites because of the payment process. Some 57% said it they’d left because the process was too complicated, while 46% said the merchant didn’t offer their payment option of choice. At the same time, 92% of UK consumers said they were not happy to pay using a method they’d never heard of and 88% said they expected to have a choice in the way they pay when shopping online.

“The first step to achieving sales and ensuring customers carry out their purchase is for merchants themselves to understand the culture of payments,” said Tobias Schreyer, co-founder and chief commercial officer at The PPRO Group. “The customer-facing website can be beautifully designed, with quality products and easy to navigate but all this is pointless if when the customer reaches the checkout they refuse to complete a transaction due to a lack of payment options.”

He said it was also important for international shoppers to be able to buy in their preferred manner – WorldPay research suggests that 65% of Dutch transactions are carried out using the iDeal online banking system, or example.

“By removing the boundaries and complexities of international electronic payment processes, consumers can ultimately buy what they want, where they want and how they want, increasing opportunities for merchants,” said Schreyer. “If these barriers are not broken down the ramifications can be severe.”

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