In the Baltic States, the e-commerce payment landscape showcases a dynamic blend of old and new. Cards lead, with Visa and Mastercard favored in Estonia and Latvia. Lithuania prefers bank-linked methods. Instant bank transfers are rising, reflecting early digital adoption and a need for speed in transactions. The BNPL market grows, led by ESTO’s flexible options in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. E-wallets and digital banking surge, especially in Estonia and Latvia. This mix of traditional and innovative payments highlights the Baltics’ evolving e-commerce scene.

Payment by card in Baltics States

In the Baltic States, card payments in e-commerce reflect specific consumer habits and preferences:

These trends demonstrate a preference for international card schemes like Visa and Mastercard in Estonia and Latvia, while Lithuania shows a unique preference for bank-associated payment methods. Despite these differences, card payments remain a significant part of the e-commerce landscape in the Baltic States.

 

Payment by bank transfer in Baltics States

In the Baltic States, bank transfer (instant payment) in e-commerce is increasingly prevalent.

  • In Estonia, digital and instant payments are predominant, reflecting the country’s early embrace of digital solutions. Since the 1990s, Estonia has built a robust digital payment infrastructure. The country introduced online banking in 1996, mobile banking in 2000, and later adopted electronic identification and e-signatures. Estonians are highly literate in digital payments, resulting in widespread card use without minimum thresholds. The pandemic further accelerated the adoption of digital payment solutions. SEPA instant payments have become integral, with a significant migration from SCT to SCT Inst. This transition to instant payments aligns with the fast-paced demands of the digital age. Additionally, digital banking wallets are widely utilized in Estonia​​​​.
  • Latvian consumers enjoy the benefits of instant payments provided by Latvijas Banka, accessible through various digital platforms and offering immediate transaction completion.
  • Lithuania has witnessed a substantial shift towards instant credit transfers and Payment Initiation Services (PIS), driven by consumer preference for digital banking solutions.

Across these countries, the trend reflects a growing preference for speed and convenience in e-commerce transactions, facilitated by advanced banking technologies and consumer-oriented payment services.

Local actor: CENTROlink, Monea, FINCI, ConnectPay, Fjord Bank, LHV, Lithuanian Credit Union, Rietumu Bank, UAB Medicinos Bankas, AB Luminor, Citadele, Swedbank, SEB,Β BlueOrange Bank, AB Ε iauliΕ³ Bankas, Wittix

Monea payment method Finci payment method ConnectPay payment method Wittix payment method

 

Payment by installment and BNPL

In Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) sector in e-commerce is predominantly influenced by ESTO. This company has established a strong presence in the Baltic BNPL market. In Estonia, ESTO recorded a 54% revenue growth in Q3 2023 compared to the previous year. The company also achieved a transactional turnover of over EUR 118 million during the first nine months of 2023. In Latvia and Lithuania, ESTO offers similar BNPL services. These include splitting payments into three parts, paying within 30 days, and longer installment plans up to 60 months. ESTO’s approach emphasizes consumer flexibility and risk-free transactions for merchants. The success of ESTO in Estonia and its expansion into Latvia and Lithuania reflect a growing preference for flexible payment options in the Baltic e-commerce sector.

Local actor: Esto, Dali Dali, Neopay, Paywerk

Esto payment method DaliDali logo Paywerk logo

 

Payment by digital wallet and X-Pay

Estonia, renowned for its digital advancements, has a highly digitized market that favors the growth of e-wallets and digital banking. The country’s competitive banking sector, innovative e-services, and mobile-based services underscore this trend. Estonian consumers, embracing mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, have shown a marked preference for shopping anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Digital banking apps offering access to accounts at different banks and the ability to make direct payments have become popular.

Latvia has witnessed a substantial rise in eWallet usage, with approximately 51% of the population using digital payment methods. Key eWallet providers include Neteller, Skrill, and Muchbetter. Neteller is popular for instant money transfers, especially among online gamers and forex traders. Skrill is known for its user-friendly interface and low fees, offering a range of services including cryptocurrency trading. Muchbetter is gaining traction with features like dynamic security codes and touch ID. Despite these advances, challenges like security concerns and resistance to change persist. However, the future of eWallets in Latvia is promising, driven by governmental efforts towards a cashless society and increasing digital literacy​​​​.

In Lithuania, the adoption of non-cash payment methods is rapidly increasing. In 2022, 94% of residents with a payment account used internet banking, and 69% used mobile payment apps. The development of PSD2 open banking services has been significant, with Payment Initiation Services (PIS) becoming a mainstay for e-commerce and bill payments. Although non-cash payments are on the rise, cash remains prevalent, with 59% of POS payments made in cash in 2022. The trend indicates a growing preference for non-cash payments, but consumer habits evolve slowly. Payment solutions offering the best user experience are likely to gain more prevalence​​.

Local actor: Paytailor, Contomobile, Foxpay, Mobilly, Monea, Klix, Paysera

Pay Tailor payment method Contomobile payment method Foxpay payment method Mobilly payment method Monea payment method Klix payment method Paysera logo

 


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