Not only in supermarkets, at petrol stations or for other larger purchases, but in almost all payment situations have Dutch consumers in recent years increasingly been paying by debit card when abroad. However, cash is still one of the most used payment methods in many situations, such as for public transport, at vending machines or in cafés. When paying for accommodation or toll roads, consumers also often use their credit cards.
Declining difference between paying in the Netherlands and paying abroad
|Date||23 January 2013|
The Dutch increasingly use their debit cards for payments, not only in the Netherlands, but also abroad. Consequently, the use of cash abroad is gradually decreasing according to a recently study by DNB into the payment behaviour of consumers abroad and for cross-border payments.
Growing satisfaction with debit card use abroad
The Dutch not only started using their debit card abroad more often, they were also increasingly satisfied with its use. Fewer and fewer people are dissatisfied with the cross-border use of the debit card in terms of acceptance and ease of use. This is because more shopkeepers abroad have started to accept debit card payments and in the manner we are accustomed to in the Netherlands. Dutch people abroad are less often refused the use of their debit cards or told to supply a signature instead of their PIN.
Accordingly, differences in the use of debit cards at home or abroad have been declining. This shows that the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is taking shape more and more. Acceptance levels in particular do leave some room for further improvement, however. Consumers indicate that the most important disadvantage of using a debit card abroad is still the limited degree of acceptance or non-functioning abroad. Cash scores very high on these aspects. But as far as safety and ease of use are concerned, the Dutch – just as at home – prefer using their debit cards.
Online banking by far the most popular method for cross-border payments
For making cross-border payments, the most popular method by far is online banking. This holds especially for payments to relatives and friends, but online banking is also popular for payment of goods and services purchased abroad or online. At some distance, online banking is followed by the use of credit cards, which are often used in foreign web shops and on holiday sites, and PayPal, which is more often used in online market places.
The Dutch are very satisfied about the different methods for effecting cross-border payments, but they do experience clear differences between the various options. Online banking is considered the safest means of payment. With respect to ease of use, the credit card scores highest and as far as speed and costs are concerned, PayPal comes out on top. In recent years, people have become clearly more positive about the costs of cross-border payments via online banking. In 2006, a quarter of the Dutch were dissatisfied, but in 2011 this figure had dropped to only 13%.
Over the past few years, the information supply by banks about the costs of cross-border payments has improved. In addition, online consumer payments from the Netherlands to other European countries are now free of charge. Making money transfers free of charge was possible in the past as well, but the consumer then had to indicate explicitly how the costs had to be shared between payer and receiver. This is no longer necessary. By default, the costs of transfers within Europe are now shared between payer and receiver, which means that such payments are free of charge to the payer in the Netherlands, just like for payments within the Netherlands. This is also one of the aims of SEPA, namely to cancel out differences between payments at home and abroad.
However, consumers still experience a difference between making cross-border payments and paying in the Netherlands. Making cross-border online payments is still perceived as being less easy, more expensive and slower than online payments in the Netherlands.