All you need to know about Mollie and the Online Payments industry - our product, industry insights, partnerships and events.

The 7 best headless commerce solutions

September 21, 2022

The 7 best headless commerce solutions

Discover and compare some of the best headless commerce solutions for ecommerce businesses.

Mollie partners with Vonage for’s European payments

September 20, 2022

Mollie partners with Vonage for’s European payments

Learn more about how we’re supporting Vonage’s conversational commerce solution

An introduction to alternative payment methods

September 18, 2022

An introduction to alternative payment methods

On a summer evening in 1966, a piece of plastic quietly started a European revolution in a former shoe and boot factory in Northampton, England. Why? Because that former factory was the then headquarters of Barclays Bank, and that piece of plastic was Europe’s first credit card.

At the time, the public paid for almost everything in cash, so they were wary of the credit card. But just a few years after that launch, there were millions in circulation, and cards became even more popular with the introduction of the debit card in the 80s and chip and pin payments in the early noughties.

Now, things are changing again. While people have historically paid using ‘cash or card?’, a wave of new and evolving options (powered by and developed alongside new technology) is disrupting the payments landscape – especially online. These payment methods are generally known as alternative payment methods (APMs).

Of course, cards are still an exceptionally popular way to pay. But, if you’re running an ecommerce business, it’s vital to understand these different alternative payment methods and what they offer to both consumers and your business. This article will explore this to help you make the right decisions to drive growth.


Alternative payment method types

The term alternative payment methods includes any means of payment other than cash or a major international card scheme, such as American Express or Mastercard. There are several different types of APM, including:

Bank transfers

Bank transfers allow consumers to make direct payments from their bank accounts. This is also sometimes known as account-to-account payments or wire transfers. In Europe, bank transfers are an extremely popular payment method. Many European countries have one (or more) popular bank transfer methods, including iDEAL in the Netherlands and SOFORT in Germany.

If you’re selling internationally, it’s imperative to understand the bank transfer methods consumers in the country prefer to use. Our data shows the most popular payment methods across key European ecommerce markets, such as that iDEAL is the preferred payment method for 58% of Dutch consumers when buying from a domestic retailer. Bancontact is the leading method in Belgium, with 46% of consumers choosing it as their favourite way to pay.

For image below: Thinking about online purchases made to online retailers inside your own country, please choose your preferred payment method to use.

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Direct debits

Direct debits use authorisations that allow you to debit a customer’s bank account – as long as you give them advance notice of the amounts and dates of collection. Direct debits can be used for everything from regular subscription payments and monthly donations to one-click payments and paying in instalments.

In the UK, the Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services (BACS) Direct Debit is the most widely used direct debit method. In Europe, SEPA Direct Debit is the most popular direct debit type. Using our effortless payments solution, you can easily set up these payments. Your customers need to provide a signed mandate, which allows you to collect the funds from their bank account. With Mollie, your customers can sign mandates through iDEAL, Belfius, credit card, Bancontact, SOFORT Bank Transfer and the KBC/CBC Payment Button.

Domestic card schemes

These card schemes operate similarly to global card schemes such as Visa and Mastercard. However, the cards are only accepted in specific markets. Cartes Bancaires and PostePay are examples of domestic card schemes.

Cartes Bancaires is France’s most popular payment method for purchases from domestic and international retailers.


Electronic wallets (e-wallets)

E-wallets provide a digital way for people to store funds. Users load their e-wallets with money via bank transfers cards, or cash. They can then use the money stored on their e-wallet to purchase goods or services.

PayPal is a type of e-wallet, but users can also use it as a pass-through wallet (more on that below).

Pass-through wallets

These wallets act as electronic cards that users can use for online transactions. If you use your wallet in person, the payment is generally initiated via magnetic secure transmission (MST) or near-field communication (NFC).

For purchases made online, the process is similar to making a payment using a credit card, except it’s usually faster because the required details are automatically entered. Usually, a consumer only needs to provide biometric information such as a fingerprint or a face scan to authorise a transaction. This reduction in checkout friction can be a huge conversion boost for ecommerce businesses.

Apple Pay and Google Pay are types of pass-through wallets.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL)

Consumers can use buy now, pay later payment methods to make a purchase and then pay for it later – either in one payment or instalments. For ecommerce businesses, BNPL provides more flexibility to shoppers and offers a better customer experience, which can increase conversions and average order value.

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BNPL methods are growing in popularity across Europe and are especially popular in Germany and Austria. Klarna and in3 are examples of BNPL providers.

Alternative payment method benefits for businesses

The growth of alternative payment methods is being driven by several factors, including the evolution of tech that’s creating new opportunities in finance (such as APIs and open banking) and the growing demand for mobile commerce and mobile payments.

Another reason alternative payment methods are becoming more popular is the benefits they provide to both businesses and consumers.

Frictionless payments

Most alternative payment methods offer a quick, frictionless payment experience. As well as being a better experience for shoppers, this can also help increase your conversion rate.

Increased conversion

Offering the payment methods that your customers prefer to use is key to increasing conversions. Our European Ecommerce Report found that 87% of consumers say it’s important that retailers offer the payment methods they prefer when shopping online and that providing a quick and efficient payment method is the main factor that convinces consumers to buy.


So, knowing the payment methods consumers prefer to use and offering them can be vital to reducing cart abandonments and driving sales.

Get paid quicker

Many alternative payment methods offer instant payments, as opposed to card payments which can take up to five days to arrive in your business’s account. This can help you maintain a healthy cash flow and more efficiently manage your money.

Reduced costs

Using alternative payment methods can mean you pay lower fees than card payments, especially when you can avoid paying interchange fees. As many consumers across Europe prefer to use alternative payment methods to buy, this can save you a lot of money over time.

Offer alternative payment methods to drive growth

As the payments landscape continues to evolve, alternative payment methods are becoming more and more popular with consumers. And in some European countries, they are the payment method of choice for consumers.

Cards are still a vastly popular payment method, but to make sure you’re converting as many shoppers as possible you need to offer the right payment mix, which often includes domestic bank transfers, buy now, pay later options, and a range of digital wallets.

Doing that will ensure you create the best customer experience possible and turn browsers into buyers.

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Offer shoppers the best payment methods with Mollie

Here at Mollie, we provide an effortless payments solution that allows you to accept more than 25 payment methods, including major card schemes and established and growing alternative payment methods. This includes domestic bank transfer methods such as iDEAL and Bancontact, digital wallets, and buy now, pay later options. We make it simple to add and remove payment methods as needed and integrate our payments with your site, whether you’re using an ecommerce platform or a custom solution.

Sign up to Mollie and you also get:

  • Improved conversion with direct checkout and Mollie Components
  • Seamless chargebacks, re-orders, and cancellations
  • Simplify doing business with the Mollie App
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees and no lock-in contracts
  • Human, multilingual support teams across Europe
  • Manage payments in the Mollie Dashboard
  • A suite of integrations to power growth

Find out more about payments with Mollie, or sign up to start accepting payments using our effortless solution.

10 tips to increase Black Friday sales

September 18, 2022

10 tips to increase Black Friday sales

In ecommerce, a lot can happen in just a few weeks, never mind a whole year. And things do look different than they did 12 months ago – especially in online retail. This time last year, all arrows pointed up; now some report falling stocks, while others forecast rosier futures.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the opportunities available to your business during Black Friday. The year’s biggest sales event provides a golden chance for you to drive growth and power your business through to the end-of-year holiday season. In fact, figures show that smaller retailers saw sales increase by 501% on Cyber Monday 2020 compared to the October daily average, and that worldwide Black Friday sales that year amounted to around $188 billion.

This guide is designed to help you have the best Black Friday possible, explaining how to drive conversions, maximise sales, and provide exceptional customer experiences.

Want to discover these tips on video instead? Sit back, grab a drink, and watch our Black Friday masterclass to see Mollie experts sharing more guidance on how to drive success this Black Friday.

10 tips to increase Black Friday sales

#1 Make sure your checkout is converting shoppers

Your checkout conversion rate is one of the most critical metrics in your business. Numerous studies show that cart abandonment rates are around 50-70% in most industries and even higher in others.

One simple thing you can do to increase your conversion rate is optimise your checkout for conversion. That means providing a seamless, on-brand experience that makes it as simple as possible for a shopper to pay (and offers all the options they want when checking out).

Think about these things:

  • Are you offering the payment methods your customers need?
  • Are you displaying their preferred currency and language?
  • Have you stored their details for one-click payments?
  • Is your checkout page PCI-DSS compliant?

Think about running cart abandonment campaigns to try and encourage people to return to the site and complete their purchases. Especially as your competitors probably are: with data showing that 80% of businesses do this.

“The conversion rate went up to 8% when the sites were in the native languages, increasing by a further 2% with the switch to Mollie.”

Tom Martin Chief Revenue Officer at Snag

#2 Offer the right payment methods

Credit and debit cards are still the world’s most-used payment methods, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead, digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, and you must offer payment methods customers love in the different markets you sell in. That means iDEAL in the Netherlands, SOFORT in Germany, and Cartes Bancaires in France.

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To get the highest conversion possible during Black Friday, expand your payment options by making sure you accept all major cards and the growing digital payment methods. For more, see our guide to find the best payment options for your business.

Did you know? The most popular way to pay online in Germany is by bank transfer; in France, more than 70 million Cartes Bancaires cards are in circulation.

#3 Start selling internationally

Experts say direct-to-consumer cross-border sales will grow by 17% a year until 2026 when they will total around €2 trillion. That means there are lots of opportunities in selling to new markets – as well as challenges. Research the market you want to sell into, run small tests to see what works and develop strategies to attract customers (and sell successfully) in a new country. Partnering with the right firms can also help make activities like storage, shipping, and managing cross-border payments as simple as possible.

“It’s great to see Mollie creating new products and services that we need. Multi-currency payouts will provide substantial savings throughout the year, and we don’t have to do anything for it – Mollie is taking care of it all.”

Tim Imminga Rosefield CMO/COO

#4 Offer buy now, pay later payments

Our data shows that buy now, pay later has rocketed in popularity, with Black Friday BNPL payments more than doubling in 2020 and 2021. Shoppers love it as it allows for more flexibility when making a purchase. It can be an excellent way for retailers to increase conversions and average order values. Plus, in some verticals, consumers expect to see it when checking out, and if they don’t, they are less likely to make a purchase.

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#5 Optimise your tech stack

Whether it’s payments, analytics, or shopping, software as service (SaaS) tools are changing the game in ecommerce – with state-of-the-art tech now available to ‘rent’ for a tiny proportion of what you used to have to pay for them. That means you can access cloud-based ERPs, effortless payment solutions, and AI-driven data tools to sell as much as possible and keep your business running perfectly during the Black Friday rush. That will also make using conversational commerce or email marketing easier.

When choosing a new tech tool consider these things:

  • Does it integrate with your current tech?
  • Does it offer everything you need?
  • Can it scale with your business in the long term?

#6 Use mobile commerce to attract more customers than ever

Research shows that more than half of consumers use phones to purchase goods online, and almost 70% use shopping apps. Mobile commerce is growing daily, so you need a mobile strategy that will grow with it.

Here are some simple things you can do to start:

  • Optimise your website for all devices
  • Use social commerce to let shoppers buy through social media apps
  • Introduce one-click ordering to make buying effortless for your customers
  • Use QR codes for multi-channel selling

See our guide on using mobile commerce to grow your business for more tips.

#7 Use conversational commerce

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There’s a good reason everyone keeps talking about conversational commerce: shoppers love it. And you should as well. Why? Because harnessing technology such as chatbots keeps customers engaged while browsing and gives them the confidence to buy. Chatbot technology is now highly advanced, and you can access it at a reasonable cost. This way, you can help create a truly personalised ecommerce experience.

Did you know? Alibaba’s chatbot AliMe answered 300m enquiries – or 97% – of customer services queries in just one day in 2021.

#8 Offer the best delivery options

Going to check out and discovering a huge shipping bill is, quite frankly, rubbish. So it’s no surprise that one study found that extra costs are the main reason shoppers drop out of a purchase. Displaying shipping costs or estimated taxes early to visitors can significantly improve your conversion rate. To help, team up with a trusted courier that offers speedy delivery at prices your customers will love.

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#9 Spread out your sales

Don’t rely on just one or two big days of sales to deliver Black Friday success. Doing so is risky, as if you don’t hit your targets on those days then the whole week could be a failure. It can also put a strain on your business: suddenly, you will have a lot of orders to deliver; your stock levels will be harder to manage; and you might have to deal with a sudden influx of customer queries.

Instead, offer discounts early and use marketing activities to attract shoppers and sell over the whole Black Friday period (and even in the run-up to it). Doing this will help you manage your orders and stock levels, and keep customers happy with high-quality service. A stress-free Black Friday? It’s possible, we promise.

#10 Find the right payments partner

To get the most out of Black Friday, you’ll need a payment provider that can manage high volumes. They should also help you offer customers a seamless checkout experience and all the payment methods they need.

The best payment partners also provide advanced features and other benefits that can take care of everything payments related so you can focus on other parts of your business.

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If you are looking for a payment service provider, download our guide to find out what the best ones should offer your business.

“A fast and smooth checkout is crucial at peak times. We can count on Mollie, even when it’s extremely busy. They prove it time and again.”

Gauthier Vervaeke Club Brugge ecommerce manager

Black Friday made simple with Mollie

Black Friday is becoming more popular than ever with consumers, but that also means more competition. To stand out, you’ll need to deliver exceptional customer experiences and work with the right technology and partners to ensure you never miss out on a sale. By doing that, it will deliver all the rewards without any (or at least a lot less) of the stress.

Do you need a partner that provides stable, conversion-optimised payments to help you sell more? Mollie is here to help. Using our effortless payments solution, you can quickly integrate over 25 major payment methods and offer customers a seamless checkout optimised to drive conversions on any device.

Using Mollie, you also get access to more than 120 powerful integrations to grow your business, a Dashboard and app to manage your payments, and human, local support when you need it. We offer all this with transparent pricing and no lock-in contracts or hidden fees.

Find out more about payments with Mollie, or sign-up now to grow your business with effortless payments.

The European Ecommerce Report: 5 key takeaways

September 13, 2022

The European Ecommerce Report: 5 key takeaways

Just when things go back to normal, everything changes. The pandemic transformed the ecommerce landscape, and as we settle into the post-pandemic world, things are changing again. Now, the boom is over and times are tougher. Online businesses are adapting but don’t always find it easy to meet and even exceed the current expectations of shoppers.

Consumer expectations in a post-pandemic world

To help, we asked 3,000 consumers across Europe about their online shopping behaviour and what retailers need to offer to increase sales, reduce cart abandonments, and drive brand loyalty.

The report reveals how ecommerce has changed, how consumers now shop online, and uncovers some of the key things retailers need to do to increase conversions, maximise sales, and attract customers to return. It also takes a deep dive into several of the biggest European ecommerce markets. Download the full report, or read on to discover some of the key things we learned.

1. How consumer behaviour has changed

The increase in ecommerce adoption during the pandemic was clear, but our research shows that online shoppers are here to stay, with 35% saying they shop online more post-pandemic. This shift is driven by the lower prices they get online and the seamless shipping options online retailers offer, including convenient delivery times and free returns.


2. The economic outlook

Macroeconomic factors are having an effect on countries all over the world, and consumers across Europe are pessimistic about the economic outlook for the coming year. In total, more than half (52%) say they think their country’s economic situation will worsen over the next 12 months. Our research shows that online spending will be significantly affected if this outlook is realised, meaning businesses might have to do more with less to weather the storm.

3. The importance of payments

One theme that runs through the European Ecommerce Report and connects the dots between consumers across the continent is payments. In fact, 87% of consumers say it’s important that retailers offer their favourite payment methods when they’re shopping online.

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Our data also shows each country’s consumers preferences for particular payment methods, whether purchasing from a domestic or international online retailer. It also shows how a retailer’s payment methods and infrastructure influences buying decisions, cart abandonments, and loyalty. For example, offering a quick and efficient payment method is the main factor in convincing consumers to buy from a retailer.

4. How to attract shoppers (and reduce cart abandonments)

Our research shows how consumers decide where to shop, the processes that lead them to purchase, and what retailers need to do to convince them to buy. For example, one capability retailers need to offer consumers are free delivery options, while cart abandonments are driven by worries about payment security and high shipping costs or taxes.

Generally, these trends align across Europe, including how consumers shop. Almost half (48%) of respondents say they use international retail wholesalers such as Amazon as their default choice for online purchases. But there are nuances in each market, such as that Dutch consumers are more likely to go directly to a retailer’s online store or that UK consumers are the most likely to scale back online spending if the economic situation worsens in the coming year.


5. Ecommerce is evolving differently across Europe

The European Ecommerce Report shows how ecommerce is changing across Europe. Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France, and Austria – their consumers have preferences that don’t always align. For example, Belgian consumers are more likely to shop in-store than online over the next 12 months compared to the rest of Europe, and French consumers are more likely to have concerns about insecure payments.

Delight shoppers, increase sales

If you’re running an ecommerce business, the European Ecommerce Report shows the key things you need to do to meet consumer expectations and excel in different markets.

Want to access the full report? Download it to discover:

  • European consumers’ outlook on the economy
  • The latest consumer shopping trends
  • The things you can do to exceed expectations
  • The reason 60% of shoppers abandon carts
  • The main drivers of customer loyalty
  • An in-depth analysis of key European markets

Download the European Ecommerce Report here.

Mollie x American Express - a growth guide

August 28, 2022

Mollie x American Express - a growth guide

Simple strategies to drive ecommerce growth. A growth guide by Mollie and American Express.

MOTO payments can be risky - try Payment Requests instead

August 28, 2022

MOTO payments can be risky - try Payment Requests instead

Mail Order/ Telephone Order (MOTO) payments are a type of card-not-present transaction exempt from authentication regulations, making them risky for both merchants and customers.

6 questions to ask your payment service provider

August 24, 2022

6 questions to ask your payment service provider

With 18+ years commitment to transparency, simplicity, and local support, Mollie is here to play a part in the long overdue shake-up of the UK payments ecommerce market. Got a payment service provider? Ask them these six questions.

8 tips to gain customer trust in ecommerce

August 24, 2022

8 tips to gain customer trust in ecommerce

Discover how to build trust with your customers to increase sales. Get tips to increase trust and customer loyalty.

A guide to progressive web applications (PWA apps)

August 15, 2022

A guide to progressive web applications (PWA apps)

What is a PWA? Discover how progressive web applications can help your online business.