Payments Unsettled: Travel's Complex European Payment Landscape

Payments Unsettled: Travel's Complex European Payment Landscape Published December 2016 Analysts: Bing Liu, Ralph Merten, Norm Rose


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The European payment landscape stands at a crossroads. While traditional forms of payment like credit or debit cards, cash and check, still dominate in most markets, travel suppliers and intermediaries across the region are using new country-specific forms of payment, like Swift in Scandinavia and iDEAL in the Netherlands. Electronic funds transfer, virtual cards/virtual account numbers (VANs) and prepaid cards have significant levels of acceptance in the region. There is even a broad consensus that smartphones have the potential to drive additional change in consumer-facing payment technology.

Phocuswright's Payments Unsettled: Travel's Complex European Payment Landscape provides insightful research and analysis into the major challenges, differences, developments and drivers. The report analyzes European payment methods, models and adoption across travel segments and specific countries.

Topics include:

  • The market structure of the U.K., Germany, France, Scandinavia, Spain and the Netherland
  • Major trends at a regional level, including drivers, developments and differences
  • The awareness, adoption, intent and obstacles surrounding emerging alternative forms of payment and payment technologies
  • Key players reshaping the European payment landscape, new models, mobile and innovations

Download Phocuswright's Payments Unsettled: Travel's Complex European Payment Landscape for insight into the developments shaping the European landscape.

  • Introduction
    • Study Background
    • Key Findings
      • B2C
      • B2B
      • Manual Processes Continue to Challenge Europe’s Travel Industry
    • Study Methodology
    • Industry Survey
    • Executive Interviews
    • Third Party Data
    • Glossary of Terms
  • B2C Analysis
  • B2B Analysis
    • Air
    • Lodging and Other Suppliers
  • Corporate Travel
  • Emerging Tech and Payment Trends
    • Mobile
    • Messaging
    • Blockchain
  • Challenges and Drivers
    • Acceptance
    • Issuance
  • Summary
    • The Payment Landscape
    • Emerging Trends
    • Major Challenges and Drivers
  • Partners
  • Sponsors

Phocuswright conducted this study using three key research activities:

  1. A quantitative European survey of travel industry professionals
  2. Executive interviews
  3. Third-party data analysis

Industry Survey

Phocuswright conducted a quantitative travel industry survey fielded through the following organizations: HEDNA, L'Echo touristique, Travel Weekly U.K. and TTG Italia.

Phocuswright fielded the 20-minute online survey completed between May 17 and July 7, 2016, and received 195 qualified responses. Responding companies operate in a good mixture of European countries (see Figure 2), with the largest percentage operating in France (71%), Italy (69%) and the United Kingdom (61%).

Nearly two-thirds of the sample were comprised of corporate travel managers and travel intermediaries (see Figure 3). Travel technology, distribution or payments companies (18%), travel suppliers (16%) and destination marketing organizations (2%) also participated in the industry survey.

Of the travel supplier sample (see Figure 4), the dominant respondents were accommodation providers (75%) with airlines (19%) and car rental/rail companies (6%) accounting for the rest.

The travel intermediary sample (see Figure 5) had strong representation from travel retailers (65%), tour operators/travel packagers (27%) and hotel wholesalers (8%). Within the travel retailer segment was significant representation from traditional travel agencies (49%), OTAs (31%), corporate travel agencies/TMCs (18%) and a small sampling of home-based travel agents (2%).

Executive Interviews
Phocuswright conducted 25 in-depth executive interviews across airlines, hotels, payment technology firms, traditional travel agencies and OTAs, and other travel distribution companies.

Third Party Data
Phocuswright assessed published third-party data to assist with payment and technology trends within the European market. Sources included Bloomberg, Statista, CNBC, CoinDesk, the European Commission, Business Travel News, Baker, McKenzie and Worldpay's Global Payment report.

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