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Consumers’ growing preference for rent/buy recurring payments rather than outright

For years many European consumers have taken the hassle out of their lives by paying for regular consumption, such as their energy bills, insurance cover, etc., by using recurring payment services such as direct debiting and standing orders. Consumers have also been major users of these and other similar systems to pay part-by-part/bit-by-bit for high value purchases, e.g. mortages and loans. And now, in the digitalal age, large numbers of consumers prefer to rent their digital content, e.g. Spotify, etc. rather than buy the tracks or videos outright. 

We are starting to see a revolution in the buying/paying habits of European consumers, as they increasingly adopt the subscription payment model. This could open up whole new markets and make others markets much more efficient.

Recurring payment habits in Europe

The Innopay report on European and the Subscription Model viewed from a payment perspective*, for SlimPay, revealed that for European consumers:

  • subscription based commerce has penetrated their daily life
  • are not always aware of the amount of subscriptions that they have, since there is little contact between the merchant and consumer after the consumer has given permission to withdraw funds from their account
  • the most important advantage of this payment method is that consumers no longer encounter distress around due dates. In addition, avoidance of delayed payments or fees and the ability of spreading the expenses in order to budget are considered important benefits of subscriptions

The report found the patterns of usage‡ varied considerably by country and by market:

  • the number of monthly subscriptions per consumer varied considerably by country:
  • usage of subscription payment systems per market niche - current and willing to use in the future


* Research covered consumers in seven European countries (B2B was not covered), see

‡ All figures and charts Source & Copyright©2016 - Innopay

CTMfile take: This important report showed that there is growing acceptance of recurrring subscription payments across all countries and in many different types of business market, AS LONG AS the recurring payment services are easy to use (frictionless) and protect the security concerns of both consumers and businesses. If this can be achieved, then subscription payments could transform Europe’s payment habits. In the coming months, CTMfile will be reviewing the services that are making this e-commerce revolution happen.

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