Worldline hits a billion transactions in Belgium as electronic payments are on the rise

Brussels — 06 / 08 / 2019

Worldline [Euronext: WLN], European leader in the payments and transactional services industry, is proud to announce that it has reached a major milestone in the history of its Belgian business and saw a billion electronic payments processed in the first half of 2019, up 12% on the same period last year.

La Défense, Paris, France

While cash is still widely used when making physical payments, Belgium, like many European countries,  has embraced digital payments and there is an undeniable rise of electronic payments with growth rates both in store and of course the soaring e-commerce. In this segment, the number of online transactions in Belgium has grown 30% this year to 105 million electronic payments in the first half[1] compared to 80 million for the same period last year.

Outside of e-commerce, card and smartphone payments are proving extremely popular with the public.  There was an increase in almost a fifth (18%) in contactless and electronic payments for transactions with a value of less than 5 euros. 

Key trends of the Belgian payment landscape: A growing share of the omni-channel experience and a sharp rise in online shopping

While Belgians still enjoy buying at the point of sale, they are increasingly supplementing it with online purchases. Today, one payment in 10 is made online. This trend is now closer to overall payment trends seen across Europe, demonstrating that the Belgian payments landscape is now more closely aligned with its European neighbours.

This trend is confirmed by the sales figures; during the 2018 winter sales, Belgians made 15.8 million online payments. This year, there were 20 million online transactions, a 27% increase. The latest sales accounted for 184.5 million electronic payments in total, a 14% increase compared to 2018.  Worldline expects the future to be dominated by omni-channel commerce, which supports customers, increases footfall in stores, and improves the user experience and customer loyalty.

The growth in contactless payments

As at 31 May 2019, Worldline had already recorded 36 million contactless payments (284% increase from May 2018 to May 2019), equal to the number of contactless payments during the whole of 2018 and 7% of all electronic payments in the country at the beginning of this year. It is important to note that 91% of all contactless payments via Bancontact totalled less than 25 euros[2]. This is in line with the trend in many European countries where cardholders are finally adopting contactless as a fast, secure and simple payment method.

Small value transactions increasingly paid by card or smartphone

Until recently it was unthinkable to pay for a loaf of bread or a newspaper electronically, the trend today is clearly to pay for any type of purchase by card or smartphone, even for amounts less than 10 euros.So we see that electronic payment of small amounts is growing in popularity every year.

In the first half of 2019, Worldline had already recorded a 13% increase in electronic payments of up to 10 euros compared with the same period in 2018. For amounts under 5 euros, the company has seen an increase of 18%[3]. 

"This year, Worldline has already handled more than 105 million online transactions from 1 January to 31 May 2019, up 30% year-on-year in Belgium. In parallel, the massive rise in low-value payments at the POS gave evidence of the digitisation of the society. This shows how important it is for retailers to diversify their customer’s buying experience by supporting them in both the physical and virtual worlds"

Vincent Roland, Managing Director for Worldline’s Merchant Services and CEO Worldline Belgium

About Worldline

Worldline [Euronext: WLN] is the European leader in the payment and transactional services industry. With innovation at the core of its DNA, Worldline’s core offerings include pan-European and domestic Commercial Acquiring for physical or online businesses, secured payment transaction processing for banks and financial institutions, as well as transactional services in e-Ticketing and for local and central public agencies. Thanks to a presence in 30+ countries, Worldline is the payment partner of choice for merchants, banks, public transport operators, government agencies and industrial companies, delivering cutting-edge digital services. Worldline’s activities are organized around three axes: Merchant Services, Financial Services including equensWorldline and Mobility & e-Transactional Services. Worldline employs circa 11,000 people worldwide, with 2018 pro forma revenue of 2.2 billion euros.

As a European leader in means of payment and transactional services, Worldline has a strong track record of knowledge and insight.  In order to share its understanding of the payments sector, Worldline regularly produces dedicated publications which provide in-depth understanding into what is a fast moving and rapidly evolving market. Below are the links to the latest versions of Futuring Payments and The Worldline White Paper:


[1] From 1 January to 31 May 2019 inclusive.
[2] Figures for 1 January to 31 May 2019 inclusive.
[3] From 1 January to 31 May 2019 inclusive, compared with the same period in 2018.


Press contact

Susanne Stöger
+43 (0)1 71701 6524