United Kingdom

Market Overview

The UK is Europe’s leading online retail economy |  eCommerce sales estimated $ 107.8 billion in 2011 | dominated by cards |  Growth expected around 13-16%.


Payment Market  | United Kingdom (UK)

The UK is Europe’s leading online retail economy, with online sales estimated to have reached $ 107.8 billion in 2011. The UK accounts for over 11% of the total e-commerce sales worldwide (assumed $ 934 billion). In 2011 the UK e-retail market grew with 16% | For 2012 online retail sales are expected to grow further with 13%. E-retail spendings already account for 17% of the total UK retail sales and over 5% of the total GDP volume.

The share of online retail sales by smartphone and tablet have grown from 0.4% to already 5.3% in only two years time. IMRG | The UK Membership Community for the e-retail Industry | states that over one billion parcels are shipped from online purchases each year in the UK.

The success of the e-retail industry in the United Kingdom can partly be explained by the key drivers for e-commerce and m-commerce. The UK has over 63 million people | UK ranks 10th on the GDP worldranking ($ 2,250 billion, 2011 est.) | over 84% of the population has (broadband) internet access | and more than 34 million purchased goods or services online in 2011. In other words: many eager people capable of spending online. Main driver for the rise of mobile commerce is the huge uptake of smartphones and tablets | smartphone subscription market share is already 40% (+30% compared to 2010).


Payment Market  | Payment Methods UK

The UK online market is dominated by cards. Both the major credit and debit cards are the preferred online payment methods by Britons. Visa (19%) | MasterCard (21%) | Visa Debit (including Visa Electron) (21%) | PayPal (21%) | Maestro (14%) | Others including American Express, Diners (4%). From latest reports PayPal would already have more than 20 million accounts in the UK


Payment Market  | Payment Gateways UK

Payment gateways or Payment Service Providers are the 'hub' for eCommerce merchants to various payment methods. Below a couple of Payment Gateways that operate on the UK Market and support online (local) payment methods.

Datacash | SecureTrading | eWAY | Realex Payments | Worldpay | Ogone | Safecharge | Sagepay | Skypay | Experian


Payment Market  | Merchant Acquirers

Merchant Acquirers are the financial institutions that authorize and settle payments to the merchant account. Payment Gateways are connected to these merchant acquirers. Below the Merchant Acquirers that are licensed to operate on the UK Market.


Allied Irish Bank (GB) | through First Data Merchant Services

American Express

Bank of Ireland | through Elavon

Barclays Merchant Service

Bank of Scotland | through First Data Merchant Solutions

Clydesdale Bank Merchant Services

Elavon Merchant Services

HSBC | through Global Payments

Lloyds Banking Group Merchant Services

NatWest | through WorldPay

Royal Bank of Scotland Merchant Services | through WorldPay

Santander | through Elavon

The Cooperative Bank Merchant Services

WorldPay Business Services

Yorkshire Bank Merchant Services

European Merchant Services


Payment Market  | Industry bodies

IMRG | Interactive Media in Retail Group | The Membership Community for the E-retail Industry

The UK Cards Association | the leading trade association for the cardpayments industry in the UK

Payment Council |  the body responsible for ensuring that payment services work in the UK


Payment Market  | Research & Publications

yStats | UK B2C E-commerce Report 2011

IMRG | Industry Statistics

Payment Card Yearbook | United Kingdom

UK Cards Association | Facts & Figures

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