Similarweb Digital Payments Report: Proliferating Options

Similarweb Digital Payments Report: Proliferating Options

May 18, 2022 | Updated July 10, 2022

Building off the growing shift towards digital everything over the last two years, both businesses and consumers have fully embraced new shopping and payment behaviors. Those behaviors in turn are rewiring the digital payments industry.

Key Takeaways

With supporting data based on Similarweb estimates:

  • Pandemic-induced acceleration of the shift to digital commerce has led to concurrent growth in digital payments
  • Despite dipping with the economy in recent months, at the end of 2021 traffic to digital payments websites was up nearly 20% compared with December 2019
  • Buy Now Pay Later has become the payment option of choice for many consumers and a requirement for retailers
  • Experienced rapid growth early in the pandemic, with the number of retailers offering BNPL increasing by 40% from January 2020 to July 2020.
  • B2B payments moving to digital
  • Digital invoicing company’s February 2022 traffic was up about 25% compared with February 2020, and several smaller competitors saw much bigger percentage increases.
  • Alternative payment methods, such as the use of cryptocurrency, continue to emerge and are expected to become an even bigger slice of the payments pie.
  • Digital wallets are growing in importance as a way of organizing credit card, banking, and sometimes cryptocurrency resources, making them more conveniently available.

The Changing Payments Landscape

Even more than the growth of existing channels and trends, what we see in digital payments is a dramatic change. Digital payments are no longer a novelty, as the variety of payment options continues to proliferate as consumers seek greater convenience, merchants seek to give them what they want (in the most profitable way), and financial technology companies strive to reinvent credit, banking, and transactions.

Ever since pioneers like Amazon started selling online, accepting credit and debit cards has gotten progressively easier thanks to intermediaries like PayPal and Stripe. Now online credit card transactions are losing some of their dominance to alternatives like “buy now, pay later plans,” which encourage larger purchases by allowing buyers to pay in installments. Smartphone apps allow consumers to make payments in either online or physical stores without ever opening a wallet, other than a digital wallet. QR codes on paper, on signage, or on a screen tie the digital and physical worlds together to make transactions more convenient. Meanwhile, more radical alternatives like cryptocurrency loom on the horizon.

The overall trend in traffic to digital payment sites has been upward for the past couple of years, peaking in December 2020, when the pandemic forced holiday shopping online. PWC projects that by 2030 cashless transactions will be double to triple what they are today.

A Similarweb analysis based on estimated traffic to 18 leading digital payments sites shows that desktop and mobile web visits were nearly 20% higher in December 2021, compared with pre-pandemic December 2019 levels. However, in recent months, traffic has dipped with the economy, with February 2022 traffic to these sites was down 9% year-over-year.

Digital Payments Trend

At the same time, some players are seeing greater gains than others, as upstarts displace established digital payment companies like PayPal.

YoY growth in visits to,,, and

Worldwide, Desktop & Mobile Web, Jan 20-Dec 20 vs Jan 21-Dec 21

Year over Year Growth in Payments Services

Just to be clear, the companies showing the greatest growth are growing from a smaller base. Even with its anemic growth, PayPal retains an enormous market presence.

Scale of payment services

In this report, we take a closer look at trends in the digital payments industry and what to expect for 2022 and beyond. As a measure of overall growth, the total number of people visiting the biggest global eCommerce sites increased by 30% between 2019 and 2021, according to Similarweb estimates.

Download the Report

For more detail, download the full report. The Similarweb Insights Newsroom is available to pull additional or updated data on request for the news media (journalists are invited to write to Please link back to this post as a reference for readers. Contributors to this report were Simeon Atkins and David F. Carr.

This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

Wondering what Similarweb can do for you?

Here are two ways you can get started with Similarweb today!