Confidence vs. reality: European payment leaders bullish despite lost business from international payment challenges

Confidence vs. reality: European payment leaders bullish despite lost business from international payment challenges
  • Thunes and Visa surveyed 233 European payment leaders at financial institutions and payment companies in five markets, revealing conflicted attitudes on payment interoperability.
  • Nearly 40% of firms surveyed have lost a business deal due to a cross-border payments challenge.  
  • Despite the vast majority (97%) of respondents being confident their cross-border payment processes work, the integration of popular payment methods remains hampered by security issues, payment tracking, and processing speeds.
  • Digital wallets, one of the world’s fastest-growing payment methods, were the lowest-ranked payment endpoint (8%) in terms of ease of making international payments.

A new survey of payment leaders by Thunes, a global money movement innovator, and Visa, a world leader in digital payments, reveals conflicted attitudes among Europeans on cross-border payment interoperability, highlighting the challenges firms face in integrating across multiple markets and systems. 

The findings reveal that despite a majority reporting confidence in their firm’s cross-border payment capabilities, decision-makers face difficulties including lost business from a failure to integrate with popular and emergent payment methods.

By 2026, 60% of the world’s population is expected to use digital wallets for daily payment needs. But despite their growing popularity, they are ranked as the most problematic endpoint for cross-border payments. And while 97% of respondents believe their systems today are ‘completely’ or ‘mostly compatible’ with how international recipients receive funds, nearly 40% reported losing business due to cross-border payment issues.

Chloé Mayenobe, President and Chief Operating Officer at Thunes, said, “The research paints a very mixed picture. Payment leaders are confident in their capabilities but face significant integration challenges particularly with digital wallets. At Thunes, we solve this critical gap on the immediate horizon by directly integrating with 3 billion digital wallets worldwide. Electronic wallets are becoming increasingly important, providing bank-like services and financially including those who are unbanked and underbanked. As commerce digitizes further, payment interoperability will become vital.”

Chloé Mayenobe, President and Chief Operating Officer at Thunes

To meet the needs of individuals and businesses of all sizes to move money domestically and internationally easily and securely, payment interoperability remains a major challenge beyond traditional methods. We have a goal to enable money movement from any endpoint to any other endpoint, and rather than build an entirely new money movement system from scratch, we can use Visa’s scale and work with partners like Thunes to be a single connection point in a fast-evolving ecosystem.”

Ed Chandler, Head of Money Movement, Europe at Visa


The survey, which included 233 European payment leaders from financial institutions, banks, fintechs, SaaS, money transfer operators and payment service providers in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain, explored the state of cross-border payment systems and their interoperability. Payment system interoperability refers to the seamless communication, information exchange, and value transfer between different payment systems.

Visa, Thunes and The Paypers recently released a whitepaper, The Road Ahead: Seamless Payment Interoperability, on the important role of payment interoperability in the digital economy.

Key Findings:

  • Confidence vs. Reality: While 97% of respondents believe their systems are ‘completely’ or mostly ‘compatible’ with how international recipients receive funds, nearly 40% reported losing business due to cross-border payment issues.
  • Clear Differences: Respondents cited major differences in the ease of issuing payments to different endpoints. Bank accounts were ranked as the easiest method to facilitate payments, followed by global cards (Visa), e-Wallets (like PayPal), cash and local card schemes.
  • Digital Wallets: Despite their growing popularity, they are ranked as the most problematic endpoint for cross-border payments, with only 8% of respondents describing them as the easiest to integrate. By 2026, 60% of the world’s population is expected to use digital wallets for daily payment needs.
  • Barriers to Integration: Security concerns, payment tracking and processing speed were identified as the top challenges to integrate different payment systems.
  • Future Innovations: Respondents expect AI to play a critical role in improving payment processes, fraud detection, risk management and customer support. Blockchain technology and digital currencies are also seen as promising to facilitate secure, rapid and low-cost transactions.

The survey of 233 European payment leaders was conducted by Savanta from 8-16 May 2024, the referenced survey included decision-makers responsible for their firms’ payment systems and handling daily cross-border payments, with most respondents reporting an average transaction value of €75k.


For media enquiries, please contact:
Flo Holt, Headland, fholt@headlandconsultancy.com
Rebecca Hackworth, Corporate Communications, Thunes, rebecca.hackworth@thunes.com

About Thunes
Thunes is a global payment innovator enabling businesses to move money in real-time and in full transparency. We empower our customers to pay and get paid by anyone, anywhere, and however they prefer, closing the gap between payment systems worldwide. With Thunes, large, medium and small companies can Accept 550+ payment methods, and Pay to over 4 billion bank accounts and 3 billion mobile wallets.

Thunes currently facilitates payments in 85 currencies across 130+ countries, using local payment methods, including 120 mobile wallets like PayPal, M-Pesa and Airtel, for gig economy giants like Uber and Deliveroo, super-apps like Grab and WeChat, IMTOs, Fintechs, PSPs and banks. Headquartered in Singapore, Thunes has a presence in 13 locations, including Barcelona, Beijing, Dubai, London, Manila, Nairobi, Paris, San Francisco and Sao Paulo.Thunes puts money in motion. For more information, visit: https://www.thunes.com/

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