Digital Wallets Account for 50% of Global E-Commerce

Analysis from digital identity security specialists ID Crypt Global reveals that 50% of global e-commerce payments are now made via digital wallets.

With digital wallets already identified as the leading payment method globally, ID Crypt has analysed e-commerce revenue across 40 countries in 2022 to reveal how much is now coming from digital wallets.

Digital wallet is a term used to describe mobile apps or online programmes that store a user’s banking information digitally so that payments can be made quickly and efficiently. Popular examples in the UK include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. They are most frequently used for online payments but also let us use our phones for contactless shop payments.

In 2022, the global e-commerce market generated revenue of £4.9 trillion. Digital wallets accounted for 49%, which is £2.4 trillion.

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is the global digital wallet leader, with 69% of e-commerce payments, equivalent to £1.7 trillion, using the technology.  In North America, 32% of payments came through digital wallets, followed by Europe (29%), Latin America (21%), and the Middle East and Africa (20%).

On a national level, the APAC region dominates.

China has the largest e-commerce market in the world, generating revenue of £1.85 trillion in 2022. It’s also the global leader for digital wallet usage, accounting for 81% of this total revenue, equivalent to £1.5 trillion.

In India, 50% of e-commerce revenue came from a digital wallet; in Indonesia, the figure is 39%.

The UK has the highest digital wallet revenue outside the APAC region. The nation’s e-commerce market generated £259 billion in 2022, and £90.6 billion of this, or 35%, came via a digital wallet. The UK is followed by Italy (35%), the Philippines (33%), and US (32%).

Meanwhile, the lowest use of digital wallets is recorded in Turkey (9%), the Netherlands (9%), and Nigeria (10%).

CEO and founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith, commented: “The significance of digital wallets is huge. They’re playing a central role in our lives, whether paying for goods online or getting on tubes, trains, and buses. And we’re still only at the very beginning of the journey.

“We can look at the digital wallet market in China, where it accounts for 80% of e-commerce revenue, and fully expect the likes of the UK and US to approach this sort of level quickly.

“This is because China has a well-established ‘everything app’ called WeChat. Everything apps are so-called because they are a platform from which users do everything, from chatting and texting with friends to sharing photos, ordering food, buying goods, booking tickets, playing video games, and streaming TV shows and music.

“The digital wallet is central to the success of everything apps, and the important thing to consider is Elon Musk’s express desire for X, formally Twitter, to become an everything app just like WeChat. If this happens, the role of digital wallets could further explode here in the UK and elsewhere, becoming the absolute norm for decades to come.”