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The future of consumer credit in Europe

A publication by Mastercard and Deloitte

The consumer credit market across Europe is changing. The diverse and different European credit markets are seeing significant disruption and change, this report continues major trends and some of the implications for the future. Changing consumer behaviour, technological change and the implications of e-commerce are amongst topics covered. Supported by deep engagement across key stakeholders across the continent, we generate a view of an exciting future for this sector.

Credit is a crucial enabler of consumption for consumers that might otherwise be unable to afford a certain product. As more and more shopping takes place online, new digital solutions for point-of-sale finance, often developed by agile technology companies and slickly inserted into the customer journey, have gained favour with millennial shoppers wary of deficient digital offerings of incumbent banks.

Technological advances and supportive regulation have made it easier for these new players to break up incumbents’ control over the lending value chain and to compete on the basis of greater speed, personalisation and efficiency of service. The loyalty and inertia that used to bind consumers to their banks are weakening across Europe, as regulation has made easier than ever before to establish relationships with multiple financial service providers.

More than 30 senior stakeholders and industry experts across the continent were interviewed for their view on what the future holds for consumer credit and who will come out on top in a world, where technology is making each consumer increasingly contestable.

The future of consumer credit at a glance


  • Consumer credit is a crucial enabler of consumption across Europe but there is significant diversity when it comes to the products that consumers favour. This diversity is likely to persist.
  • Digitisation and technology undermine the traditional bank advantages of customer loyalty and an extensive branch network. Their low funding costs and regulatory expertise, however, remain formidable strengths.
  • Established players will increasingly need to look to collaboration with UX experts and merchants owning the customer relationship to be able to distribute their credit products. This will require a redistribution of value.
  • Credit cards have suffered at the hands of PoS and instalment finance. This is unlikely to be reversed, as long as credit card propositions do not become less complex and built around clear customer needs.
  • As competition proliferates, price comparison platforms, driven by AI, will become instrumental in delivering the benefits to consumers. This will put them in a strong position to intermediate the provision of credit.
  • Consumers stand to benefit from greater efficiency and personalisation; providers will increasingly segment themselves into those owning the client relationship and those providing commoditised credit products but overall growth of the sector means that there is everything to fight for.

To find out more about the report and to talk about what these changes mean for you, please contact one of the team listed below.

You can also access our other payments reports at

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