Unlocking global e-commerce opportunities in Türkiye

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Türkiye’s e-commerce market is booming. Businesses can tap into this market by partnering with a local payments provider like Worldline, which has extensive knowledge of the Turkish financial ecosystem and regulations.

Today, online businesses are increasingly looking for new, emerging markets where they can provide scalable services. The eCommerce sales SURGE during the COVID-19 pandemic saw merchants look to Türkiye, as a relatively untapped opportunity for phenomenal sales growth. Türkiye has a young and increasingly affluent population comfortable with using mobile devices to shop online.

In recent years, Türkiye has experienced rapid expansion in eCommerce transactions and values – with volumes rising by 42%, and values increasing by 126% between 2021 and 2022. This impressive growth can be attributed to heightened competition among merchants, resulting in an improved customer experience, alongside advances in digital technology. This is why we recently partnered with one of Türkiye’s leading fintech companies, Lidio, to offer a solution that helps international online businesses enter this burgeoning market.  

In this blog I’ll explain key payment trends, challenges and opportunities that businesses face when aiming to capitalise on this rapidly expanding marketplace.

The Türkiye payment landscape

Türkiye boasts an extensive payment landscape with credit, debit and prepaid cards accounting for approximately 80% of online payments by value. The popular Troy card, issued by a consortium of 10 Turkish banks, has seen its usage dramatically rise in recent years.  In 2020, it recorded 79 million transactions through its credit cards, and 139 million through its debit cards. Notably, this local card enjoys strong government support, indicating substantial growth potential for exploring different online payment methods in this market.

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Paying in instalments is a preferred payment option for many Turkish consumers with 25% of credit card purchases made using this method. This popularity dates back to the late ’90s when banks were compelled to introduce the feature despite certain government restrictions primarily on everyday items like groceries. Nonetheless, it remains a popular payment option for various categories including electronics, holiday trips, clothing, shoes and furniture.

In partnership with Lidio, we have developed a deep understanding of local payment preferences and trends, enabling us to assist our customers take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Türkiye market.

Understanding the challenges

In addition to understanding the local payment landscape, another critical aspect of conducting business in Türkiye is gaining local acceptance of foreign payment methods. Payment processing must be done domestically through local acquiring banks. Achieving access to Türkiye’s local card networks and offering local payment options such as instalment plans can significantly boost performance.. Additionally, the high volatility of the Turkish Lira presents a risk that must be considered when dealing with foreign exchange rates.

Compliance with local regulations is essential to ensure the processing of cross-border payments. Like any other country, Türkiye has its own nuances that require an in-depth understanding to ensure companies avoid issues with local bureaucracy. Regulation is constantly changing, offering great opportunities as economic conditions improve. Staying up-to-date with changes in local regulations is essential for processing payments in a compliant manner.

The right partner for Türkiye

When it comes to selecting a payments partner, to help expand your business in Türkiye, it is imperative to choose one with an extensive local knowledge of the national financial ecosystem and regulations, as well as established cross-border relationships.

Together with Lidio, Worldline takes care of complex payment challenges and makes it easy for businesses to process payments locally without having to set up a legal entity in Türkiye. Our full-service cross-border payment solution offers increased acceptance rates through local acquiring and advanced routing capabilities. In addition, we offer reduced fees associated with local processing and exchange of Turkish Lira,all at a guaranteed rate, with funds settled in your preferred currency.

More information on the collecting e-commerce solution for Türkiye can be found here.

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By: Roman Tazetdinov (Head of Geo Expansion, Digital Commerce, Worldline)
Originally published at: Worldline

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