Russians embrace Bitcoins, the West sticks with PayPal

One day, as you’re busy surfing on one of your favorite online stores, you stumble upon a pair of chic shades … they’re the very ones you’ve been looking for, for quite some time. And that’s not it. Best of all, they are really cheap. So you add the sunglasses to your shopping cart, proceed to payment and choose to pay … wait for it … with Bitcoins. Sounds like some techie’s fantasy? It’s not − at least for 6.9% of Russians, who are opting to use the cryptocurrency ever since their country’s financial system has come under pressure.

Bitcoin’s popularity in Russia has been documented in a recent ESET survey, which examined the online shopping habits of people in the US, the UK, Germany and Russia.

The poll also found that for Americans, this type of approach is less popular, with many staying on the “conservative” side of online payment. Almost half (49.44%) are still purchasing their goods online with their credit card, despite the new payment frontiers out there.

Europe leading the way with the payment revolution

Online shopping

In comparison, Europeans are leading the charge in the payment revolution – they appear to be more open-minded when it comes to novel types of payment like PayPal or similar. Germany is the most significant champion here, with more than every second online shopper (58.6% in all) in this 80-million market considering this form of payment as a favorite of theirs. In the UK, shoppers trail slightly behind the Germans with 39.76% of respondents opting to use PayPal and similar services when shopping online. Nevertheless, it is the most popular way of paying for things in cyberspace in the country.

The data shows a significant difference between the polled countries in the payment upon delivery category. While online shoppers in the US and UK rarely opt for this method (3.09% and 2.49% respectively), in Germany it is the second most popular form of purchase (20.9%), and in Russia it constitutes almost every fifth online purchase (18.5%).

Overall, electronic forms of payment (including credit and debit card, PayPal or similar, or Bitcoin) outweigh by far their physical counterpart (payment upon delivery). This poses a juicy target for cybercriminals and therefore deserves proper attention. Here, it is hard to omit the importance of using protective security software with banking and payment protection, as well as sticking with reliable brands and looking for a padlock in the search bar.

In the US almost every fourth user (24.65%) has experienced a security incident when shopping online, while in the UK this number is close-to every fifth, reaching 18.56%. Germany fared slightly better with 16.5% of those asked reporting a first-hand encounter with cybercrime. The lowest level was reported by Russian respondents, with 92.7% stating that they have not encountered any of the security incidents listed in the question.

Phishing continues to pose a threat to online shoppers


As the ESET survey has further revealed, phishing is the most widely reported type of attack when e-shopping.

Masquerading as a trustworthy site or document in electronic communication, malicious actors tried to obtain sensitive information, such as credit card details or usernames and passwords from a total of 11% of Brits and the same share of Germans.

Although in the US, phishing attack levels are a bit lower – “only” 9.4% – the most frequently experienced form of cyberattack remains theft of credit and debit card details with 10.55% of respondents reporting a first-hand encounter.

See the full statistics below:

What payment method do you use most often when shopping online?UKUSDERUS
Credit card25.05%49.44%10.50%19.50%
PayPal or similar service39.76%22.66%58.60%26.50%
Payment upon delivery2.49%3.09%20.90%18.50%
Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency1.19%1.50%1.60%6.90%
Bank/Debit card31.51%23.31%8.40%28.70%
Shopping by paymentUK     
Credit cardPayPalOn deliveryBitcoinDebit card
What security incidents have you experienced when shopping online?UKUSDERUS
My bank login credentials were stolen1.67%1.92%1.20%1.70%
My bank/credit card number was stolen3.63%10.55%2.60%1.10%
Phishing scam11.00%9.40%11.00%3.10%
My online shop login details were stolen2.26%2.78%1.70%1.40%


In the specific breakdown on how online shopping is being used and about habits, we address only percentages from the group of online shopping users. The surveys were conducted during Q3 of 2015 on a demographically representative sample of at least 1,000 internet users in each country. Surveys were conducted in the UK, US and Germany by Google Surveys, and in Russia by Merku.

Author , ESET

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