From startup to stratospheric
How European businesses are using payments to drive their growth

As the world gets smaller, it’s becoming easier for businesses with bright ideas to reach far beyond what they initially thought was possible. Payments can supercharge that growth journey. In this guide we’re going to show you how, with insight from some of the companies we’ve worked closely with over the last few years.

Go back fifteen years. You’re enjoying a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time, listening to a freshly downloaded iTunes playlist on your iPod as you make your way to Blockbuster to rent a DVD to watch at home. You’re about to take a selfie on your phone to capture the moment for your insta followers but you realize that the camera quality is appalling and Instagram doesn’t exist.

Fast-forward to today as you ride through town on your smart-scooter listening to a podcast about the latest bingeable show. It dawns on you how our relationship with media, commerce, and the world around us has changed, and how the new ideas that have sprouted have become indispensable. That’s what this guide is about.

Innovation has paved the way for ideas that challenge the status quo while helping to fulfil a need. But for every Spotify or eBay, there's thousands of ideas that don't succeed. An idea alone is not enough. You need to utilize every tool at your disposal to turn that idea into a viable business.

More and more, businesses are looking for ways to refine their processes and generate revenue where they hadn’t before. We spoke to some of Europe's fastest growing businesses to see how they turned a payments platform from a perfunctory tool into a genuine business asset. 

By reading this, you’ll find tips on driving business growth drawn from discussions with our merchants: choosing partners, using data, international expansion, increasing conversion rates, and more essential advice that you can use to stay ahead of the competition. 

Picking the right partners

One of the essential elements of success is often picking a great partner. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Ben and Jerry, Hall and Oates all did it to great effect. It’s essential to find partners who compliment your skills and also share your business philosophy.

"We are growing and have a strong desire to develop internationally. We chose Adyen when we were only present in France, knowing that we were going to go abroad and open stores across borders. With Adyen we knew we could guarantee fast and efficient implementation. This was particularly the case in Spain.”

Martin Tauber ∙ VP Strategics, My Jolie Candle

Depending on your business type, success can depend on any number of partners: supply chain management, logistical partners, retail intermediaries. You can add your payment provider to this list. 

Maybe your team is spread-thin already, so rather than deploying your resources on managing your payments system, on an awkward integration process, and on signing multiple contracts, find a partner who understands your development strategy. One that allows you to launch your ecommerce site and open stores in whichever country you choose. Having an agile payment solution allows you to grow your business at speed without the administrative and technical complexities.

“I asked one of our developers to research payments providers, and find a benchmark for our industry. He looked at all of the companies we were aspiring towards and he came back with a single answer: Adyen. We got in touch with the team in Stockholm and have been going strong ever since.”

Niclas Sandin ∙ CEO, BookBeat

Maximize your conversion rates

Conversion is the difference between buzz, and actually running a profitable business. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. Below are three examples of ways to make a giant leap in terms of revenue. 

Optimize your checkout page

When you've done all the hard work; attracted visitors to your site, and brought them through the purchase process, it would be a shame to fall at the final hurdle. Your checkout page can be the difference between money in the bank and a disappointed shopper. 

Optimizing your purchase funnel and payment page should be a key focus. Features such as one-click payments or auto-filling information into forms can smoothen the process. Native mobile customizations such as numeric keypads to enter card details, or guidance messages with extra information can also increase your chances of converting a sale.

Utilize risk management tools

An effective risk management system is one that performs a perfect balancing act. It makes the checkout process easier for your trusted customers, while blocking fraudsters. By setting custom fraud rules with algorithms capable of recognizing shoppers’ payment histories and assessing the validity of a transaction, you will decrease your fraud rate while increasing your authorization rates.

“By using RevenueProtect, we saw that we were easily blocking bad traffic pre-authorization. Besides that, our chargeback win rate elevated at least 40% compared to our previous win rate while not changing anything in the challenge process.”

Linda Faassen ∙ CFO, Creative Group

Recognize loyalty 

By recognizing repeat customers, you can remove barriers to them completing a purchase. With their payment details saved using a secure token, shoppers can be a mere fingertip away from a purchase as opposed to a lengthy process of entering payment details. Their loyalty scheme can also be tied to their payment details so whether they're buying in-store or online they'll never miss a benefit or personalized offer.

Learn more: Adyen for food and beverage

Expand beyond your orbit

The more customers you can find, the more revenue you can create, and the quicker you can grow. If you're close to exhausting your home market, it's time to think about expanding into new ones. Sounds difficult right? Well, not really.

Rather than adding new payment partners in each country, try to capitalize on the capabilities of a single payments platform, capable of supporting you anywhere in the world. Together, you can open your business to as many countries as you want, add local currencies, and let your customers pay the way they want, no matter where they are.


It can be difficult to know the specific business requirements of each market you want to expand to. Your customers in France, Germany, or the Netherlands all have different buying habits. The world is full of local preferences, and payment methods are no different; the French have co-branded payment cards CB and Mastercard or Visa, the Germans adore the Sofort online transfer solution, and the Dutch pay with the very secure iDeal.

Some of our merchants, like Blablacar, the world’s leading long-distance carpooling platform, have been able to expand to six new countries in the space of a year, avoiding many difficulties linked to the choice of a local buyer, the creation of a local contract, or researching the right payment methods for each region.

Having a global, centralized approach to your payments also facilitates reconciliation for all of your markets for a better view of your international performance.



Add a new payments partner in each region

Use a single platform capable of supporting you anywhere

Limit the methods of payment you offer

Consider local preferences. E.g. Cartes Bancaires in France, or iDEAL in the Netherlands

Take a decentralized approach to payments

Think globally. Get reports in the same format across all regions

Think small

Shoot for the stars




Add a new payments partner in each region

Use a single platform capable of supporting you anywhere

Limit the methods of payment you offer

Consider local preferences. E.g. Cartes Bancaires in France, or iDEAL in the Netherlands

Take a decentralized approach to payments

Think globally. Get reports in the same format across all regions

Think small Shoot for the stars



"The integration with Adyen could not have been simpler and more efficient. We had long been looking for a payment provider that was robust, international and had a support team to match. With Adyen, that was clear from the beginning.”

Mateo Garrido ∙ CTO, Santafixie

Use data to reach new heights

Knowing your customer is an essential part of doing business but mastering your data is even more so. With payments data, you can have a sharper view of your business and better understand your buyer journeys. If you've ever wondered about any of the below, then Adyen data can help:

  • Why are some transactions refused?

  • What are my customers' preferred payment methods?

  • Where should I open my next store?

  • How many of my customers buy online and return in store?

  • Where in the world are my customers from?

Centralizing and analyzing your transaction data will give you access to valuable information to help with the growth of your business. With our ShopperDNA tool, you can see buyers across all of your channels and build a 360-degree view of their payment history. This aggregated data can then be used to improve the personalization of your customers' experience and retain them.

The comprehensive payment data provided in Adyen allows you to better manage your omnichannel activity. By analyzing the performance or individual stores, you can match stores based on a range of performance drivers. Stores with similar performance profiles can be used to A/B test interior layouts, offers, or in-store innovations like self-service kiosks. Stores with different profiles can share learnings such as how to increase spend in fewer visits or differentiate experiences for high traffic sites.

“The experience of the entire POS roll-out was consistent with the experience we had when rolling out our online payments. There was a lot of support from Adyen to get the terminals shipped and integrated as fast as possible.”

Max Kochen ∙ CEO, Beets&Roots

Offer stellar customer experiences

In 2020, your customers expect to have innovative, digital, and personalized experiences, whatever the sales channel. This era of experience is facilitated by unified commerce which allows business to bring consistency to customer journeys on every channel; mobile, online, in-store kiosks, and everything in between. 

Many brands innovate and differentiate themselves on the experiences they offer. For example, CoolBlue, the Dutch electronics retailer sets itself apart from the competition with the premium service offered by their delivery drivers. Not only will they deliver your television, they will install it, connect devices such as soundbars, and provide a demo on how it all works. They’ll also advise on any complimentary products they think would improve your set-up, and order for you from their tablets.

Another great example of innovation that strengthens the customer experience is French lingerie and nightwear brand, Etam. They recently tested the "try at home" model. The customer can choose up to ten items from their online store, and pay nothing. An imprint of their bank card is taken. And they are only charged for the value of items kept when the unwanted items are returned. A great way to boost sales, and limit returns.

You can stay ahead of the curve by not only meeting current demand, but by actively investing in the future.

Related: Dealing with refunds and returns

Ready for take-off?

Young upstarts and established businesses have needed to reflect in recent years; how they use technology, how to deal with an increasingly globalized marketplace, all the way through to taking responsibility regarding sustainability and the environment.

In 2020 we’ve found another huge challenge. Following on from the COVID-19 crisis, the world is seeking ways to adapt and find a new normal. Businesses that can evolve, emerge, and cater to customer needs regardless of the situation are those that will prosper into the future.

We hope this guide provides inspiration and actionable steps to help you make payments one less thing to worry about. 

About Adyen

Adyen is the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, providing a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers' globally preferred payment methods. Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in-store channels. With offices across the world, Adyen serves customers including Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Casper, Bonobos and L'Oreal.

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