In 2022, 12% of the total value of ecommerce checkouts worldwide were made using debit cards, making it the third-most popular online payment method of the year. This number is set to fall slightly to 10% in 2026. In North America, the adoption of debit cards is slightly higher. It was used in 19% of the value of online payments there in 2022, and this is forecast to dip to 16% in 2026.

But where is debit card the most popular? Here’s a breakdown of debit card penetration by country. 

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Debit card penetration by country

According to a recent analysis of debit card penetration by country, Denmark has the highest penetration rate, with 99%. This is defined as the percentage of people aged 15 and above who own at least one debit card. Credit card usage in Denmark is comparatively lower, with a penetration rate of 58.5%. In fact, data shows that whether they’re shopping online or in a physical store, debit and credit cards are Danes’ preferred payment method. In 2023, debit and credit cards accounted for nearly half (49%) of the total online transaction volume of B2C businesses. 

Second on the list ranking debit card penetration by country is the Netherlands—98.3% of the population there owns debit cards. This is followed by Sweden and Norway, with penetration rates of 98.2% and 97.8%, respectively. New Zealand completes the top five, with 96.4%.

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In joint sixth place on the ranking of debit card penetration by country are Belgium and Canada. 96.2% of the population of both countries possesses debit cards. Australia follows, with a rate of 95.9%. Austria and the United Kingdom round out the list, with 95.5%, each. Going further down the list, we see that just 13 countries have debit card penetrations of above 90%, with Germany, Singapore, and Ireland making up the other three.

Of these 10 countries topping the list ranking debit card penetration by country, seven are located in Europe. This highlights the continent’s high reliance on the payment method.

On the other end of the spectrum measuring debit card penetration rate by country lies Ghana, where just 17.4% of the population owns a debit card. This equates to around one out of every six individuals aged 15 and above.

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