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EU and UK merchants expect to overcome Brexit challenges by end of 2021


Survey from payments provider Mollie reveals how small-mid-sized merchants are preparing for the UK’s exit

London and Amsterdam 17 December 2020 - Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment service providers, has today announced the findings of a survey which explores the readiness of UK and EU merchants ahead of Brexit. The study reveals the differences between small-mid-sized UK merchants versus their counterparts in the EU and the opportunities and challenges that are expected come December 31st.

The data paints a positive picture for British firms who expect to face challenges when the UK formally leaves the EU but are optimistic about their ability to adapt. Conversely, EU firms felt unprepared but confident in their current strategy and believe Brexit is unlikely to bring any new problems. Both UK and EU businesses said that Brexit has resulted in a shift towards domestic activity rather than international commerce.

Key findings:

Despite headwinds, British SMEs are standing strong

  • 42% of UK merchants and 32% of EU firms expect to overcome any Brexit-related challenges by the end of 2021.
  • UK businesses feel they have adapted fairly well, rating themselves 3.3/5 when asked about their progress in addressing new challenges. EU businesses were slightly less optimistic rating themselves 2.9/5 for the same question.
  • And 69% of UK merchants said that they will be ready for Brexit on or before Dec 31st.

A more regional and personalised approach will help SMEs bounce back

  • Finally, British merchants are more optimistic than EU merchants with 22% saying that Brexit encourages them to focus on most profitable channels like e-commerce or technology-focused retail, versus 11% for EU retailers.
  • 18% of UK firms also said relaxed regulation makes it easier to operate and 16% said it encourages a local and specialised approach that provides customers with a greater degree of personalisation.

EU merchants have been unable to plan but anticipate few new challenges

  • Although more than a third (36%) of EU merchants admitted they had been unable to plan for Brexit, almost the same proportion (34%) said there will be no new challenges for them once the UK leaves the European Union.
  • In fact, one in five (21%) EU firms expect to face no impact at all from Brexit and 43% said their strategy has remained unchanged.

“Brexit has been looming in the background for the last four years and has been expected to hit businesses hard,” said Ken Serdons, Chief Commercial Officer at Mollie. “Yet, small-mid sized merchants are feeling confident and prepared to tackle Brexit head-on. With our focus on simplifying financial services and creating localised payment experiences, Mollie is well poised to help customers navigate this shift and continue to grow internationally. In particular, merchants with a growth mindset – who believe that their capabilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – will bounce back most successfully.”

Mollie surveyed 104 ecommerce merchants across Europe in November 2020. The sample included 53 merchants from across the EU and 51 from the UK.


About Mollie
Mollie is a pioneer in the payment industry. The company is one of the fastest-growing payment processors in Europe. Mollie facilitates companies of all sizes to scale and grow by using different payment methods. With the help of a simple and clear payments-API, Mollie can offer multiple payment methods in a uniform way. Mollie’s mission is to become the most-loved PSP in Europe by simplifying complex financial services. Mollie currently has nearly 110,000 customers in Europe. Mollie employs an international team of 350 professionals, is headquartered in Amsterdam and has offices in four other locations across Europe.

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