Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Taking Your Brand to Europe

Taking your franchise brand to Europe is a huge step. Your international franchise consultant has helped you with feasibility studies, your training manuals have been translated and you are making progress finding that elusive “perfect master franchisee partner”. Most importantly, local customers will be willing and able to pay for your product.
However, have you ever wondered about how they pay? If you’re coming from the United States and are used to operating fancy tablet POS and the likes, forget about a credit cards. Debit cards, yes. People have them. Yet, depending on the European country you enter, you may be in for a surprise. 
According to a recent article in The Economist, Swedes fall over laughing when they see tourists making a dash for the next ATM. No wonder, when only 5-7% of payments are made in cash. Cash is so 20th century that Sweden’s largest bank operates only eight (that is 8) retail branches that handle cash.
Go south, and the picture looks very different. Italians love their coins and notes. The Boston Consulting Group estimates that your average Italian made only 67 electronic transactions in 2015. Up in Norway, that number was 456.
You’d think the technophile Germans use plastic a lot – but they don’t. They made less than 50 electronic transactions last year. In fact, plenty of shops don’t accept anything but cash. Try getting some bread in my neighbourhood bakery. No cash, no bread.

So, after all is said and done, make sure you plan for handling more cash than you might have expected when expanding into Europe.


Post a Comment

<< Home