Alternative Payments Shape E-Commerce
E-wallets, cryptocurrencies, and instant financing are coming big-time!
Shopping is an incremental part of our everyday lives. We buy food, clothes, electronic devices, as well as utilities and other services to make it to the next day.
When it comes to acquiring all those consumables, there are tons of ways to pay for them. From the earliest types of exchange like barter to the modern instant transactions with cryptocurrencies, our payment systems have been getting better and more sophisticated.
There were times when credit cards and bank-wired transfers were such an innovation that literally everybody was hyped about them. They allowed us to make transactions without physically being at the cashier's desk. In some parts of the world, these methods are still considered an innovation.
However, we're now getting into the period where instantaneous transactions and highly secured platforms are an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, wired and credit card transfers lack these features—They're noticeably slow and susceptible to security risks.
That's why the new, alternative types of payment methods (APMs) have emerged in e-commerce. In this article, we're going take a look at those platforms and see what drives their innovative characteristics.
The Most Notable APMs
As we have mentioned above, customers want secure platforms that are safe from hacker attacks, as well as faster transaction times and increased convenience while shopping.
The alternative payment methods that we'll be mentioning in this chapter will all have these (or at least, one of these) characteristics. So, here are some of the most popular APMs:
- E-wallet—probably the most popular method that has already been deeply embedded in our lives. We might not even call it an APM anymore. With e-wallets, you're able to integrate your credit/debit cards in your online wallet, and manage them from your device. One example of this is Apple Wallet and its "child," Apple Pay, which enable users to bind their cards to their phones and then pay anywhere, either using the built-in NFC chips or online.
- Instant Financing—It's an improved version of credit cards that is convenient for shopping when you don't have a sufficient amount of money. One of the main reasons why instant financing is so different from conventional credit cards is its simplicity: Shoppers can choose instant financing method which requires the least amount of personal information from them. Just like e-wallet, this method is also managed from the internet-based devices;.
- Try Before You Buy—This is an excellent form of payment for the apparel shopping industry. Shoppers love when they try on their preferred clothes before buying them. However, they have to go to brick-and-mortar stores to do so. With "try before you buy," you can order a piece of clothing that will be delivered at your doorstep. Then, you can try them at home in comfort and decide, whether it's the right one for you or not. Only after you decide to buy will you be charged with money.
- And last, but not least, cryptocurrencies—This is probably the fastest and most secure method of payment in the industry right now. The blockchain-based currencies' safety is guaranteed by the system users themselves—The longer and further the currencies are used, the safer they get. Besides, it only takes seconds to confirm transactions, which is not the case for traditional payment methods.
The Reason Why APMs are so Popular
Now, that we've listed some of the most popular APMs, let's see what drives their popularity.
First things first, customers want convenience, as well as safety. With the recent hacker attacks on giant social platforms like Facebook, they demand more sophisticated payment methods from their providers.
Besides, the customers don't really enjoy the burdensome process of entering detailed personal credentials, like social security numbers or zip codes. With APMs, they are required to disclose only the most crucial and basic information about themselves, like full name, e-mail address, and phone number (sometimes, not even that much).
So, customer demand and desire for convenience is one major drive. Another big factor in APMs' popularization is innovative checkout technology.
The businesses are focused on providing satisfying service to their customers. Not only that, they want to do so without spending too many resources. Now, more than ever, these two requirements can be seamlessly integrated.
With the rise in innovative checkout technologies, businesses are able to quickly transform their payment platforms to e-wallets, cryptocurrencies, etc. These platforms do not require expensive payment receivers and other gadgets. In fact, they don't require any technology at all—Just an internet and a connected device will do the whole work.
APM Future is Here!
Bitcoin, PayPal, Apple Pay—These are some of the most notable alternative payment method examples that are increasingly gaining traction. To be fair, they shouldn't even be called APMs anymore.
The customers demand safety and security so much that they quickly switch to these technologies. In fact, according to some predictions from all the online transactions made in 2019, 55 percent will be made using alternative payment methods.
It is fair to say that the future has already dawned on us!