E-commerce will perish without embracing alternative patent methods
The way consumers bank, send and spend money is not just changing, it has changed, and e-commerce businesses that do not react to these trends will undoubtedly lose out.
Last year it was estimated that more than half of all global ecommerce payments were made by alternative payment methods (APMs) instead of traditional methods like Visa and Mastercard.
The rise of PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Apple Pay and the likes is unstoppable, and in order to acquire and retain customers ecommerce businesses must bolster their payment gateways now.
The increasing popularity of APMs aligns with the move we have been making toward becoming a truly cashless – and even a cardless – society.
Consumers now want to pay in stores via their mobile phones, and when shopping online they expect to be able to check out with a single click of their mouse or tap of their screen.
Whether retail or online shopping, they expect totally frictionless transactions – with PayPal they simply input their email address and password.
Whereas the former can be entered in seconds, with credit cards and debit cards, card numbers, expiry dates, names on cards and security numbers are all required to make a payment.
Today, many consumers simply refuse to purchase from businesses and websites where the payment journey is nothing other than fast and seamless.
So, what are the most popular alternative payment methods? As mentioned above, PayPal has a massive user base with more than 340 million active users.
But we are also seeing more consumers use mobile payment options like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, especially if they tend to shop via their smartphones and tablets.
Then there are one-click payment options like Klarna and Skrill1-Tap. Interestingly, charge to mobile payments are becoming incredibly common, too.
In the online gambling sector where we operate, there is plenty of demand for pay by mobile casinos that allow consumers to top up their accounts and charge it to their mobile phone bill.
This charge to mobile service can also be used to purchase items in the Apple App Store and Google Play store, download and pay for PlayStation games and subscribe to Spotify, among other things.
In addition to these APMs, you also have the likes of Trustly, Paysafecard, NeoSurf, AstroPay Card, WebMoney, Revolut and many, many more.
The good news for ecommerce businesses and websites is that the advantages of adding APMs to payment gateways is not just for the consumer.
APMs also provide upsides for the business, including being able to acquire and retain consumers at scale because they are able to offer the seamless, frictionless checkout process they are seeking.
In addition to this, APMs allow for localized payments, allowing international businesses to target local consumers with the payment methods preferred in that country.
For example, AstroPay Card is big in Latin America, WebMoney is popular in Russia and NeoSurf has excellent engagement in Canada, Australia and Africa.
Ultimately, the main advantage is that e-commerce businesses are able to engage the 55% of consumers that now use APMs when shopping online – with that number only set to rise.
The way I see it, APMs are no longer an option but an absolute necessity. If they are not available, businesses face a “transaction declined” scenario where their customers will simply go elsewhere.