Digital Payment Solutions
Payment is a crucial step in any customer-vendor interaction. It completes the transaction and defines a successful customer conversion. Despite its strategic importance, businesses worldwide typically mark this step as just another customer touch-point. As shifts in technology have revolutionised many industries over the past decade, payments also deserve a closer look.
Virtualisation (the movement of physical devices onto cloud-based platforms), has led to an even greater number of payment options. Virtual terminals and payment gateways are newer technologies in the payment process, allowing multiple methods and devices to be used for purchasing. When setting up an online store, finding out which types of payment methods to use is essential for your business. Not only because there are different types to choose from, but certain types are optimised to maximise revenue opportunities.
In its earliest form, commerce was a system of trading one item or service for another. Ancient wall paintings and manuscripts show that humans long ago engaged in trading animal skins and meat for other services and goods. Gradually, the idea of currency emerged; primitive societies used shells or beads as money. In Mesopotamia and Egypt, gold bars were used like cash but they had to be measured each time a trade was made.
The advancement of metallurgy thought to have started sometime between 700 and 500 B.C., institutionalized value and disentangled commerce. Coins could now be tallied, making exchanges less demanding. Gold and silver soon became the standard for coins around 500 B.C. This led to trade between countries, as these valuable metals had a standard value around the globe, which in turn empowered nations with surpluses to sell their wares to countries that required them.
While the basics of trade have remained constant, the last century has seen enormous changes in both the structure and nature of commerce. Until the early 1900s, most businesses were private ventures with merchants selling goods and services to local residents. The ascent of corporations prompted the foundation of chain stores and retail establishments. In the mid-1990s, Amazon and eBay changed the way commerce operates in America, and in turn, globally. The power to search for books by myriad criteria and review purchases online before checkout helped make Amazon an online shopping mainstream among shoppers. eBay gave consumers the option to open their own online stores in an easy and secure way. Entrepreneurship and the internet quickly converged.
This swiftly brings us to today: most consumer payments across the world are now digital.
Mobile has become an inevitable and indispensable part of our routine. Smartphones are transforming the way we transact in our day to day lives. From paying utility bills to purchasing clothes online and transferring money to our friends in need, digital wallets have made online transaction breezy. While every mobile-savvy consumer continues to use digital payment solutions and business makes it a vital part of their strategy, it is safe to say that the digital payment revolution will stick around for several years to come.
The technology that powers digital payments is evolving at breakneck speed compared to the decades (and centuries) prior. Businesses make online payment a vital part of their strategy and it is safe to say that the digital payment revolution will stick around for several years to come. Some of the most popular forms of payment methods today are stated below.
As a global payment solution, credit cards are the most common way for customers to pay online. Merchants can reach out to an international market with credit cards, by integrating a payment gateway into their business.
A popular payment method in countries with a low credit card and banking penetration, mobile payments offer a quick solution for customers to purchase on eCommerce websites. Mobile payments are also commonly used on donation portals, browser games, and social media networks such as dating sites, where customers can pay with SMS.
Customers enrolled in an internet banking facility can do a bank transfer to pay for online purchases. A bank transfer assures customers that their funds are safely used since each transaction needs to be authenticated and approved first by the customer’s internet banking credentials before a purchase happens.
An e-wallet stores a customer’s personal data and funds, which are then used to purchase from online stores. Signing up for an e-wallet is fast and easy, with customers required just to submit their information once for purchases.
An alternative payment method, commonly used by minors or customers with no bank accounts. Prepaid cards come in different stored values for customers to choose from. Online gaming companies usually make use of prepaid cards as their preferred payment method, with virtual currency stored in prepaid cards for a player to use for in-game transactions
Offline Payment Options
Some of your potential customers are people who aren’t comfortable with online options, or they are people who want to talk to a live person. If you want to fully monetise your website and make all the sales that you can, it’s important that you give these people ways to pay as well. Include a toll-free number or an order form that customers can fill out and email or send through regular mail if they prefer.
Digital Payments are, simply enough, payments made through digital channels. They convert a traditional cash-operation to a cashless one. All transactions are completed online. A mix of all the options available will help you keep customers on your e-commerce site, or in your store because they can pay the way they want to. If you don’t offer a service for someone to pay their way, the possibility of losing that customer is high.
Some of the advantages of digital payments are:
Convenience & accessibility: Customers no longer need to carry cash or visit an ATM. In fact, they don’t even need to be physically present to pay! Customers can pay anytime from any part of the world.
Lower risk: Digital transactions are much more secure than traditional transactions because they are processed by secure gateways which are hard to tamper with.
Easily traceable: Details of payments are stored in a merchant-specific database. Both merchants and customers have easy access to payment information. This avoids ambiguity and confusion while tracking payments.
With the meteoric rise of non-cash payments, more and more banks and financial institutions are turning towards digital payment. As far as security is concerned, the best thing consumers can do today is to ensure that they take meticulous steps in preventing the theft or loss of crucial data on their mobile devices. Digital wallets can be considered safer than traditional wallets because of built-in redundant protections. For example, passcode or biometric is required to gain access to the application. And digital wallets heavily encrypt all credit card and banking details to help keep them secure from hackers.
The success of your online business depends on sales. With the possibility of one customer paying with a watch, the next with a card, and a third with a check, you should offer as many payment options as you can. There are different types of payment methods to choose from. But by understanding how each one functions, and knowing who your target audiences are (particularly, where they are located), can help you decide which payment methods to integrate.
If you need help in setting your business up with appropriate types of payment methods, Techscape Labs provides secure payment solutions that meet your business needs. Visit us for a free consultation today.