In the days before the internet, the old saying was ‘cash is king.’ While cash has long contended with debit and credit cards, the advent of online shopping tipped the tables in favor of digital currencies. Now that online shopping has become a dominant form of shopping, cash is steadily losing ground, but the credit card is far from the only way to pay for goods and services in the virtual world. From direct transfers and gift cards to PayPal and Apple play, and most recently, Bitcoin, there’s a seemingly endless array of means to pay while surfing the web.
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What Are The Main Categories for E-Commerce Payment Methods?
In 2020, there is a multitude of ways to pay for products and services. From the traditional means such as cash on delivery or credit card to modern means like Bitcoin and ApplePay. This can be confusing, so the benefit of working with PondThreads is our customer integrated purchasing system. This allows us to get to work making your product the moment we get an order from your website, which will enable you to put more energy into developing a better website and new products.
Direct transfer from your personal or business bank account remains a modern means of paying while online. However, due to the increasing sophistication of hacking tactics and campaigns, a direct transfer is often viewed as the least safe means of paying. Of course, most, if not all, major banking institutions have dedicated teams for protecting their accounts.
While there is an increasing market of payment channels, cards – credit, debit, and prepaid - remain among the most popular methods in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. Though card numbers can be stolen, fraud detection often catches strange purchases, and recovering stolen funds is usually straightforward.
Considering the nature of eCommerce, the idea of using cash for payment may seem stranger, but money can still be used through the method of cash on delivery (COD). However, using COD is increasingly rare, primarily due to the availability of quicker and safer alternatives. As well, not every courier service accepts cash, making FedEx and UPS the companies of choice for this method.
Similar to a bank account, an e-wallet holds a customer’s funds in a secure account. The account holder can deposit and withdraw money just as they would a traditional bank account, and have seen high levels of acceptance in the United States. Some common examples include Paypal and AliPay.
Direct carrier payments
Like cash on delivery, in that it's becoming increasingly rare, direct carrier payments involve paying directly through the telephone or utility carrier. This is generally done by providing a second party a credit or debit card number, which will be used for payment. Of course, there are risks involved with the form of payment and may be used by scammers.
Cryptocurrencies are a recent phenomenon with strong support from Millennial-aged investors. A digital currency with no official backing, 'crypto' is legally exchanged with any other currency, though it is currently banned in China. Due to the virtual nature of cryptocurrencies, they are highly secured; however, its stock price values make it more volatile.
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What Are The List of Best Online Payment Methods For Your eCommerce Store
Thanks to the popularity of early services like Paypal, there are multiple online payment services. Which one is best for your store hinges on your target market, including the counties served. As well, it’s best to be aware of the fees involved with accepting payment through these services.
Stripe is one of the leading payment processors on the market in 2020. Its popularity is mostly due to its versatile, user-friendly design that allows businesses to utilize it effortlessly for eCommerce. One of its stand-out features is the ability to connect an alternative payment method through the payment gateway, which helps ensure sales. Recent studies have shown that businesses using Stripe have increased annual revenue by more than 6 percent since implantation. Further, Stripe boasts 81% fewer service outages and can cut down operating costs by 24%. Finally, Stripe accepts all major credit cards from around the world.
Most commonly used with point-of-sale (POS) systems for in-person transactions, Square is increasingly utilized for eCommerce. Similar to Stripe and Paypal, does not require a monthly fee for use with eCommerce sites, but does charge a small transaction fee and takes a percentage from each purchase.
Like much of its competition, Square is fully compatible with sites built using Wix, WooCommerce, Magneto, and many more. Though compatible with most platforms, Square suffers from limitations, including limited payment options and features, and doesn’t allow much customization. However, it is ideal for low-volume companies, especially startups.
A product of the influential Apple Corporation, ApplePay is a payment processor exclusive to iOS users, which account for 54% of the mobile market in the United States. Built into each Apple device, ApplePay dramatically simplifies the payment process by narrowing it down to a simple press of a button after the initial setup. This means consumers using ApplePay will be more inclined to purchase due to the quickness and convenience of this payment method. One of the major benefits to merchants is that Apple doesn't charge additional fees to merchants accepting ApplePay.
Paypal was one of the earliest and longest-lasting online payment processors. It’s accepted through most websites and utilized as a means of collecting donations. Thanks to name recognition, most consumers trust Paypal as a means of payment. However, using Paypal comes at the cost transaction fees. When using Paypal for your business, it’s best to understand that Paypal takes a small fee when moving money to and from your account. This can be detrimental if your company sells regularly sells low-value items at high volumes, especially if you’re doing business on an international level.
Leaders Merchant Service
Based in California, Leaders Merchant Service provides businesses with the tools to process payments online and in-store. While most online payment processors are upfront with their price, Leaders Merchant Service requires interested parties to request a quote. Fortunately, they boast a 98% approval rating. Opening an account comes with access to the payment tool, iAccess, which helps keep logs of payments.
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Payment Depot sells itself as the "Costco of credit card processing" thanks to its industry-shaking membership-based pricing model. This has allowed the company to offer processing fees as low as $0.05 per month with an unlimited membership plan, which costs $200 per but is the highest-priced plan. The most affordable plan available is $49 per month, with a maximum income of $25,000 per month, which may be ideal for most upstarts.
Like Paypal and ApplePay, Google Pay sets itself apart with the backing of the tech giant, Google. This has allowed this payment processing option to be quickly adopted by industry leaders such as StubHub and Airbnb. According to StubHub, the company saw a 600% increase in visitors, showing the brand power behind Google Pay.
ProMerchant is cut from a different cloth when compared with some of its competitors. While ApplePay and Paypal take transaction fees instead of a monthly subscription, ProMerchant offers both options. More specifically, merchants have the option to use the Interchange Plus Fixed Rate or Interchange Plus Flat Monthly Fee plans. Though having the option provides flexibility, which is more beneficial depends on your volume of sales and profit margin, so a bit of research is needed before considering ProMerchant for your eCommerce site.
Thanks to the internet age paying for products and services has become significantly easier. However, choosing the right payment processor has become something that needs to be considered carefully for a business. While this guide has provided information on some of the top payment processors, it's in the best interest of any entrepreneur to thoroughly research these services to maximize profit and customer experience.
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