To meet shopper expectations in the check-out page is the key to fewer drop-outs, returning consumers, satisfied clients and lead to higher conversion rates as well as more revenues for merchants. One crucial success factor to reach this is the availability of the right mix of payment methods accompanied by regional payment behaviour. In Germany e.g. shoppers love to pay by invoice and direct debit. But which alternative payment methods do exist?
Generally, alternative payments are everyday payment methods and can be divided into local and global methods. Local alternative payments address the respective domestic economy and have been installed for e-commerce. They are operated by local banks and processed in local currencies, have their own unique application and settlement following country regulations. Global alternative payments primarily compete with credit cards and address consumers who have concerns depositing their credit card data online.
The most common alternative payment methods are debit cards, direct debit, bank transfer, phone and mobile payments, charge cards, prepaid cards, cash payments, checks and money orders. Every category contains a variety of subtypes. Direct debit – within Europe mainly used in Germany, Austria and UK – has been developed to the new SEPA standard by the European Union. SEPA will replace all local direct debit processes from 1 February 2014 on and will further simplify cross-border payments in and between all European countries. This step forward contains strong advantages for all domestic and international e-commerce providers.
For merchants alternative payments contribute to building customer- confidence. They confirm customer´s local habits in letting them pay in their preferred domestic payment solution – regardless of shopping in their home country or abroad at a foreign based online shop. Thus merchants obtain valuable tools to increase their sales within their payment process by integrating alternative payments. Additionally many alternative payment methods provide particular security features which secure merchants form fraud and chargebacks.
For consumers alternative payments are often the favoured type of online payment. They give consumers the opportunity to pay the way they are mostly trust. This is the main reason for the on-going strong increase in customer usage of alternative payment methods. Additionally – compared to credit cards – the usually required security steps as for example user name, PIN or password, provide a higher security quality and let consumers thereby feel safe.
Read more about Alternative Payments here