There are myriad ways consumers can choose to complete an online transaction. Here, we offer the crème de la crème for merchants looking to adopt the right ones.
Gone are the days when we spend an excruciating amount of time trying to hail a cab off the streets only to be rejected boarding on due to a lack of cash. With new entrants, such as GoJek and TADA, joining the reigning champion of the ride-hailing industry — Grab — over the years, the burgeoning circle has since expanded and in many cases, furnished us with more boon than bane.
It goes without saying consumers are definitely benefiting from the opportunity to compare different price points before making a value-for-money decision. From Grab to Gojek, RYDE to TADA, it is comforting to know how there are myriad ways to travel around the island today.
And of course, if there is one thing these companies have taught us is that when merchants offer more solutions to consumers, they can reach out to a larger group of audience too.
Similar to the ride-hailing industry, online payment solutions, which boasts a variety of traits — faster transactions, better conversion, cheaper administrative fees, and enhanced security — have proliferated over the years, and many of them appeal to differing pools of people.
Here, we tide you through the different popular alternatives:
Stripe Payments / Apple Pay
These are the most common and basic payment options available that online merchants provide to their consumers today. Here, consumers only need to make payment through their credit or debit cards.
Stripe checkout with Apple Pay – Image by Stripe
Stripe payments: With its dynamic and versatile Application Programming Interface (API), Stripe appeals to merchants with not its easy-to-use functionalities (You don’t have to be a coder to set it up!). This convenience is further enhanced with the lack of hidden fees or monthly fees too.
Apple Pay & Google Pay : In an era where digital convenience and versatility are relied upon, both Apple Pay & Google Pay offers consumers, specifically millennials, the efficiency to securely complete a transaction with just a scan of a finger. Merchants have embraced touch-ID / face-ID confirmation as the new kid in the block, and many are reaping its benefits too.
If you are using Stripe / Shopify Payments, Apple Pay & Google Pay is most likely enabled on your ecommerce website.
PayPal is undoubtedly the reigning champion in the field of online payment solutions. Like the aforementioned alternatives, PayPal also proffers consumers to make payments via credit and debit cards.
Furthermore, money transfers and transactions can also be sent via email, a service which few other payment solutions provide. The Buyer Protect offers full refunds if orders made have failed to arrive or were not as described, has been an effective security linchpin for consumers.
Third-party mobile and online payment platform, Alipay, was first launched in Hangzhou, China since 2004 by billionaire Jack Ma.
Since then, it has been the ideal online payment solutions for consumers in China’s markets. For merchants, who are keen on expanding into the Chinese market, Alipay proves to be an attractive go-to option to adopt. All consumers need to do is scan a QR code that is generated and shown during checkout, and the transaction can take place in real-time from the consumer’s Alipay account.
Ah yes, the controversy around the famous ‘Bitcoin’ has often heralded heated debates and discussions between economists and businessmen. But for what it is worth, utilising it as a form of transaction may prove to be beneficial for both merchants and consumers too. For the uninitiated, when consumers pay with BitPayvia ‘Bitcoins’, merchants will receive a flat pay-out in USD, Euros and other currencies.
Of course, the usage of such digital currencies (which replace traditional currencies) may not be well-received as a result of unstable price fluctuations. But let’s not forget that once upon a time, one ‘Bitcoin’ was worth close to USD$20,000.
Finally, the pièce de résistance of the lot lies in the new online payment solution, hoolah! Unlike all of the previous mentions, which require consumers to make full payment prior to checking out, consumers who uses hoolah are able to complete their purchases through cost-effective equal instalments (at 0% interest)!
What this means is, consumers can adopt a “buy now, pay later” approach, while merchants reap the entire profit of the transaction as hoolah proceeds to make the impossible possible. That is to say, hoolah will foot the entire amount (minus the processing fee) to merchants directly and managing all the risks involved.
As businesses begin to flourish in the digital era, finding the right and most appropriate payment solution now has never been more crucial. Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages in the suggestions from our comprehensive list.
Nonetheless, it pays to heed the market consensus that there is a majority who prefer using the mode of payment they are comfortable with. To conquer that, it is wise for merchants and business owners to proffer a larger variety of options (and convenience while they are at it too) to drive sales conversion.
It’s very much similar to how you would pay for any ride to get to your date or appointments on time. And since beggars cannot be choosers, consumers often have the intention to buy the goods they are interested in.
As merchants, the least we can do is to offer some form of convenience in their favour, right?