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The Best eCommerce Payment Methods for Your Website

eCommerce
Nathalie Nilsson eCommerce business analyst and author
| 10 min read
Payment credit card preview
Payment credit card preview

Every step of shopping online should be easy – it is after all one of its main attractions. This requires you to design your eCommerce website with care. It must be easy to navigate, easy to access on mobile, and, obviously, easy to complete a purchase. This means that choosing which eCommerce payment methods you offer your customers is a very big deal.

Why customers abandon their carts

The top three reasons why your eCommerce customers abandon their carts are as follows:

  1. Extra costs higher than expected (55%)
  2. Having to create an account (34%)
  3. Complicated checkout process (26%)

Additionally, 17% opt-out at the last minute because they don’t trust the website with their credit card details. 6% back out because the payment options offered are unsatisfactory. Four out of these five have one thing in common: payment. In some cases, all four issues can be addressed with a single payment gateway.

Established eCommerce payment methods

Before you choose the online payment methods that you are going to offer on your eCommerce website you need to know who your customer is. This is because preferred payment options vary a lot from country to country. Of course, the greatest advantage of eCommerce is that you can reach customers on a global scale. This means that offering multiple eCommerce payment methods is always the best option, but you still need to know your audience.

Credit and debit cards

Be it American Express, Visa, Mastercard, or one of their many competitors, there is no denying the popularity of credit cards. In North America and Western Europe, credit cards are one of the most popular online payment options. However, globally only 17.6% of the population use credit cards.

Bank transfers

Some eCommerce websites offer the option of transferring money to them directly from the customer’s bank account. As of 2017, 69% of the global adult population has a bank account. However, the efficiency of this process depends entirely on the bank in question. If a bank has not designed its services to easily facilitate international payments, the customer might give up mid-process.

E-wallet

An e-wallet, or a digital wallet, is an online service where money is either deposited into the application prior to purchasing a product or drawn from a linked bank account. Well-known e-wallets include PayPal and Amazon Pay. In China, 36% of transactions are made using e-wallets.

Mobile payment

Any payment made while using a mobile device is a mobile payment. There are several different payment models, ranging from e-wallets to direct operator billing, where the payment is added to the mobile phone bill. This payment system is frequently used for micropayments. It is also a popular option for the part of the population that doesn’t have a bank account.

Cash on delivery

In the regions where credit cards dominate, cash on delivery is unusual. Yet it is a frequently preferred eCommerce payment method alternative in many regions, such as Russia, India, and the Middle East. This is something that you must take into account if you aim to appeal to these large markets.

Cryptocurrencies

The majority of the population prefers more traditional means of payment than this purely digital currency. Nevertheless, Bitcoin and the like have a small but dedicated userbase. If your eCommerce customers are tech enthusiasts, accepting cryptocurrency can be a worthwhile investment.

Choosing the right payment options

ECommerce platforms such as Magento make it easy to offer a range of payment options and 66% of retailers provide at least three. When choosing eCommerce payment methods for your online store, you need to consider the following:

  1. Where does your customer live? 
  2. What is the most popular online payment method in that region?
  3. Is it cost-effective?

Let’s have a look at some of your options.

PayPal

With 277 million active accounts worldwide, PayPal is one of the most popular and trusted eCommerce payment methods available. It provides both payment gateway and merchant account services, making it a convenient option for sellers. They also handle disputes between sellers and buyers, should a problem arise.

However, PayPal charges you a fee for both money coming in and out of your account. This can make it an expensive eCommerce payment method for merchants that sell low-cost products.

PayPal features list

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay lets your customers use their existing Amazon account to pay you. Through it, people can use any payment method available on their Amazon account, except for Amazon gift cards. It only requires users to login, making it a quick and easy option. Like PayPal, Amazon Pay has both payment gateway and merchant account services.

Amazon reached 150 million active Prime members globally at the end of 2019. A significant increase from 2018’s 100 million. Still, approximately 105 million of those members are based in the US.

Amazon Pay features list

Google Pay

In 2019, Google Pay reached 67 million monthly active users. Google is a well-known and respected brand. Its products are designed to work smoothly on both desktop and mobile. Additionally, you can expect the security to be on point.

One big advantage that Google Pay has over its competitors is that it is free – for both you and your customer. This makes it a solid investment for your eCommerce website, as all it costs you is the time to set it up.

Google Pay features list

Apple Pay

While Windows is more popular, the Mac userbase is known to be dedicated to their brand of choice. Naturally, Apple has provided a payment gateway option for their users and it has become popular indeed. 48% of iPhone owners use Apple Pay – 441 million individuals.

Apple Pay requires a single click to complete a transaction and mobile users can even check out with touch identification. It is hard to provide a much smoother customer experience than that.

It is worth noting that Apple Pay is not accessible everywhere yet. Before choosing this option, double-check that it is available in the countries most relevant to your business.

Apple Pay features list

Alipay

Alipay is the most popular online payment platform in the world with an estimated 1 billion users. The majority of those users are located in China, so if you are targeting the Chinese market Alipay is a must. It offers both standard and one-click payments, resulting in smooth user experience. The widespread use of QR codes further speeds up the process.

Due to trust concerns, Alipay introduced an escrow system. This means that Alipay charges the buyer before the product is shipped but the money is only handed over to the seller once the product is received. The escrow payment system is combined with an immediate payment option, for sales that don’t require shipping.

Alipay features list

Bitcoin

When it comes to eCommerce payment methods, Bitcoin is a prime example of when it is important to know your customer. It is a significantly more attractive currency option among the technologically savvy part of the population. As such, it might not be of interest if you sell groceries. However, a tech company will find that they have a lot to gain by offering their customers the option to pay in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin provides a fast transaction that appeals to modern life and the digital nature of eCommerce in particular. One of the main advantages for your eCommerce business is that the cryptocurrency eliminates bank fees and the like. This is particularly favourable to global transactions.

On the other hand, Bitcoin offers no buyer protection. This makes it a riskier option as there is no way to reverse the transaction should a problem arise. Similarly, hackers pose a very real danger to merchants. Because of this, it is important to only use trusted payment processors that have invested in protection against such attacks.

Bitcoin feature list

Cash on delivery

Cash on delivery (COD) lets your eCommerce customer order a product from you and pay the courier when they deliver the goods. Any item that is not paid for is returned to the retailer.

The main advantage of COD is that the buyer doesn’t have to own a credit card. As mentioned earlier, this is 82.4% of the global population. Additionally, as payment is made on a later date, this payment option tends to lead to an increase in impulse purchases.

If your eCommerce customers live in a part of the world where COD is common, then you need to offer it as a payment option. But, for this you need a reliable courier service that accepts cash. Make sure to do your research before deciding on a company.

Cash on delivery feature list

The right payment methods for your store

By offering the right eCommerce payment methods you will reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase sales. Setting up these online payment options is typically easy, but if you need help you should get in touch. Forbytes have plenty of experienced developers who can lend you a hand.

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