With so much of our daily lives now happening in the digital world, it is no wonder that e-commerce is on the rise and plenty of our financial transactions are now taking place online. From online shopping to booking tickets for a music show, there is so much that we do online that involves paying. This is why alternative payment methods have emerged as a strong contender besides the usual suspects – credit and debit cards. Here are the top alternative payment methods that are among the most widely used today.
PayPal has a long history in online payments – and some may even consider the provider that started it all when it comes to alternative payment options. Everyone does it: from your weekly veggie box delivery service to several leading UK casinos that accept online payments in PayPal, chances are that you are using at least a couple of services that offer it as an option. When it first came about, it was truly revolutionary and inspired the whole genre; and, since then, its solutions portfolio hasn’t stopped expanding. The company recently introduced PayPal Payments Pro, a payments processing service aimed at online businesses. It relies on the core of underlying PayPal tech but does not require the buyer to have a PayPal account.
One of the biggest contenders in the field, Stripe took its first steps as a start-up in 2011 and quickly rose through the ranks to be worth $20 billion last year. Essentially a payments platform that allows users to manage online financial transactions, Stripe harnesses the power of cloud environments to do the trick. This enables it to offer more scalable solutions – and also build a reputation for its security and anti-fraud features. Its infrastructure is able to integrate seamlessly with major card issuers like MasterCard, Visa and American Express, as well as digital wallets like Apple Pay. Its services are also available on mobile devices that run on Android or iOS – and it supports several currencies across the globe.
The online retail giant sure knows a thing or two when it comes to online payments and, as their recent activity shows, Amazon has always been meaning to branch out into several other industries. Coming up with their own online payment platform was just a matter of time for the company, which launched Amazon Pay back in 2007. The benefit of this service is that it uses the existing base of Amazon customers to process payments faster. When merchants subscribe to it, clients on their site are simply asked if they want to check out using their Amazon account – which already holds their personal and banking information. With its accumulated experience on payments both on PCs and mobile devices, Amazon Pay claims to reduce abandoned e-carts. One thing is certain: the service offers the perk of benefiting from the trust and reliability that customers associate with the Amazon brand.
As alternative payment methods continue to expand, more and more contenders arrive – but the dominance of these three providers in their respective genres remains undisputed so far.