It is nearly impossible to handle any aspect of our daily lives without the internet. We are constantly connected to the world around us and use the internet to pay our bills, do our jobs, communicate with friends and family, shop and entertain ourselves.
One of the developments that has made this possible is advances in e-commerce. The speed with which e-commerce options have appeared and advanced shows just how important they are to our society. To put it into context, checks were one of the most common payment methods for decades, but they rapidly disappeared from use once e-commerce payment methods became mainstream.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most popular e-commerce methods as well as some of the latest options. We’ll close with a short discussion of how using multiple e-commerce payment methods can be beneficial to the average consumer.
Leading E-commerce Payment Options
Debit and credit cards were the first payment method that was available for making purchases online. They remain one of the leading methods because they are convenient and so widespread. Thanks to banking apps, consumers can now have a digital version of their card on their phone. This means that you can leave the physical card safe at home while out and about. These apps have the added benefit of being able to freeze an account if the physical card is misplaced or if the user suspects identity theft.
Payment apps appeared soon after the rise of digital commerce platforms. The oldest and most popular is PayPal. Launched in 1999, PayPal was essentially the payment wing of eBay for several years, though this relationship is now coming to an end. PayPal’s popularity is due in part to the fact that they have worked hard to keep on top of developments and trends in the e-commerce world. For example, they now offer international transfer services and cryptocurrency buying and selling options.
Other payment apps have emerged and now offer serious competition. Venmo is one of the biggest competitors. They’ve made their niche in the market for direct peer-to-peer money transfers. Two of the other leading competitors are Cash App and Zelle. One consideration for users however is that some payment apps are only available in certain countries or regions. This is important to know for consumers who have any international travel plans.
A digital wallet is a specific type of online payment method. It is directly linked to the user’s bank account. Most are also tied to the type of mobile device used. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are the three most widely used digital wallet services. Like a banking app, these digital wallets act as a digital version of a debit card.
Cryptocurrency is the purest form of digital currency as it exists solely in an online form. Although it still has fairly limited consumer uses, cryptocurrency is likely to become the e-commerce payment method of the future. One of its main selling points for proponents is the lack of governmental oversight, but this is also one of the reasons that it hasn’t gone fully mainstream yet.
One of the reasons that cryptocurrencies may become the e-commerce payment method of the future is because there are so many options for consumers. There are major crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as meme coins and coins to support specific causes. With governments getting involved and creating their own, more stable and more closely controlled coins, it is easy to see cryptocurrencies being embraced by the wider population.
One of the other biggest trends in e-commerce payment options isn’t a new method but a new way to use existing methods. This is the rise of buy now, pay later programs. In times where more people are struggling financially, these programs make it possible for people to continue to purchase what they need without having to worry about having the money immediately available or about the high interest rates of traditional credit cards.
Value of Multiple Methods
For some people, having more than one digital payment method seems like a way to make life more confusing. In reality, using multiple payments can be a great way to manage finances without having to constantly check your main bank account or open a new bank account.
E-commerce payment methods make it easy to pay and to also keep a close eye on your spending. Having dedicated accounts on separate payment platforms allows you to control exactly how much you spend. This is particularly useful when spending in small increments adds up without you noticing.
One example where this can work well is for online casinos. Online casinos have become one of the leading sectors of the gambling market. The leading online casinos have massive game libraries, with hundreds of slot machine games, video poker games such as Jacks or Better, and table games, including poker and blackjack.
The best way to keep online gambling a fun hobby and avoid problems is to set a budget and stick to it. This can be tricky when you’re trying to chase a win and have your credit card handy. Having a dedicated e-commerce method for online gambling makes it more difficult to overspend. So, if you have a PayPal wallet that is strictly for online gambling you can deposit your winnings there as well as your gambling budget. This way you have the money compartmentalized in reality and in your mind.
Other areas where having a dedicated e-commerce payment method can prove helpful include utility bill paying and online shopping. The rise of shopping sites such as Shein and Temu and the negative press surrounding their data protection track records shows just how smart of a choice it is to have a dedicated account for shopping on those sites and similar ones. While it’s not necessary for every type of purchase, having an account that is separate from your primary bank accounts for making purchases on less secure sites is very sensible.
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