E-commerce has been labelled as one of the most lucrative and successful ways of conducting business over the last few years. As the world embraces a more digital approach to how business is done, there has been a shift in the way that funds are exchanged from one party to another. Currently, there are numerous ways for consumers to pay for their goods and services as a result of the ever-growing gap in the respective markets. This variation in payment methods has created a diverse, and sometimes confusing, way for money to be virtually exchanged. However, not all payment methods are created equally and do not present with a one-size-fits-all approach. Below are some of the benefits and disadvantages of the various payment methods in use today.
Traditional Payment Methods
Traditional payment methods refer to the use of credit cards, cheques, and bank transfers, which were predominantly used for online purchases early in the 2000s. At the time, these payment options were considered to be cutting-edge and allowed for people to make purchases without having to use cash which was revolutionary. However, in the last few years, the advancement of technology has turned the traditional methods mentioned above, into antiquated and seldom-used payment options. The disadvantages of using these traditional methods lie in the security and the turnaround time for transactions. This is a result of the multiple checks that are required to take place, the bank acting as the middle man which means that the transaction fees are higher, and the outdated security measures that are in use which require individuals to share sensitive information such as banking details and personal information. A deposit or withdrawal from one account to another can take between 3-5 business days to fully be processed, while international transactions could result in even longer turnaround times. As a result of these disadvantages, credit card transactions, cheques, and bank transfers have become one of the least used options for purchases.
E-wallets, or electronic wallets as they're known, have been hailed as one of the best payment methods available today. PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz or MuchBetter are a few big brands to mention in this context. In fact, these payment methods boast such convenience and security that the fastest payout online casinos in New Zealand, Australia, and other regions have all added e-wallet payment methods to their sites. To make transacting with e-wallets even easier, most service providers have created their product to be used on smartphones, and render seamlessly on other mobile devices such as iPads and laptops. E-wallets allow consumers to load their preferred card/cards onto the application, which creates a layer of protection between the consumer's banking details and the website of choice. Users are required to pay for their goods or services by connecting to a compatible system in order to make a successful payment. The turnaround time for these transactions is usually 50% less than compared with traditional payment methods, or in some cases, can even be instantaneous. E-wallet service providers also charge users a flat rate for some functions which is considered to be worthwhile as e-wallets add greater security measures, convenience, and quicker transaction turnaround times. The bonus for many people is that traditional cards can be stolen or get lost, while e-wallets allow users to store all the relevant details, transact on-the-go, and protects money and details with built-in security features on the majority of smartphone devices.
While E-wallets might be the most favoured payment method right now, other payment methods are currently in use and are steadily gaining popularity. Methods such as pre-paid cards, Bitcoin e-wallets, and other services that are similar to e-wallets are popular in many countries. Research suggests that the majority of consumers still make use of their credit cards to make in-store purchases whereas these same consumers opt for e-wallets when transacting online. Consumers should be well-informed of the new and advanced options that are at their disposal and choose the method that best suits their needs.