The Importance of Payment Flexibility for Online Brands

As an ambitious, growing business, it’s important to do right by your customers. In the world of commerce, there is a widely held view that it’s simpler and cheaper to turn an existing customer into a repeat customer than attract new customers.

Therefore, online brands in competitive markets need to move heaven and earth to simplify the transactional process to entice first-time shoppers to return again and again.

One of the most effective tools in your arsenal is to deliver payment flexibility. The way consumers save and spend their hard-earned money continues to evolve. The outdated payment methods of checks and bank transfers simply no longer cuts the mustard.

Importance of Payment Flexibility

These methods are too slow and too cumbersome, not least for millennial and Gen Z consumers that have inherently short attention spans. These shoppers want their payments cleared within a matter of minutes rather than days.

Payment flexibility is simply an expectation among today’s consumers

The latest figures from online shoppers backs up this claim. The MasterCard New Payments Index, which quizzed more than 15,000 consumers across 18 nations, showed more than four-fifths (84%) expected the ability to make payments how and when they want.

E-wallets are increasingly beneficial to consumers, with the ability to pre-load funds into external accounts, making it easier for people to budget with their disposable incomes.

The e-commerce industry has helped budget-conscious shoppers to get savvier with their purchases, accepting payments from a string of e-wallets including PayPal. PayPal’s ‘Pay in 3’ Buy Now, Pay Later service has proven particularly popular, allowing people to spread the cost of larger outgoings interest-free over three months, simultaneously driving business growth.

In the iGaming industry, which is equally as competitive as the e-commerce scene with more regions embracing the sector, operators are also trying to embrace payment flexibility. Betway now permits a range of e-wallets for account deposits, including Skrill, PayPal and Neteller.

This particular casino also safeguards user transactions by implementing Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology which fully encrypts the sensitive data passed between the customer and the site. SSL is one of the primary trust markers of any online brand today, demonstrating a commitment to customer safety.

There’s no doubt that e-wallets do bring an additional layer of consumer protection as well as payment convenience. Instead of requiring your debit or credit card details up front, consumers log in to their e-wallet accounts via secure username and password.

Only there can e-wallets be ‘linked’ to conventional debit or credit cards but, even then, banks are increasingly wary of e-wallet accounts that place large or unexpected transactions. In this scenario, many banks will require account holders to verify these payments via mobile app or linked telephone numbers.

All of which means today’s online fraudsters must steal extensive sensitive data on an individual before being able to access funds.

Buy Now, Pay Later adds a new dimension to flexible payments online

Buy Now, Pay Later

It’s not just PayPal that specializes in the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) phenomenon. Today, many online merchants seek to partner with multiple BNPL providers. With so much economic uncertainty linked to the cost-of-living crisis around the globe, BNPL solutions give consumers the option of spreading their payments over six or even 12 months on occasion.

The longest BNPL options will be interest-bearing plans, although the interest can still be avoided by repaying the sum in full before the end of the 12-month window. The lack of defined regulation over the BNPL sector is still an issue for consumers, with merchants and providers given carte blanche to define their own interest rates for those who cannot afford to complete payments within the interest-free window.

Payment flexibility doesn’t just aid the consumer, it can also aid your business. Flexible, efficient payment methods can curb the amount of manual labor required. The administrative burden is eased thanks to automated payment processes that remove the need for creating and managing direct debits and issuing payment reminders.

BNPL providers handle all the admin with payment collections over the defined period too, ensuring businesses never have to worry about being the victim of fraud or experiencing a defaulting customer. Your business gets paid in full up front and the third-party BNPL provider absorbs the risk beyond the first initial instalment.

Feeding the purchasing power of consumers is an increasingly effective way to ensure your business maintains and enhances its customer base. Shoppers will feel more content in using your platform, even in uncertain economic times, providing they have a multitude of payment options.

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About the author

Reena Bansal

Reena Bansal has done Bachelor in Computer Science from University of Delhi. She is a technology lover, plays chess, music lover, innovative, likes to express her views via blog and is a fitness freak. She has been contributed a number of great articles to the internet.