What are payment methods?
To make a purchase, whether online or offline, it is necessary to choose the way in which the money will be transferred from the buyer to the seller to carry out the transaction. The means or channel that is chosen to buy a product is the so-called payment method. So, for example, we can say that cash, checks, credit or debit cards, transfers etc. are some of the ways that currently allow you to buy a product or hire a service.
Throughout history, financial services have offered various products that allowed buyers to make purchases without having physical cash. The credit card was created in 1914 as a way to access money without having to have physical cash on hand. More and more forms of payment are being accepted in the market as a response to the varied needs and personal situations of buyers, with the aim of providing them maximum convenience when making their purchases. As a result, it will encourage customers to make more purchases without having to worry how they will pay for a service or product.
Online payment methods
With the evolution of technology and new ways of selling, payment methods have also had to transform and adapt to the new consumer landscape. Customers make the decision to buy on the internet and also the decision on what to buy.
It is well known that the number of users who prefer to pay online is growing steadily, so businesses must be concerned about offering the payment solutions that their customers demand. This is for the online payment method that is used to pay on an online store and the payment methods accepted by a business that sells on the Internet. A user can find different ways to make payments online and will choose the one that best suits his needs. Therefore, knowing both your situation and the existing online payment methods is the first step to ensure an optimal online shopping experience.
What is the best payment method?
Although it is true that cash has been the predominant form of payment for the last century and is not going to disappear, many new payment methods have emerged in recent years that outperform traditional cash in terms of advantages and acceptance, and are also the answer to all online shopping situations that may arise.
Faced with such an offer, merchants ask themselves a natural question: "Which is the best payment method for me? The answer is not simple, as it depends on a variety of factors that can be seen from two very different perspectives: that of the merchant and that of the buyer. Both must find a balance between the company's business model, technical expertise, budget, target audience, volume of transactions per month... in short, what is the company's operation. On another note, a good understanding of the customer's behavior will help to understand what their needs are when it comes to making payments and facilitating them as much as possible will be the company's purpose. In this sense, the previous experience you accumulate will be valuable to make a decision about the payment methods you are going to offer from now on.
Observing and understanding changes in customers' consumption and shopping habits are the keys to offering an appropriate shopping experience.
Therefore, the best payment method is the one that is best for your customer (and for your company). As much as possible, adapting the payment methods you accept in your company to your customer's priorities will be the key to finding the best payment method.
Payment methods in Uelz: A guide
There is a clear trend towards online sales, which involves payments that must be processed online. There are also numerous options for processing online payments, and more and more are expected to follow. That's why here we have compiled the most popular, secure and useful online payment options for any online business.
Payments by debit or credit card are the predominant ones nowadays. Banks are responsible for issuing them and the best known payment processing systems are Visa, Mastercard or American Express. The debit card is associated with the customer's bank account, and allows him to make payments with the money he already has in it, but without the need to carry it with him. The credit, on the other hand, works with money lent by the bank to the client, with the condition of returning it in a determined period of time and with the conditions imposed by the bank.
During the purchase process, the user must select this payment option, enter their credentials (card BIN, cardholder name, expiration date and CVV code) and sometimes authorize the sale when necessary. For this reason, it is one of the safest and most reliable payment methods, as well as the preferred method of payment for buyers because the vast majority of them have a card.
Advantages of card payment:
- Immediate payment
- High popularity
- Possibility to save card data for future purchases
- Maximum security thanks to PCI PSS and card tokenization
Disadvantages of card payment:
- Transaction fees for the seller
- High rate of failed payments (due to expiration, loss, cancellation...)
- Need a physical card
Although we have said that the card is the most accessible form of online payment, it is becoming less and less so. It is very common that visits to online stores are made at any time of the day and from anywhere, so it often happens that, at the time of making the purchase online, the fastest way to do so is not with the physical card.
Card payments can be replaced with another form of payment that has gained momentum in the last year. 22% of payments in the last year were made with mobile payment apps (Sociedad Digital en España, 2022), which means that the trend of payments based on apps and cloud systems is unceasing.
Technological advances allow the adoption of new 100% digital payment methods such as the so-called e-wallets or digital wallets, both to pay for traditional and non-traditional services.
To make a payment with this method, customers must select their payment processor (Google or Apple Pay) at checkout and authorize the purchase with their credentials or Touch ID.
Advantages of mobile payment:
- Immediate payment
- The majority of purchases are initiated from a mobile device
- Streamlined and accessible shopping experience for users
- Fast payment process
- No physical card required
Disadvantages of mobile payment:
- Technical issues of device, software, etc.
- Exclusive to users
Google Pay is the digital wallet launched by the company with the same name. Since 2015, Google users can make payments from this wallet that, in addition to offering users a balance, allows them to store different payment methods in the same account to use them in their online payments. There is no need to remember card information, for example, or to enter it manually, which is a way to speed up purchases and reduce friction at checkout.
Apple Pay is the second digital wallet on the market. The technology brand launched in 2014, a first version of the app we know today as an option to add and store credit or debit cards on Apple devices to make mobile payments. Payment information is entered automatically, from the card details, to the billing and delivery address.
Buy now, pay later
A booming payment method is the one which allows you to buy now and pay later in divided installments at no cost. The advantage for customers is more than obvious: they can make payments without spending all the money on the spot, since the payment is divided into up to 4 installments. The business, for its part, can offer financed and split purchases to its customers, but without running any risk, since the entity is responsible for paying the amount in advance.
Paying in installments has emerged as a response to the new needs of customers, whose purchase decision often depends on the price to be paid and their credit availability. For high average tickets, it can make the difference between finalizing a transaction or losing a sales opportunity. It is a strategy to increase sales and attract customers with maximum flexibility and payment freedom for them. And, at the same time, with financial security for the seller.
Advantages of financed payment:
- No commissions
- Flexibility for the customer
- The seller has the money at his disposal from the very first moment, without financial risks
- Financing of high priced products
Disadvantages of financed payment:
- Only for one-time payments, not for recurring payments nor subscriptions
- Not for business customers (B2B)
Afterpay or Clearpay (in Europe) is the system that manages this online payment method. "Buy now and pay later" is the option many customers will choose if payment is out of their budget at that point in time or they prefer an installment payment.Using a standard debit card, customers select Clearpay as the installment processor, log in or create their account without leaving the payment process, and authorize the monthly installment payment. All without endless paperwork. The first payment is charged immediately when the purchase is formalized, the following payments are made every month in 3 or 4 interest-free installments.
SEPA Direct Debit
This is the most traditional payment process and the one preferred by most companies, since 45% of the transactions in our country are paid in this way. Its operation is the safest and most reliable because it is subject to the SEPA direct debit order issued by a bank. By means of a direct debit, a payment is charged to the account provided by the customer, and it is especially useful when payments are made on a monthly basis.
In the payment checkout, the customer can choose to pay by SEPA direct debit, enter the bank details (cardholder name and IBAN) and authorize the SEPA mandate.
Advantages of bank receipt collection:
- Recurring payments
- Very secure and reliable payment
- Permanent payment order
- Payment date agreed in advance between the company and the customer
Disadvantages of payment by bank receipt:
- Returns up to 8 weeks after payment
- Cost for each returned payment (chargeback)
- Not immediate
How to choose a payment method?
When choosing the online payment methods available on your website, you have to take into account something very important: being able to offer different payment methods does not necessarily mean offering all of them.
It is very tempting to integrate all possible payment methods because they will make your online store the most updated and the latest in payment trends. But it is essential to remember that the main objective is to ensure that the user does not abandon the payment process. To do this, you must take into account different variables that will guide your decision, such as the difficulty to implement it, the lifestyle of customers, their needs, the current business model ... to define which ones meet the main requirements:
- Adapted to your business (one-time or recurring charges, sale of products or services...)
- Flexible for your customers
- Secure and trustworthy
A payment management platform like Uelz is the ideal solution for all those businesses that want to integrate different payment methods tailored to their needs with the following advantages:
- No previous technical knowledge because the technical implementation is minimal
- Data from different payment methods unified on a single platform
- Fast one-click configuration
- Personalized checkout
- Live metrics and results for each payment method