Technology now allows us to buy goods and services online 24 hours a day. When it comes to paying for these digital purchases, consumers are often spoilt for choice. We take a look at some of the most popular payment methods currently available to shoppers around the world and look at why they tend to be favoured by online users.
Prepaid cards are distributed by banks and will be loaded with a set amount of money. This can be used to make online payments and complete transactions. These are particularly popular with users who wish to control their spending or aren’t keen to reveal their bank account details.
This method tends to be favoured by online gambling operators as this allows players to keep track of their spending. A large number of major online European retailers, and UK-based Online Sportsbooks currently accept these, and there are also many Polish online casinos that use Paysafecard as a deposit method. The minimum age for prepaid cards is 14 and they can only be used as long as there as pre-deposited funds available.
E-wallets are a safe and convenient way to complete online purchases. They allow users to keep a buy goods or services without inputting their credit or debit card details. These act as a digital wallet which allow consumers to easily keep track of their funds, and transactions are usually completely instantly. E-wallet users can be safely linked to a credit or debit card account and also allow users to transfer money to money to friends, family and clients.
Commonly used e-wallets include Neteller, EcoPayz, Stripe, Skrill and PayPal. The latter is extremely popular throughout Europe and the USA and have recently announced that they are expanding their Cryptocurrency services in the UK.
E-wallets can be used to pay for just about anything, although they are frequently used by online betting sites and casinos, and they can also be used to purchase in-game additions by Xbox and PS4 users.
Mobile payments have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years with Apple Pay are leading the way and accounting for almost 10% of all global card transactions. Smartphone users can make in-app purchases and buy online products (using Safari) and the entire process is quick, slick and incredibly straightforward.
Similar to e-wallets, using Apple Pay allows users to skip the process of entering long card numbers and security details.
Another hugely popular payment method is Cryptocurrency. The most high profile example of this is Bitcoin. This allows quick payments and there is no charge for buying or selling using this method.
There is a still a reticence surrounding Cryptocurrency, and not all businesses accept this as payment. However, it is growing in popularity and can be used on in-app and in-game purchases with Microsoft whereas some travel companies such as Expedia also allow users to purchase holidays and short breaks using this method.