Advantages and Challenges of Accepting Online Payments

Advantages of Online Payments

Reaching global audiences

Possibly the biggest appeal to accepting online payments is that a business can open up shop to the whole world. As a merchant selling online, your offering is available to much more than just your own nationals — about 56% of online shoppers favor shopping cross-border and therefore one of the main advantages of digital payments is being able to expand your sales reach to these global, eager audiences.

  • Merchant benefit: sales increases
Accepting online payments advantage — Global audience

Reduced costs for transactions

In comparison to classic payment setups, where the shopper has to visit a store and pay there or mail a check, online payments take place in a much more automated environment. This translates into their reduced costs.

  • Merchant benefit: cost affordability

Payment security

Accepting online payments comes with lower financial risks for the merchant, by comparison to traditional methods, where the seller may have to verify the integrity of the cash payment or deal with the fees associated with a bounced check.

Accepting Online Payments Benefit — Payment security
  • Merchant benefit: operational performance

Optimized customer journey

Online payments allow shoppers to make purchases in whatever global market they want and at whatever time of day they prefer. Convenience in concluding a transaction is the primary reason why users shop online and, as a merchant, you have to cater to this preference.

  • Merchant benefit: sales increase, enhanced UX

Payment method acceptance

In traditional brick-and-mortar stores, payment is available usually via cash (in the country’s currency) or card, but in an online setup the possibilities of payment are almost endless. Depending on the type of payment partner you decide to work with, your consumers will have access to numerous payment alternatives.

Accepting online payments advantage — Payment Methods
  • Merchant benefit: sales increases

More marketing/distribution channels available

No list of the advantages of online payment processing would be complete without mentioning the benefits it can bring to your distribution channels. If you are able to accept payments online you can branch out your sales in the affiliate domain and have other websites and online opinion leaders showcase your products and services with full online payment options available.

  • Merchant benefit: sales increases

More appealing to impulse buyers

While we’re on the subject of sales increases, consider all of the impulse shoppers your store becomes appealing to when offering online payment features. Depending on the product category you’re selling in, some products and goods manage to convince users on the spot. It would be a shame to not facilitate the payment directly, so there’s another payment gateway advantage to add to our list.

  • Merchant benefit: sales increases

Recurring payments capabilities

In subscription or SaaS businesses, the task of accepting a payment from a client comes at specific intervals, therefore it is a recurring need. And while subscription payment was possible via cash or cheques in the past, nowadays few buyers would consider these payment options, especially when ordering digital goods.

Accepting online payments — Recurring payments
  • Merchant benefit: sales increases

Challenges of Online Payments

There are no outstanding disadvantages when it comes to online transactions, but there are several challenges that you will need to take into consideration before starting your online shop.

Technical problems

Like any system that depends on technical infrastructure, online payments themselves may be subject to disturbances and downtime. Tech maintenance operations performed on online payment gateways or in the card network system are usually limited in time, announced in advance, and scheduled for periods when eShops don’t have a lot of traffic, often during the night.

Challenge — Technical issues
  • Merchant risk: stalled business

The cost of fraud

As appetite for online spending has increased, so have fraud attempts in the field. In 2018, some $24 billion were lost globally to fraudulent credit card transactions. A big disadvantage of online transactions is therefore the merchants’ and customers’ exposure to different malevolent attacks. From ID theft, to database exploits and phishing attacks, criminals are becoming more and more versatile in the way they attempt to interfere with online transactions.

Challenge — Fraud prevention
  • Merchant risk: increased costs

Conclusion

We hope our rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of online payments has clearly evidenced that the benefits of accepting online payments greatly outweigh the downsides.

Go Beyond Payments Whitepaper

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2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone) is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses built to help clients drive sales growth across channels.