For businesses with a target demographic full of millennials, it’s more important than ever to consider how you allow your customers to pay for your goods or services online. As the debate about a ‘cashless’ future economy rages on, e-wallets are one of the main reasons why younger, agile consumers are happy to keep their physical cash tied up safely in their bank.
An e-wallet – also known as a remote wallet – gives consumers total convenience when it comes to paying for things online. Within a single e-wallet, users can store multiple methods of paying digitally, be it a debit card, credit card or even a loyalty card, allowing them to pay without having to carry cards or even remember the expiry date or last three digits on the back of the card. Instead, all this data is housed securely within an e-wallet, protected by encrypted connections as well as a username and password.
It’s even possible for consumers to hook up their driving license and other forms of personal identification necessary when accessing and paying for things that are age restricted. The original mobile wallets were devised by Google back in 2011. Utilising near field communications (NFC) technology, consumers could redeem vouchers, accrue loyalty points and more. Since then, there has been explosion of e-wallets online, some of which have proven to be more popular than others.
The leading players in the e-wallet industry
Arguably the most prominent e-wallet brand is PayPal. Yes, that’s right, PayPal is a digital wallet. This has become an all-encompassing option, with the chance to send, receive and manage personal funds within a single account. Multiple credit and debit cards can be linked to a PayPal wallet, giving consumers total flexibility as to which accounts they pay from. PayPal has even developed a credit option, allowing partnered online retailers like ASOS, Dell and Beaverbrooks to offer 0% finance for a specified period, with repayments managed entirely within PayPal wallets for optimal credit control online.
The second most popular e-wallet online today is probably Neteller. Established over a decade ago, Neteller is an independent e-wallet allowing money transfer across the globe, processing billions of dollars’ worth of purchases annually. It’s fully regulated and authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) too. Neteller is increasingly accepted as a payment method by thousands of online retailers, including social media behemoth Facebook and global ad platform Clickfair. Online casino operators like Betway also engage with Neteller, accepting deposits and withdrawals in multiple currencies via the e-money transfer service.
Skrill is another e-wallet that has been revolutionising the online payment landscape. One of its main straplines is ‘businesses without boundaries’ and that’s a huge boon for any retailer today. Online sites that accept Skrill as a payment method can literally have a global customer base overnight. It has since been acquired by the Paysafe Group, which is a specialised payments platform with a six-figure base of online merchant partners worldwide.
Why should businesses be accepting e-wallets as a payment method
Online merchants need to be as flexible as possible to win the race for consumers and increase their cash flow, especially in highly competitive markets. Accepting e-wallets as payment methods makes it possible to get buyers wherever they are and whatever they are doing with their days. Whether they are browsing your website at home, on the early morning commute on their mobile or sat at their office desk on a desktop, an e-wallet account is designed to be accessible from multiple devices.
Some e-wallets like PayPal have even played ball to make it even faster for consumers to buy from online merchants by adopting One Touch payments. Using this system, account holders only need to hit the ‘buy’ button and wait for their goods or services to be delivered – no need to login or enter their billing information.
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Put simply, e-wallets help to reduce transactional roadblocks, with safe and encrypted purchases made in local currencies and converted if necessary, giving merchants access to a bigger base of customers than they ever could have imagined.