Alternative payments

Should my store accept WeChat Pay, Alipay, and other alternative payments?

If you’re like most business owners, you’re probably looking for a way to increase your customer base. But, as I’m sure you know, attracting new customers can be tough. Do you need to completely rebrand your business? Do you need to sell a new product category? Do you need to invest heavily in sales and marketing? 

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Maybe not. 

It can be easier than you think to attract new customers and boost customer loyalty by taking one easy step: Accepting alternative payments. 

What are alternative payment methods (APMs)? 

APMs consist of any payment method other than debit and credit. They include electronic funds transfers, mobile wallet payments, digital payment platforms, and even cryptocurrencies.  

There’s an opportunity in front of you – one that many retailers are mistakenly passing on. You should take it. Here’s why you should accept alternative payments like WeChat Pay, Alipay, Apple Pay, etc. 

Attract tourists and international consumers 

If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, whether it’s a retail store, a convenience store, or a booth at a carnival, accepting alternative payments is a great way to attract and please tourists and international consumers who don’t follow the same payment trends we see in Canada and the US. 

For example, Chinese consumers (a huge market) rely far more heavily on mobile payment platforms like Alipay and WeChat Pay than on debit and credit. For many, this is the only way they can pay. Accepting these payment methods is a surefire way to gain an edge on your competitors and attract their business.  

If you’re selling online, it’s a good idea to accept WeChatPay, Alipay, and other alternative payments if you’re trying to get cross-border sales. International consumers are more likely to buy if they see a familiar payment method. WeChat Pay and Alipay, in particular, have a huge active user base you shouldn’t ignore. 

Attract the younger demographic 

We all know how much the younger generations love technology. They’re digital natives. They simply don’t remember a time when technology didn’t dominate life. To younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, it feels a lot more natural to pay with digital currency on a smartphone than it does to pay with cash, credit, or debit. 

If you’re trying to attract a younger customer base, it’s a smart idea to accept alternative payment methods and advertise that fact in store.  

Offer more payment options to avoid losing sales 

Just as important as attracting new customers, accepting WeChat Pay, Alipay and other alternative payments also allows you to reduce the risk of losing sales at checkout. 

Just think about it – if you only accept credit but your customer does not own or use credit cards, that customer is going to walk away because they’ll be unable to buy from you. 

The more payment methods you accept, the greater the likelihood that you’ll meet the needs of all types of consumers that walk into your store or visit your ecommerce store to make a purchase. 

Get ahead of your competitors 

The use of alternative payment methods is growing. If your customers haven’t been requesting them yet at your store or ecommerce website, know that they will be soon. Being the first among your competitors to accept WeChat Pay, Alipay and other alternative payments will give you an edge. When tourists, international consumers, or digital natives seek to purchase the type of service or product you sell, they’ll be more likely to choose your business among the others. 

This can help you attract more customers and make more sales while also reducing the risk that you’ll lose sales due to limited payment acceptance. 

The fact is there’s just no downside to accepting APMs, but there are a whole lot of upsides. Plus, it’s super easy to accept them online and in store, so it’s no big deal to get started 


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Ben Smith

Ben brings 20 years of experience to his role as IT Director for BNA Smart Payment Systems. Among his many directorial duties, he is responsible for the selection, acquisition, development, installation, maintenance, and support of IT infrastructure. Ben also establishes and leads a cross-functional architectural committee, acts as a technical expert and a critical technical resource across multiple disciplines, and consults on all system implementation, modification and integration activities. He graduated with Honours from Durham Collage in Computer Programming, and takes yearly training courses for security and development technologies to remain up-to-date. Outside of work, he loves playing hockey and skating with his family, and also enjoys gardening and cooking.

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