Payment processing

Why Businesses Should Offer Alternative Payment Methods

What is the first thing that comes into mind when you think of money? It may be a dollar sign, but it’s just as likely to be a bill or a sack full of coins. However, the ways in which we think about money are changing. As a 2015 National Post article notes, a study found that 65 percent of respondents claimed to rarely pay with cash. This shows that the days of physical currency may be numbered.

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So what would take cash’s place as the dominant payment method? Debit and credit cards represent an obvious answer, but even they have their drawbacks. These payment methods can be cumbersome and time consuming in a physical retail setting.

If you don’t want to use these methods for every purchase, you’re not alone. Many consumers are adopting alternative payment methods to make everyday purchases. While these approaches are relatively limited so far, they offer several benefits that may prove attractive.

Read on to find out how you can take advantage of these payment techniques.

They Give Consumers More Choice

Choice is key to winning over the modern consumer. Shoppers don’t like to feel constrained when they make a purchase. They want to purchase what they want, when, how, and where they want. When companies try to limit these choices, consumers usually seek a competitor that isn’t so restrictive.

When you offer alternative payment methods, you allow shoppers to pay in whatever way they please. This offers them greater convenience, which may persuade them to buy from you instead of a rival. If you want to give your business an edge in the marketplace, adapting to this technology is a great starting point.

Consumers Are Concerned about Credit Card Fraud

Credit and debit card fraud can devastate a victim. A cybercriminal can damage credit ratings or even wipe out savings accounts. Consumers are mindful of this risk. About 17 percent of shoppers will abandon online purchases if they don’t believe the retailer’s site is secure enough. But even major physical retailers can’t fully protect their customers’ data. Major corporations such as Target, Home Depot, and others have faced major breaches in recent years.

So how do you show consumers that you care about their safety? You allow them to pay with whatever tool they choose. Many alternative payment methods transmit single-use codes instead of actual information. This prevents criminals from intercepting data that they can use elsewhere. When you let customers pay with these methods, you allow them to invest in their own security.

More Companies Are Creating Them

While many alternative payment solutions are relatively new, there’s already a glut of demand for them. Apple Pay allows iPhone users to buy products through credit, points, or rewards.

Other corporations such as Samsung, Google, Walmart, and PayPal offer their own services. Each features different pricing and functionality, but all of them are competing to dominate users’ attention. You never know who’ll want to use one of these services, so you should evaluate which of these methods is best for your company.

Many Work with Your Existing Technology

Whether you specialize in e-commerce or physical retail, alternative payment solutions can usually integrate with your existing technology. Many of the methods listed above can interact with many payment processors’ point of service terminals, so brick-and-mortar shops don’t have to go to great lengths to adapt to new services. E-commerce solutions also accommodate these services, so no matter how you operate, you can offer consumers greater control over their purchasing decisions.


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Lisa Gibson

Lisa is the Credit Manager of BNA Smart Payment Systems and has over 18 years of experience in diverse roles of credit and credit risk management. She graduated from the financial program at Boreal College and is an expert in personal loans and line of credit, mortgage underwriting, private label commercial credit cards, small business loans, and merchant account underwriting. Lisa is also an avid railfan and HO scale train modeler, and enjoys curling.

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