Payment processing

Why It's Advantageous to Offer Alternative Payment Methods Online

You know e-commerce only payment processing is still growing, and you're already offering an online shopping experience for your customers. You also know it's important to offer shoppers plenty of options when it comes to shopping online: They want to be able to pick their preferred methods of payment, and they want to purchase in their home currency.

What you may not know is why it's so advantageous to offer alternative payment methods for your online clientele.

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Customer Choice

Today's consumers want choice; they hate feeling hemmed in. If you offer only one method for online payment, even if it is the most popular payment method, you will likely lose some sales because customers simply don't want to pay that way.

What options should you offer? Obviously, offering different methods of payments, such as credit card, debit card, and money transfer, encourages customers. Offering different currencies helps as well.

But you should also offer an alternative to when the customer pays—buy now but pay later option can have huge benefits for your online business.

Ease and Convenience

The share of online shoppers completing transactions on their mobile devices is on the rise. That means more and more customers are shopping with you on their phones and tablets, from anywhere in the world.

This can also mean shoppers are more distracted or busy while they're making a purchase with your business. A long, complicated checkout process increases the likelihood that customers will abandon their carts. By contrast, if your checkout process is quick and easy, customers will be able to complete their transactions—even while they're on the go.

Buy Now, Pay Later

A "pay later" option is perhaps one of the most important alternative payment methods you can offer to your customers, especially those who are shopping on mobile devices. Those customers may not have their credit cards handy, or they may not have time to log in to an account to finish up the transaction. With a pay later option, they can finish their orders in a click of a button and then take care of the payment details later when they have more time.

What can alternative payment methods like pay later do for your business? Perhaps most importantly, they reduce the risk of busy customers saying, "I'll do it later," and abandoning their carts. This is especially important, as the drop-off rate for mobile customers hovers around 67 to 71 percent—a huge number of lost sales for most businesses.

A pay later option also means customers are more likely to complete impulses purchases; even if they did come back to their carts later, they might make smaller purchases because they've had time to rethink. Alternative payment methods allow retailers to capitalize on impulse buying, much the same as their brick-and-mortar cousins can.

Customer Satisfaction

Offering alternative payment methods for your customers increases their options. More options allow customers to know your business is easy to work with, and customers love convenience and ease. If they know it's easy to do business with you, they're more likely to come back and buy from you again, versus buying from another retailer that may have a more difficult process or may not offer as many options. This often leads to higher sales and to higher average dollar amounts per transaction, as satisfied customers turn to you for more of their needs.

They are also more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. These referrals are 16 percent more likely to stick with your business than people who stumble across your company, making them more valuable. Offering alternative payment solutions is an easy step to take so you can reap big rewards!


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Matt Moore

As the President and Co-Founder of BNA Smart Payment Systems, Matt is responsible for the company’s strategic direction, daily operations, and growth. Entrepreneurial by nature, he brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience earned from over 36 years in business. He has developed, implemented, and directed international sales and marketing strategies, established strategic alliances with international companies, and demonstrated leadership in the electronic payments market. Prior to BNA, Matthew served at the senior levels of major EFT/POS companies, helping them increase sales and optimize customer service. Matt is also a father of three, a fitness enthusiast who does power lifting and CrossFit, and he enjoys weekends at the cottage.

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