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Over half of consumers want more payment options at the checkout, study reveals

Jeremy Lim
16 December 2021

As businesses continue to diversify their online payment offerings, a new study has revealed the changes in payment offerings in response to consumer preferences.

Specialised payments platform Paysafe recently issued the study, as part of its "Lost in Transaction" report series to find out about how their payment offerings had changed over the last 12 months. The platform conducted surveys with 1,100 small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) globally, which operate online and instore.

The findings revealed that a majority of online businesses (61%) have accelerate their plans to upgrade the checkout as a direct result of them seeing consumer payments preferences changing (65%) and customers asking for more payment options (52%).

More than four-in-ten (43%) businesses said that they have experienced issues with their online checkout due to surge demand during festive holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with only 8% stating they do not experience any surge in  demand during holiday periods.

In a bid to upgrade its checkout options, businesses are turning to alternative payments including digital wallets, Buy now, Pay Later and eCash, with reliability, cost and ease of integration among key considerations. 61% of online businesses are now offering digital wallets and 67% have seen an increase in the percentage of sales completed through digital and mobile wallets in the last 12 months. In addition, 29% are already offering eCash and over a third (35%) plan to in the next 12 months.

While credit cards (69%) and debit cards (68%) continue to top the list of payment methods in the UK, the research revealed that digital wallets (62%), mobile wallets (47%) and Buy Now, Pay Later (28%) are catching up with businesses planning to diversify their payment offerings next year.

According to the findings, online businesses are also adopting cryptocurrencies en masse. Almost half (48%) of all businesses are looking to offer cryptocurrencies in their checkout as soon as possible, with almost three in five (59%) believing this will help them expand their business into new countries.

The security of online payments and fraudulent transactions are growing concerns among businesses as they continue to diversify their payment offerings. A third of online businesses say they are currently an easy target for fraudsters (33%) and uncompetitive on fraud prevention (34%). While 59% believe having more payment methods available in the checkout is an effective strategy to reduce fraudulent transactions, 31% feel that they lack the tools needed to minimise such activity in their checkout.

Paulette Rowe, CEO of Integrated & Ecommerce Solutions at Paysafe, said: "Since the start of the pandemic, more and more online businesses have learnt the hard way that not having a frictionless or secure check-out experience will kill their sales. On top of that, shoppers are now demanding a wider choice of alternative payments methods than ever before – such as digital wallets and eCash – and our research indicates this is not likely to diminish.

"With the holiday season now upon us, reflecting the busiest online shopping time of the year, those who get it right will come out strong and avoid high rates of cart abandonment. For those who are still catching up, it’s actually easier to resolve than they might realise, but they should address this fast and work with a payments partner which can meet their specific needs, offering the broad range of payment methods that consumers demand today."

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