Cash-Based Payment Methods Vital for E-Commerce

Sept. 7, 2010

A new report from Maynard, Mass.-based Mercator Advisory Group said e-commerce merchants, especially those serving international markets, need to explore additional alternative payment methods that will allow consumers to buy online and pay offline using cash. The report said lost online sales opportunities from cash-dependent and cash-preferring consumers globally could be tens of billions of U.S. dollars each year. “Cash-based alternative online payments—which allow consumers to shop online while paying offline with cash—open the door to billions of consumers worldwide for equal access to the cost-savings, convenience and other benefits of online shopping,” Terry Xie, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s International Advisory Service and principal analyst on the report said. “The market opportunities are astonishing over the long term. Those who build their brand awareness and customer loyalty in this market segment will benefit tremendously in competing for a share of the overall online payments market.” Broad distribution networks, targeting of key merchants and reasonable consumer costs are key success factors for cash-based alternative online payment services, Xie said. At the same time, the report said service providers offering cross-border payment options and operating in multiple countries may have the long-term competitive edge. Delivering localized applications for different national markets is crucial for players with international vision.