Emerging Markets Give Alternative Online Payment Methods a Boost

A recent report underscores the need for U.S. merchants to look beyond credit and debit cards when conducting e-commerce globally. German market research firm yStats.com found that an increase in online sales originating in emerging economies has shifted the mix of online payment methods merchants must consider if they want to sell cross-border. While consumers in established markets like the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, the U.K. and France still prefer credit cards, many markets making strides in international e-commerce (e.g., China and Mexico) find e-wallets like Alipay and PayPal are the most common preference. In fact, the research found e-wallets were the second-most popular online payment method globally after bank cards, accounting for one-third of all worldwide e-commerce sales.

The report identified other online payment alternatives that are popular in international markets including bank transfer, direct debit, invoice and cash on delivery. Because the popularity of different alternatives changes from market to market, finding the proper mix of options is vital for merchants depending on where they want to sell.

“Overall, the diverse payment method preferences of online shoppers worldwide necessitate offering a range of payment options,” the report said. “Three quarters of online merchants concur with this reasoning by accepting at least three different online payment options.”