Volume of worldwide online shopping sales today is almost at par with that at traditional brick and mortar stores. The reason is not hard to find. You can shop from the comfort of your home or any other location round the clock, all from an Internet enabled device. Take your smart phone browse a few ecommerce sites, select a product and make payment, all by the click of a few buttons. What have made online shopping even more attractive are the many payment options on offer. No more do you have to wait in serpentine queues at checkout, especially during the festival seasons.
Coming to payments – most ecommerce sites today are fully secured so you do not have to fear theft of your personal records. While credit cards are the most common form of payment in online shopping, there are other methods too that are equally effective and easy to handle. Most importantly, usage and processing costs of payments methods other than credit cards are quite low and inexpensive.
Here are a few preferred means of payment for online shopping.
- Credit cards – This is definitely the most opted for online shopping payments. However, credit card usage is not very prevalent in most countries around the world and shoppers there have to choose from other payment avenues. It should also be mentioned here that credit cards offer an EMI option where the amount of purchase can be repaid in monthly instalments. This is a definite boon for consumers.
- PayPal – It is an ecommerce payment processing company. Though owned by ecommerce giant eBay, PayPal is widely used by buyers from all countries to make payment for online shopping on all sites. It is compatible with all currencies and the rules of transaction vary between currencies and the transaction amounts. A fee has to be paid for each cash transaction. It is very easy to set up a PayPal account. Simply visit the website and follow the detailed step by step sign-in and operating procedure. Once set-up, you can pay for your online shopping from this account, regardless of your location or country of purchase. For example, you can order for a Cryolipolysis Machine from the USA while being a resident of Australia and pay through your PayPal account. The fees payable depends on the order amount.
- Debit Cards – Most merchants accept debit cards as a way of payment. It is often called a check card or bank card. Once a debit card is swiped, the account balance is checked by the Bank and the transaction is authorised for payment. The purchase amount and fees are at once debited from the account of the buyer and paid into the account of the merchant.
- Bill Me Later – It is another way to pay without a credit card through PayPal. Once a purchase is decided upon, the user has to provide the birthday and last four digits of the Social Security number and agree to the terms of contract. The details are then sent for approval and a credit check. Once clearance is given, the purchase is made and the bill is sent to the buyer at a later date. Only those with a Social Security number can avail of this payment method for online shopping.
- Bank Transfer – Like a debit card, this also entails transferring of funds from one bank account t to another. No debit cards are required in this transaction and it is a fully secured and widely used mode of payment. It is available in all countries that have a strong and stable banking system. However, for a transaction to go through, the details of the bank account of the seller should be known to the purchaser.
- Mobile payments – This is an emerging trend but has not caught on in many countries of the world. With a smart phone, users can make payment for a purchase and the amount will be added to the phone bill. It is a very convenient option as credit or debit cards or bank transfer is not required. All purchases made in a month are consolidated in one monthly statement and bill thereby facilitating tracking of all purchases in a single sheet.
These are some of the payment methods for online shopping though this list does not include all available options.