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Alternative payment methods expand in B2C E-Commerce worldwide

A new report by Hamburg-based secondary research organization yStats.com: “Global Alternative Payment Methods 2014“, reveals that alternatives to the traditional credit card are gaining a larger share of B2C Commerce worldwide. In the next several years, the total share of all alternative payment methods is expected to reach over 50% of B2C E-Commerce payments. Digital wallets and mobile payments are forecasted to show the fastest growth. Alternative payments also are going beyond online retail into omni-channel payments.

The yStats.com report also finds that competition on the global online payments market is fierce, with non-card companies expanding their alternative payment offerings and new players emerging. Amazon launched the promotion of its Login and Pay processing service for online merchants, while Google launched a prepaid card connected to Google Wallet and plans to expand its payment services further. PayPal launched a new branding campaign with focus on mobile devices, while big players Apple and Facebook are expected to join the pack of alternative payment providers. Alipay claimed to become the largest third-party mobile payment provider in the world, having processed over a hundred billion Euros of payments in 2013.

In North America, cards accounted for almost three quarters of B2C E-Commerce transactions, with digital wallets being the largest alternative payment. In the USA, alternative payment methods expand to rival cards in both online and offline retail, while a digital currency trend also evolves. In Canada, PayPal was the most preferred payment method of all alternative methods, but it was only in distant second to credit card.

breakdwon of preferred paymenrt methods

Over half of B2C E-Commerce transactions in Latin America were split between various methods alternative to cards. Alternative methods are still more important in Latin America, as the share of population owing a bank product such as a credit card in 2013 surpassed 80% only in Brazil, yet both banked and unbanked individuals shop online. In Brazil, Boleto Bancario was the second most used method after bank credit card. In Argentina last year cash payments upon receipt or collection and via the systems such as Pago Facil or Rapi Pago were second to online card payments. In 2013, two thirds of B2C E-Commerce sales in Mexico were generated through credit card payment, with cash on delivery in second place.

In Europe, the share of alternative payments, including mobile and e-wallets, is forecasted to reach up to 20% of the total payments market by 2020, while the revenues of the alternative payment industry are projected to grow by half. While cards account for more than half of B2C E-Commerce in Europe, legislators in the EU are working on new e-payments regulations which will encourage the growth of third-party payment providers.

Looking at alternative payment practice by county, invoice accounted for the largest share of interactive retail sales in Germany in 2013, followed by direct debit, while credit card accounted for less than 20%. In 2013, alternative payment methods were preferred by a significant double-digit share of online shoppers in the UK, though less than the share of those preferring to pay with cards. In France, card remains the most preferred payment method in B2C E-Commerce, followed by PayPal and similar services. In the Netherlands, the local online banking method iDeal accounted for more than half of B2C E-Commerce transactions, while credit card was used in a single-digit percentage of transactions.

In Russia, use of cards and alternative online payments is on the rise, though cash still remains the dominant payment method in online shopping. In the Czech Republic, among online payment methods in B2C E-Commerce, bank transfer was used twice as much as card, while the most used method was cash on delivery. In Poland, alternative payment methods, led by bank transfer, were used by online shoppers more than credit cards.

payment methods used in B2C E-Commerce

In the diverse Asia-Pacific region, digital wallets had a substantial share of total B2C E-Commerce payments, though still behind cards. In Japan, B2C E-Commerce has a number of unique alternative payment ways, such as Konbini, payment at convenience store. In China, the B2C E-Commerce landscape is dominated by online and mobile third-party payments, with 2013 being a boom year for mobile payments. The gross merchandise volume of third-party mobile payment in China had peak growth of between 7 and 8 times last year compared to 2012. Third-party online payment grew by half in 2013. The share of cash on delivery on B2C E-Commerce payments in India is forecasted to decrease in the coming years, though it will still remain the leading payment method accounting for around half of the market, far ahead of credit cards.

Cash on delivery remains the major payment method in growing B2C E-Commerce in the Middle East and Africa. This method accounted for almost 50% of E-Commerce transactions in the region, while payment by cards accounted for a third. Mobile payment growth is the trend to watch in the Middle East and Africa, where banking services penetration is low, with Kenya showing one of the highest potentials. In South Africa, the most significant alternative payment methods were bank transfer and PayPal, though usage rate of these methods trail credit card use. In B2C E-Commerce in Saudi Arabia, local auto-debit payment system Sadad accounted for a small double-digit percentage of payments, while cash on delivery accounted for over two thirds.