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BlogWhy offering alternative payment options has become pivotal in UK commerce

Why offering alternative payment options has become pivotal in UK commerce

Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed an explosion in the number of forms of payment methods.

It used to just be debit cards, credit cards, cash, and then PayPal – once it found its footing.

Now, we’ve got several digital wallet options, mobile payments, cryptocurrencies, pre-paid cards, and a bunch of other choices.

With such diversity available to customers, and with each service offering different perks, it’s not a surprise that so many people seek more niche payment options.

For businesses that take payments online, but also for land-based stores, offering a wide range of payment options is not just a necessity now, but it can have additional benefits.

Diversifying payment options makes sense

There are many reasons driving people away from standard card payments online and in-person and towards alternative methods.

You can see this Forbes Enterprise Tech article for more information, but the main reasons listed include a mistrust of regular banks, being ineligible for cards and accounts, preferring convenient options like mobile payments, and some like the anti-establishment angle of new digital currencies.

In any case, in the UK, there’s still a general leaning from businesses to only accept cash, the primary card providers, PayPal, and sometimes mobile touch payment in-store.

Branching out from this core selection can bring many benefits, however. These include an improved customer experience and the ability to appeal to customers who have otherwise felt excluded elsewhere for their preferred payment method not being available.

Equally, having the brands and icons of these more niche payment methods visible on your site can also enhance the perception of your brand. Your logo alongside the likes of PayPal, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular or cult brands is a good look, showcases the openness of the business, as well as the fact that it is forward-thinking and innovative – especially compared to other similar sites that don’t offer such a range of options.

Popular alternative payment methods to consider

While it’s good to embrace several other payment methods, it’s important to stick to the ones that are both popular and that can be trusted as safe and secure options.

Still, the fact that in 2021, over 98 per cent of UK online stores offered Visa and MasterCard, but only 77.3 per cent offered PayPal, shows that there’s space to stand out by integrating alternate transaction tools.

One way that has instant appeal due to the prevalence of devices and hits that common desire for convenience is the option to pay by phone. It’s relatively new, but online businesses are already making the most of it. For example, you can check out BonusFinder UK for pay by phone casinos, all of which allow their players to pay via their phone bill. Most of these platforms have also innovated to offer the likes of MuchBetter and Paysafecard.

Alternatively, you could follow in the admittedly risky footsteps of the likes of Lush Cosmetics, CeX, and Hosting.co.uk to offer cryptocurrency payments. In the UK, those who own crypto tend to store Bitcoin. In fact, some 70 per cent of crypto owners have Bitcoin, but there’s also a strong contingent who would likely use Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Litecoin if the option was presented.

Expanding your range of payment options can only benefit you and your business, provided that you hook up with trusted and well-liked alternative providers.

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