Whether electronic tools are used, such as payment cards or digital wallets, or whether direct debit on current account is used for the purchase of goods and services, digital payments – or Digital Payment – are the ones we make more and more.
The scenario evolves frequently thanks to technological evolution and the expansion of the methods available, which increases the options for consumers and makes the sector increasingly competitive. At the moment, data in hand, digital wallets and bank transfers are the most popular options, now entered into common practice, making older methods such as the use of credit cards lose appeal.
The reason? The digital wallet (also called E-Wallet) and the corresponding payment applications allow us to make cash payments quickly and easily, both on the website both in the physical presence in the store. We can manage a real monetary account by carrying out transactions of various kinds, such as paying in any currency, sending money to other users who use the same service, recharging the e-wallet account through different payment tools, all using an extremely simple interface.
Why digital wallets?
The best-known e-wallets internationally are: Apple Pay, Ali Pay, Google Pay, PayPal etc. But you will find localized or regional e-wallets in every country, for example Spay India, Easypaisa Pakistan and Rapidtransfer Africa. The descent into the field, in this sector, not only of the largest players in the digital sector, but also of the main banking groups, has contributed to increasing confidence in the security of these transactions, also due to the progressive knowledge of procedures such as two-factor authentication.
That this is one of the main trends of recent years is shown by the numbers. Globally, digital wallets are the preferred payment method for e-commerce consumers and represent 44.5% of the volume of transactions in 2020, up 6.5% compared to 2019. Raising the average are the Chinese consumers who have reached 72.1% of e-commerce purchases in this way. According to projections in “The Global Payments report”, digital wallets are expected to account for 51.7% of e-commerce payment volumes by 2024.
Security, traceability, speed and other advantages
Covid-19 and government initiatives, including the State Cashback and the receipt lottery, have certainly accelerated the use of digital and remote forms of payment. The use of cash, in particular, has drastically reduced also due to the need to use payment methods that guarantee social distance. But the reasons for this success also lie elsewhere.
Paying digitally guarantees several advantages. Among the most evident, the traceability of transactions and simplified personal and corporate financial management, greater security and speed in operations, the convenience of carrying around less bulky wallets and saving time spent in withdrawing cash.
A concrete example is Instant Payment, which is the solution more commonly known as an instant bank transfer that allows the transfer of money in real time between two subjects.
Another key word for understanding digital payments developments is ease of use. Ease for us consumers to reach and get what we want by breaking down distances, but also ease for many merchants who have had to introduce e-commerce features in their service portfolio and manage home deliveries or provide remote services to reach customers.
Thus, solutions such as Pay by link were born, which allows you to manage payment by sending a link via SMS or chat or with the support of a Mobile Wallet, thus avoiding the operator having to create an ecommerce from the beginning. “complex”, with significant implications on the timing and costs of construction and management.
Finally, another opportunity that is taking shape are payments via social networks. social platforms are in fact expanding their business by including solutions such as the transfer of money from one user to another (peer-to-peer) or direct payment, without having to leave the app to make the transaction on the retailer’s website or of the brand.
Social media and communication companies are stepping in to fill the gap
As an example of the first case, that is peer-to-peer money transfer services, for some years SnapChat has released SnapCash, a fast money transfer channel that allowed users to exchange cash from an account holder to a more in real time. This system is slightly different than mobile payment apps because in this way the money is transferred directly from one bank account to another without the need for it to be stored in a separate wallet, e-wallet or app account.
So, while you have companies like SpayIndia and Rapidtransfer that were started with the sole purpose of making digital payments easy for customers, other ventures like Easypaisa Pakistan or Wechat China were initially part of the communication and social media industry.
In developing countries E-wallets became successful thanks to less developed digital banking sectors and in developed countries, they became successful as they provide a more secure and convenient way of payment. Either way we can safely conclude that digital wallets are the way of the future especially with the rise of crypto currencies, but that is another topic for another day.