How To Get Access To Alternative Payment Methods Fast
As demand from consumers increases, offering Alternative Payment Methods (APM) – electronic cash payments, e-wallets, pre-paid cards etc. – has become an important part of the customer journey. In fact, not providing your customers with their preferred APM could be a major friction point in some markets and could cause cart abandonment.
This is especially true if you want to expand into overseas markets. Consumers gravitate to familiar methods of payment. Therefore if your business is targeting consumers in a particular region, especially in countries where credit and debit card payments are not so widely used, you can increase conversion rates by providing a localised Alternative Payment Method. For example, Alipay is widely trusted by Chinese consumers, whereas SOFORT is popular in German and Austrian markets.
There are also benefits of offering APMs in local markets too. Consumers want a frictionless payment process, that doesn’t involve keying in their details every time they visit a new online payment page. By clicking on the ‘pay by PayPal’ button, or other APM option, they can bypass time consuming form filling and complete their transaction almost instantaneously. This has clear benefits for merchants as it removes a key friction point in the payment journey.
Which Alternative Payment Methods Should You Accept?
Choosing the most appropriate APMs will always depend on the markets your business operates in and your customers. That is why it is so important to get in depth industry insights in this fast moving area of payments. Partnering with a payment service provider (PSP) who has the knowledge and experience in your chosen markets is an effective way to stay ahead of the curve.
We recommend that you look for support from a PSP that offers access to a range of Alternative Payment Methods, rather than bolting on individual APMs to your existing transaction process. This will help ensure that as the APM industry evolves your business is able to access the most appropriate payment methods for your target markets.
Talk to your account manager or your PSPs sales team about different Alternative Payment Methods and identify those that are aligned with your business objectives and target customer.
The process of integrating APMs into your payment page is straightforward. First you will need to sign a new Merchant Agreement with an APM addendum reflecting the additional cost of processing these payment methods.
Once the merchant agreement has been approved and contracts sent out, your PSPs support desk will be in touch to discuss integration options. Typically your new or updated Merchant ID will be live within two business days after SLA approval. It really is that simple to offer your customers their preferred Alternative Payment Methods.
For some merchants this offers a unique opportunity to reach consumers they have not targeted before. Such as people travelling or living in the UK or Europe who have bank accounts in their native countries. Chinese consumers are a good example, with 2+ million Chinese nationals living in Europe there’s a great opportunity to build loyalty with these consumers by providing familiar payment methods like Alipay.
To explore this opportunity in more detail, read this blog about the Chinese ecommerce market.