payment methods

With most businesses operating an online site these days there has never been more choice for customers when it comes to paying for goods and services. The last few years have also seen a move further away from cash – even when the transaction is person to person.

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Figure 1 How do you choose a payment method?

Whether it is a Visa debit card buy for your weekly grocery shop or completing a transaction on Webmoney betting sites, you will find that there are multiple options to deal with businesses – online and offline. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and what the pros and cons might be.

Cash

Let’s start off with the old faithful. The old saying states that ‘cash is king’ but there are fewer and fewer transactions made with notes and coins these days – and it is almost seen as an old-school way of doing business. The other problem with cash in today’s world is that it is impossible to use online.

There is the advantage of never overspending if you are using cash. That is not to say that it is impossible to get into trouble in a cash-only environment. But you can only spend what is literally in your pocket. You won’t be able to pay for everything but cash will probably be around for a while yet.

Debit and Credit Cards

We’ve put both these card types of payment method together here but there are a lot of differences between the two. Debit cards have become almost the default way of paying for goods with many businesses. They work well online as well as offline and are much more convenient than cash.

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But studies have shown that people end up spending much more with a card. You may still be limited by the amount of money you have (with a debit card at least) but there are overdrafts to deal with as well. Credit cards also charge interest on partial repayments. The transactions are quick but there are those disadvantages to deal with too.

E-Wallets

Once you have registered for an e-wallet account, they are very easy to use and have the advantage of speedy transactions. E-wallets also seem very good compared to debit cards on a security front. You cannot have them stolen or cloned like cards, so your money is safe.

But you will end up paying fees on your transactions. It depends on the e-wallet provider as to whether you are charged on every payment and deposit. But this can be an expensive method if used on a regular basis. E-wallets are accepted in more places these days, but you may find that other methods are more commonly used.

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Figure 2 Digital currencies are becoming more accepted

Cryptocurrencies

This is one payment method that everyone seems to have an opinion on these days. Proponents of digital currencies would say that they are the future and give the individual more control over their money than with any more traditional method. Transactions are completely transparent, secure, and fast.

But there is a worry that some people – and businesses – are adopting cryptocurrencies without enough knowledge of how the systems work. With a decentralized form of payment, there is almost an inbuilt volatility. It is probably better to use one of the more common cryptocurrencies – or none at all if you don’t know enough about how it all works.

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Things to Remember When Choosing a Payment Method

The main thing to consider when choosing a payment method is whether it is suitable for the transaction you are planning. We have already shown that some online purchases can only be completed with certain methods – and that will always play a part in your decision-making.

You should always look to minimize any fees or charges on transactions – no matter how convenient the method may be. There are always alternatives and you should not have to struggle financially just to complete your transactions.

Featured image by Rupixen.com on Unsplash.com

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