Contact us
Toggle Menu

If you sell products or services online, making the purchasing experience as smooth and secure as possible is a great way to boost your profits. As the market continues to grow, global ecommerce sales are forecast to cross the $6 trillion mark this year. While this means lots of opportunities to make sales, it also means that there’s plenty of competition out there. It’s more important than ever to avoid negative customer experiences, which could mean losing business to your competitors. 

One way to improve conversions and encourage repeat custom is to offer a wider range of ecommerce payment methods on your website. This gives customers the opportunity to choose the most convenient option for them. However, with so many different types of payment methods available, how do you decide which ones to offer? 

In this guide, we’re going to explore the different ecommerce payment methods, what industries and applications they’re suitable for, and how to choose which ones are right for your business model. 

Why should businesses offer different ecommerce payment methods? 

There are many benefits to offering a variety of payment methods on your ecommerce site. While one option might be the cheapest or most convenient for your business, it’s important to cater your service to the needs of consumers. Doing this will provide a better customer experience, and can help you to increase your profits and encourage repeat business. 

A wider variety of ecommerce payment solutions is absolutely essential if you’re looking to secure a global reach for your brand, as consumer preferences vary between countries. Flexibility is also important for businesses offering subscription services or recurring payments, allowing consumers to select the option that suits their needs. 

What are the different ecommerce payment methods? 

There are many different payment methods that can be used for ecommerce transactions, some of which may be more suitable for your business model than others. Here’s a quick overview of different payment methods for websites, and how they’re used. 

Credit and debit cards 

Credit and debit cards are the most common ecommerce payment method, with 97.1% of the UK’s ecommerce market offering VISA and Mastercard payments, and 61.5% offering American Express. This type of payment can be a little time consuming, as it usually requires the manual entry of the card details. However, many apps, websites and browsers offer the ability to save card details for faster checkout next time, often requiring just the CV2 code for future authentication. 

Digital wallets 

Digital wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay have increased in popularity over recent years, offering a convenient payment option that’s always on hand. By using an app, consumers can make payment without having to have their physical card handy. 82.0% of UK ecommerce stores offer PayPal, making it the third most common payment method, while Apple Pay comes in fifth at 19.7%. 

Bank transfers 

Bank transfers allow consumers to send money directly from their bank account to the bank account of the business or organisation they’re paying. This type of payment is useful for large or one-off transactions such as bill payments. It’s less convenient than other options, as it requires logging into online banking and entering the payee’s details, and often requires authentication through a device such as a card reader. 

Mobile payments 

Mobile payments allow customers to pay for purchases using a mobile device. Also known as mcommerce, it includes purchases made on the mobile device’s browser, or through an app. The payment can be processed using a credit card, mobile wallet, or third-party checkout like Shop Pay. 

Buy now, pay later 

Buy now, pay later allows consumers to receive goods and services now, but defer payment until a later date, often in the form of monthly instalments, and sometimes with interest. It can be offered by the business itself, or through a third party such as Klarna or Clearpay. It’s used often for high-ticket purchases, or by industries where impulse purchases make up a large portion of sales, such as fashion. Buy now, pay later has increased in popularity over recent years, in part due to the increased cost of living, and is used by 68% of millennials and 69% of Gen Z in the UK. 


Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created through a process called mining, which involves using computers to process data and solve numerical problems for a reward. Well-known examples such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are being more widely accepted by online retailers, but are still quite niche compared to other ecommerce payment methods. This type of transaction is extremely secure, as each transaction is encrypted. 

Cash on deliveryCash on delivery (COD)  

COD is a payment method that allows the customer to pay for the item with cash once they receive it. It’s primarily used in countries where credit and debit card penetration is relatively low, such as India, where 83% of people prefer using COD for online purchases. 

Prepaid cards 

Prepaid cards work much like a credit or debit card, but are loaded with a specific amount of money, and can be topped up as needed. They tend to be used by people who aren’t eligible for traditional credit or debit cards, and are processed similarly when used online. Prepaid cards may also include gift cards, although these usually can’t be topped up. 

How to decide which ecommerce payment methods to offer? 

There are several steps to take that can help you to decide which are the best ecommerce payment methods for your business and customers. 

Analyse customer demographics 

Understanding your target audience and their preferences will help you to make sure you’re offering the website payment methods they want. Conduct market research and analyse customer data to identify the payment methods most commonly used by your target demographic. If you’re experiencing a certain issue, such as a high cart abandonment rate, this research can help you to determine the reasons why, and which payment methods might help to solve the problem. 

Consider transaction fees 

Each payment method has its own transaction fees associated with it, which can make certain options more expensive than others. While some ecommerce payment methods might be popular with your customers, they might come with higher fees, which could eat into your profit margins. It’s important to find a balance between demand and cost efficiency, perhaps by only offering more costly options for higher-cost transactions. 

Assess integration and security 

Ensure that the ecommerce payment system you choose is compatible with your ecommerce platform, and can be seamlessly integrated to minimise manual tasks. It’s also important to prioritise security features such as fraud protection and encryption, which will help to safeguard customer data. Choose a payment provider that offers integration and implementation support to make sure this process is as smooth and efficient as possible. 

Monitor industry trends 

Take a look at which ecommerce payment methods your competitors use, and stay up to date with emerging payment technologies and trends within your industry. By keeping your finger on the pulse of new developments, you can adapt your payment options to meet evolving customer expectations. 

Boost your profits with the right ecommerce payment options 

As we’ve seen above, offering a diverse range of payment options on your ecommerce site is essential to meet customer expectations, drive sales, and ensure that your business stays competitive in this fast-moving marketplace. 

One of the great benefits of ecommerce is that it’s relatively easy to add and remove payment options as needed. If something isn’t working out, costs too much money in fees, or requires time-consuming manual administration, you can switch it out for another option. Partnering with the right payment provider allows you to implement an ecommerce payment system with broad functionality and lots of customisation options to meet the needs of your business and its customers. 

Ready to start getting paid?

Give your organisation the stability and freedom it needs to drive higher levels of growth by seamlessly automating your payment processes. Get in touch today to see how we can help your business.