Electronic payment systems came on the scene a while ago and they have practically revolutionised the payments space.
Whether at a brick-and-mortar store where you can pay with a card, or on a website where you can check out online, these systems have made it much easier to make payments without the need to carry cash – and this is ultimately a safer way to shop.
With e-payments making strong headway into the payments landscape, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the advantages as well as the risks that they entail.
This is why we have prepared this blog post.
It contains the pros and cons of electronic payment systems, or making payments using cashless means, to help you make informed decisions going forward.
1. Reduced costs
Shopping online requires no investment in petrol in your car to get to the physical store, or other expenses related to getting to where you want to be.
This will result in lower transaction costs that can be beneficial for customers, who can enjoy more savings where it matters, and spend more wisely where they choose.
2. Higher speed and mobility
With instantaneous payments taking place in the online checkout space, there’s higher speed in terms of transactions.
Mobility is another factor that can be considered a plus.
This is because customers no longer need to carry cash but can rather use their e-wallets or key fobs to make payments.
Meanwhile, merchants don’t need to rely on the risky aspects of handling cash.
3. Increased sales
E-payment channels are on the rise and this also means that there are more opportunities for increased sales.
With the use of cash on the decline, this hasn’t resulted in fewer sales, but rather, a rise in them.
Increased sales make for good business sense and are an excellent way for a merchant to earn more revenue.
4. Better convenience
Do you remember the days of queuing at retailers?
Well, those days are long gone now.
With electronic payment systems such as POS terminals, which accept cashless and contactless payments, it’s even easier for customers to shop – whether online or at the physical checkout.
This ultimately translates into better convenience and ultimately, improved customer service and experience.
1. Impulse buying
With so many temptations available for purchase online, it’s easy to get sucked into impulse buying.
This means that you’re unlikely to stick to a budget, in some cases, this being an impossible goal to achieve.
Practicing strong self-discipline and sticking to purchase only what you planned on purchasing can be one of the ways you avoid the risk of spending over your budget.
2. The risk of fraud
While merchants, issuers, acquirers and payments processors all take stringent steps to ensure their customers’ security – online or at the checkout – this is sometimes difficult to circumvent.
For example, by using phishing attempts, fraudsters can obtain your card, login, account or password information and use these details to steal money from you.
It is very difficult to prove who is on the other side of the screen of an online purchase, and this means that someone who may have obtained your card without your permission can spend your money.
This is why it’s essential to keep your private data private at all times, and to contact your payment provider immediately if you notice anything strange about your account or finances, which you may pick up from your card statement each month.
3. Disputed transactions
Disputed transactions are another area of concern when it comes to electronic payment systems.
Say, for example, that someone else used your card to make a purchase without your knowledge or permission.
In this case, it would be difficult for you to prove that you weren’t the original purchaser, and it might be difficult to reclaim your funds or get a refund.
4. Security risks
As with any piece of technology out on the market these days, all technological solutions are prone to some security risks and breaches.
This is why it’s crucial to protect your private information as much as you can.
Once again, inform your bank or financial institution if you suspect anything out of the ordinary.
Servers may fail to work for temporary periods of time, transactions may bounce back, a payment might not be cleared, you might get double charged – all of these factors are security risks that you need to be aware of.
Electronic payment systems have certainly increased the ease with which consumers shop these days.
That being said, it’s not a given that they don’t come without some risks.
This is why it’s crucial to protect your card data and account details, keeping them private.
It’s also important to stick to a fixed budget if you’d like to avoid overspending or making impulse purchases.
Apart from the downsides of e-payment systems, you’ll enjoy better convenience, improved speed and save time when shopping.
Meanwhile, merchants will be able to draw on and benefit from increased sales all while improving their customers’ overall satisfaction.