What are the most promising trends in online payments?

The past years have been transformative for the payments industry. A multitude of new payment activities and practices have come to life, and as the digital payment industry is constantly evolving, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the pace. We will detail below the most promising trends in online payment for the coming years.

Debit and credit cards keep rising:

As the industry is evolving quickly and adopting many fintech innovations and futuristic payment methods, we sometimes forget to discuss the fundamentals. Indeed, bank cards as a payment method for online shopping do not seem to be going anywhere in the short term. In fact, this payment method is still having double digit growth globally in 2020, and still accounts for a majority of transactions in a big part of the world. While the eCommerce industry has almost fully shifted away from cash and check payments, online merchants should not forget about debit and credit cards, and AB test this payment method on a regular basis with newer options to see what their place is in a specific locale at a specific time.

Digital wallets are slowly outpacing bank cards:

During the COVID-19 health crisis, bank cards and digital wallets such as PayPal appeared to be the most used online payment methods. It is interesting to note however that in some markets of Western Europe, including Germany and Italy, digital wallets even outpaced bank cards. While almost all online purchases in China are made from digital wallets, it remains to see whether this trend will continue to extend to other parts of the world as well.

One-click checkout options allow for a faster checkout experience:

More and more, consumers around the world are looking to buy their products online as quickly as possible, and every additional step on the way will lead to a decrease in conversion. One solution that is becoming increasingly popular is to enable one-click checkout options like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay and others. Single-click checkout payment methods will conquer eCommerce conversion funnels in the next few years, allowing vendors to improve their online checkout experience, take advantage of the boom in online shopping and decrease their cart abandonment rates.

Instalments are becoming very popular:

The “pay-by-instalment” or "buy now, pay later" options are becoming very popular among both merchants and customers as this type of payment method skyrocketed all around the world during the pandemic, driven primarily by millennial consumers. However, as households’ budgets have been tightening during the health crisis and as the average consumer turned to online stores for daily purchases during the consecutive lockdowns, this payment method has grown in popularity among all different generations. We believe this trend will grow even stronger in 2021.

This is somewhat an extension of the subscription trend into everyday life items, as customers are increasingly getting accustomed to paying for their products on a monthly basis, from streaming services to food delivery. Additionally, many consumers are more open to making bigger purchases than they would with traditional debit or credit card payments, therefore increasing the average order value (AOV).

In order to optimize their conversion rate and minimize the abandonment rate of users that drop off the checkout process, online merchants therefore need to have an innovative and flexible payment provider that allows their customers to pay for their purchases in several times.

Cross-border payments are rising:

With the globalization of the economy, consumers are less and less afraid of purchasing their products and services from websites that are outside of their home country. In order to surf on this trend and benefit from the increase in payments made across borders, online merchants will need to have a flexible payment provider that will allow them to tweek the conversion funnel to local needs and tastes. These differences do not only include displaying local languages, but also the availability of payment methods, their order in the cart and the way they are displayed. Online merchants should remember that different payment methods have different popularity in different places. Online merchants need to find the right balance between historic payment methods like bank cards, bank transfers or cash on delivery, and newer ones such as mobile payments, digital wallets or cryptocurrencies.

At Softline Ecommerce, our all-in-one ecommerce solution makes cross-border digital sales locally optimized, easy and safe. It has never been so simple to reach new customers and grow your business in emerging markets. So, if you want to see what we can do together, don’t hesitate to contact us on our website, via Linkedin or email (


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