Last editedMar 20222 min read
When credit and debit cards were first introduced to the UK in the 1960s, they were seen as revolutionary heralds of a new financial era. More than 50 years later, however, technology has moved on to the extent that cash and card-free electronic payments are now seen as the future of finance.
What is an E-Payment?
An electronic payment system allows consumers to make financial transactions or purchase goods and services electronically without using cash. Of course, credit and debit cards are a form of E-Payment but the internet and the rise of the smartphone have catalysed a move towards online payments and digital wallets.
Examples of E-Payment
The most common form of payment is still credit and debit cards, which both function the same way. The only difference is that credit cards use funds cleared by the customer’s bank that they will later pay back and debit cards use funds directly from the customer’s account. For physical retail, the introduction of contactless payment has further elevated the convenience of these payment cards, as you can now simply tap your card on a receiver to make a minor payment.
Increasingly, however, businesses are moving more of their operations online and while credit and debit card payments can be made online, there are more convenient and secure options. Platforms such as PayPal, for example, exist to allow users to direct funds from their bank accounts into a digital encrypted currency that can be used completely separate from any credit or debit account.
Then there’s cryptocurrency, which uses a decentralised network to store a currency not beholden to any country or state. But while bitcoin has certainly brought the concept of cryptocurrency into the mainstream, the vast majority of businesses are yet to accept crypto as legitimate tender.
Benefits of an E-Payment system
The vast majority of businesses accept card payments. But with the world changed forever by the Covid-19 pandemic, should your business be going further? Should you be accepting as many E-Payment options as possible? Of course you should and here’s why.
More consumers than ever before are shopping online, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Accepting online E-Payments also means businesses can sell to consumers all over the world with ease. When shopping online, consumers want a payment process that’s fast and secure. E-Payments offer a variety of options, many of which are completely foolproof and instantaneous.
While there are always going to be concerns surrounding potential data breaches, E-Payments have never been more secure. Indeed, by going through an online payments system such as GoCardless, your payment data will be encrypted at multiple levels to ensure all transactions are as secure as they are speedy.
Most consumers today are omni-commerce shoppers, meaning they shop both online and in-store. Accepting a range of e payments through both your online and offline channels helps meet a growing consumer demand for consistency.
By utilising the full breadth of tools available to them through E-Payment systems, businesses can automate many processes, saving time and recourses. Menial tasks such as data entry and processing paper invoices will soon be a thing of the past.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about e payments, or any other aspect of your finances, get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.