Paying for a purchase is getting easier. Figuring out a strategy for accepting payments is getting more complicated. Welcome to the 21st century.
Cash. Personal checks. Credit cards. That defined the options that most in the Western World used to pay for goods and services for 50 years (OK, with traveler's checks and money orders thrown in for special purposes). But we're now seeing an explosion of payment options available for consumers. Many see this as a boon to both vendors and customers, but regulators and watchdog agencies are taking a close look at new payment options to insure that customers (and vendors) don't fall prey to exciting new forms of crime and corruption.
If we look back at the last year, we see that changes in the fees banks are allowed to charge for some types of credit card transactions are pushing institutions to allow other, less-heavily regulated forms of payment. At the same time, many customers who might not be able (or willing) to qualify for a traditional credit card or bank checking account are now able to take part in non-cash transactions through systems such as American Express's Bluebird -- a "non-bank bank" system that can involve a pre-paid chip-and-pin card, smartphone e-wallet, or online transactions.
In the face of all this change, we decided that it's a good time to ask the E2 community an important question: What new forms of payment is your organization planning to accept in 2013? Of course, it's possible that you already accept every form of payment ever considered, but if you don't, are you planning to do anything new this year? Take the new E2 poll, and let us know your thoughts on the matter. Beyond the numbers, we're interested in which of the new forms of payment you think hold the most promise and which might be "flashes in the pan"; interesting experiments that will fade in a short time.
The question isn't whether the options are going to increase: It's really which options will gain transaction most quickly and how government regulators and financial institutions will cope with the challenges posed by new technologies and systems. What's your take? Are we entering a brave new world of payment options, or will the risks outweigh the advantages and send us back to the "old reliables" that have served for half a century? Let us know -- and let the discussion begin.
@impactnow: i'm with you on the credit card thing. I prefer it to cash and feel more secure. Having grown up in NYC I've always felt like a target if I have too much cash on me. I use a debit card or one single credit card, and the ability to track purchases and spending patterns is extremely useful. Also comes in handy at tax time to caluculate deductions. I think ultimately criminals will find a way to crack any solution that comes along, but maybe I'm just cynical.
I have to say I am not a cash fan it makes me less disciplined because I feel like I don't know where my money goes. I pay for very little with cash I use one credit card for almost everything that I accrue points with and pay one check a month it also provides comprehensive spending patterns and overviews. So every month I know what my expenses will be and I can review them online any time. While tap and go does sound scary to me as well, apparently it's less likely to be breached than traditional credit and debit swiping because of the technology protocol.
@impactnow: sounds interesting and scary. Tap and pay options worry me because it could be easliy breached. Guess that's why there are wallets now that are designed to protect against rogue card and chip readers.
@Kevend: it is interesting how we've become such a cashless society for the most part. Some would argue that paying in cash makes you more disciplined about your purchasing decisions. However, it is ultimately the least secure option. Once it's stolent, that's that you will never get it back. We have far more safeguards in place to protect crecit card users from breach, not to mention added benefits such as purchase protection and added insurance on certain purchases.
@Zauis: Yes well, shopping for automobiles is an experience unto itself. But your point is well taken, easier to barter like for like. PayPal probably won't come to the auto showroom anytime soon though I'd like to see its use become more widespread for our more quotidian purchases.
PayPal has made my life a lot easier recently. I am very satisfied with the level of security they provide. I'm very comfortable disclosing all my financial data with them since their reputation precedes them.
I voted for a number of payment choice PayPal being one of them. Mobile wallet also seems like a very good idea. I'm surprised that some people still want to be pain in cash when they understand the risks of carrying cash in the first place.
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