What Are the Key Elements of Top Payment Systems?

April 26, 2022

The 21st century has seen spectacular transformation in how we do business. Thanks to technology developing at an exponential rate, we went from shopping in the high street to shopping from an armchair. We have gone from two payment elements – notes and coins to a different duo of payment elements - a single piece of plastic perhaps just a username and password.

For businesses, this is a massive shot in the arm. It can, however, also be a serious threat. On the one hand, many businesses have grown from being a single store in a quiet neighborhood, to an online store with a potentially global clientele. Suddenly, as long as you can provide the essential payment elements, a 15-hour physical working day scratching out a basic living has morphed into a 24/7 shop with almost unlimited income potential.

But every silver lining has a dark cloud. Having a successful online business is reliant on happy customers. Customers who will return again and again and who will recommend your business to others. And one very important part of making customers happy is a good payment experience. This requires a good payment system that covers all the important payment elements.

What are payment solutions?

A payment solution or payment system is quite simply the mechanism by which monetary value is passed from one party to another. This exchange may be a payment for the purchase of goods, repayment of a loan or funding of an investment. Equally, the parties may be individuals or legal entities. It’s important to note that a payment solution is made up of a number of payment elements.

Payment solutions may have been notes and coins in a previous life. Nowadays, however, we associate them with the digital business environment. Where payment in the not-so-distant past was simply handing over a fistful of notes and coins, we can now tap a few keys on an application like PayPal or Google Wallet and shift millions.

What is currently available on the market?

Payment solutions have really exploded onto the market in the last couple of decades. From the launch of PayPal in 1998 things progressed slowly at first. Online shopping started gaining traction with eBay and Amazon, launched in the mid-90s, both becoming household names. 

The launching of new payment systems started gathering momentum at the turn of the century and today there are more than 200. Most of these payment solutions address different sets of payment elements and many serve specific niches. Coupled with that we now also have a few thousand cryptocurrencies. Granted, not all cryptocurrencies have been created as mechanisms for exchanging monetary value. Let’s have a look at some major payment systems.

  • PayPal. Probably the best known and certainly the most widely used payment system globally. The PayPal digital wallet began in 1999 and was later acquired by eBay. Naturally it became the default payment method for a vast proportion of eBay customers giving it a major growth boost. PayPal has a market share estimated to be well over 50%. Part of PayPal’s success is due to the fact that it has taken care of all the primary payment elements.
  • Stripe. With an estimated market share of between 11% and 15%, Stripe is the second-largest payment system. About half of its users are US-based with a further 8% hailing from the UK.
  • Apple Pay. Third ranked Apple Pay has a market share of around 7% overall. In the mobile digital wallet space, it’s a slightly different story. Here Apple Pay is at the forefront.    
  • Amazon Pay. Thanks to the growth of the Amazon ecommerce platform, Amazon Pay has also enjoyed rapid and substantial growth. However, it has a market share below 1% due to being a proprietary solution.
  • Other notable payment systems include Authorize.Net, Skrill, Google Wallet and 2Checkout. All of them have less than 5% market share. Of course, as we have mentioned, there are a multitude of other payment methods that address different key payment elements, so there is an option to suit every possible purpose or preference.

What payment elements should a great solution include?

A payment solution has one specific purpose. That is to transfer value. In the competitive business landscape, we’re in nowadays, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds. If a solution doesn’t adequately address all the core payment elements, it will not succeed. The most important payment elements that all solutions should cover are:

  • Processing speed. Cart abandonment is a major threat to online retailers. A slow payment process is one of the payment elements that would drive a customer to abandon a transaction or just not buy again.
  • Multiple payment methods. With so many options out there for customers, a good solution needs to offer a sizeable number of them. Having fewer payment options means losing out on some customers.
  • Support. Technology has few moving parts but when things do go wrong it can be catastrophic. Good support is essential to recover quickly from any problems and prevent a negative customer experience. This is unfortunately one of the most overlooked payment elements. 
  • Quick settlement. Cash flow is the life blood of any business. You really cannot afford to be waiting days or even weeks for payments to be credited to your account. Look for a provider that will credit the funds within 24 hours.
  • Processing costs. Last but not least, arguably the most important of the payment elements. Payment processing costs can significantly erode a retailer’s margins.  

What to choose when it comes to your payments

Although a relatively new entrant to the payment solutions space, Elly has ensured that all the payment elements are taken into account. Elly offers a very wide selection of payment methods, including several cryptocurrencies, on a single hand-held device. Funds are credited almost instantly eliminating market volatility.

Elly also comes with near field communication technology for contactless payment. This has become one of the most significant payment elements for some consumers thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Blockchain technology and dynamic encryption secure transaction data and make it almost impossible to hack. For a solution that is both customer friendly and merchant friendly, the Elly POS solution is everything you need and ticks all the payment elements boxes.

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