The e-commerce landscape is complex and dynamic, frequently evolving to meet consumer wants and needs. Businesses need to stay updated with trends reflecting consumer behaviour in order to maintain an edge against comepetitors. As e-commerce continues to grow, digital payment methods and e-wallets are taking preference over traditional payment methods. According to the 2019 Retail Global Payments Report, 22% of all retail purchases in Australia were made using digital payments.
Now if you don’t know what an e-wallet is, it is a type of electronic card than can be used for making transactions online through a computer or smartphone. It still functions the same as a credit or debit card, needing to be linked to a bank account in order to make payments; however it eliminates the physical material. Popular e-wallets include Alipay, GrabPay, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, although there are a host of other e-wallets from financial institutions and third-party organisations.
Townsville Chamber Board Member, Michael Kopittke recently spent four days in Singapore at the International Council of Shopping Centres Conference in which there was a focus on connectivity and digital payment methods within Singapore – one of the largest users of e-wallets in the world behind China. Throughout Asia, VISA and Mastercard are two of the lowest accepted payment methods, while GrabPay is the most popular e-wallet out of more than 30 options.
With the impending Singapore defence deal, Michael is encouraging Townsville businesses to start preparing for Singaporean personnel by providing a seamless payment experience. With the influx of international travellers to our city, e-wallet payment methods could enable local businesses to tap into the broader market.
Digital payment methods are growing in popularity throughout Australia and are often now expected to be offered. Looking ahead, e-wallet technologies are predicted to grow by 37 per cent by 2022. Businesses are encouraged to adapt to new payment methods and expectations, as consumers continue to select technologies based on their lifestyle choices. New digital payment methods increasingly allow for an seamless experience of in-store and online shopping. To add to this experience, WiFi availability and connectivity on social media and other digital platforms are becoming standard practice, particularly amongst hospitality and tourism businesses.