How Do Online Buyers Pay?

I have always been curious about the acceptance of various payment methods and if there are any trends. For marketing services I accept Visa, Mastercard and even checks from clients, but I have not started offering PayPal as no one has ever requested it. Recently I started paying my accounts payable using debit transfers via email which I thought was a miracle.

The January 2009 Javelin Strategy and Research study into How Do Online Buyers Pay reveals that credit card purchase volume will continue to grow online and command the largest market share among payment types, reaching $107 billion by 2013, up from $81 billion in 2008. This report was published online by eMarketer.


The increased usage of other payment types is not an outright rejection of cards; Javelin estimated that e-mail payments such as PayPal would still account for only 10% of online purchases in 2013, up from 7% in 2007.

Instead, prepaid and debit cards may be viewed as ways to avoid interest charges, and private-label cards frequently have loyalty or rewards programs that give users cash or products back. An example of this is an iTunes gift card with a special registration number that you key in on the website.

Some online buyers are still concerned about credit card fraud as well. In 2007, JupiterResearch and Ipsos Insight asked users of alternative payment methods including PayPal why they did not use credit cards, and the findings are worth remembering.

More security was the top reason given by online buyers for using payment services instead of credit cards. Respondents also said they used such services because of restricted options on credit cards, and greater flexibility, more convenience and easier dispute resolution than when they used credit cards.

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