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Cryptocurrencies remain cryptic to sceptical shoppers, despite demand for new ways to pay

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Consumer demand for cryptocurrency, both now and in the future, falls well short of hype within the Bitcoin bubble – despite their being a big demand among consumers for new ways to pay online.

Consumers are currently more than seven times more likely to buy something online with a prepaid card than via cryptocurrency, and more than twice as many would like to use prepaid cards in the future, rather than the volatile digital currency, finds a new study by Intrapay, a recently launched payments company within the Sappaya ecosystem.

Fewer than 2% of consumers have used cryptocurrencies and only 6.5% wish to use it to buy items online in the future. Meanwhile, as consumers become increasingly security-savvy, demand for prepaid cards almost doubles, from 9% currently to 17% who wish to use them online in the future.

Koen Vanpraet, CEO of Intrapay, explains: “Cryptocurrencies may have enjoyed plenty of hype over the last year, but are just not viable as a mass payment method in the current market. Retailers looking to grow must understand consumers and offer the payment options that will drive loyalty, engagement and conversion. This cannot come from forcing unwanted payment methods on them: it must come from listening to retailers and their consumers, meeting their needs with payment methods that truly engage the consumer and add value to the business.”

The survey of more than 650 consumers also revealed that consumers want payments to give them more control of their money: spreading the payments across the year; receiving real-time updates on the payment status; and receiving help with budgeting.

Direct debit, debit cards and credit cards remain the most popular method of purchasing goods online but demand is falling, in favour of alternative payments, including prepaid cards, bank transfers and mobile payments.

Almost 90% of respondents reported that security is one of the most important aspects of their online payment experience, while four in ten demand greater convenience, with an equal number highlighting speed of payment as one of the most significant factors.

Paul Winslow, Chief Marketing Officer at Intrapay, adds: “Security versus convenience is still a significant driver in consumer behaviour online, but what our research shows is a shift to new, innovative alternatives, and greater transparency from merchants and their payment partners. At Intrapay, our ethos centres around the customer experience: if they demand it, we will build it. The consumer is in control of the payment and future ecommerce success will depending on listening to these voices, building the adaptive technology based on what consumers want, rather than what businesses tell them they want.”

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