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Subscription-based payments set for significant growth, study finds


As many as 27% of global consumers expect the number of subscriptions they have are set ti increase in the coming year. And it isn’t just for streamed TV, it reaches right across into the world of retail too.

Subscriptions exist today for a whole host of products and services, from getting washing tablets delivered, to accessing entertainment, to driving a new car every three months. Seen by many as a convenient way to make regular payments seamlessly without returning to the checkout, half (50%) of international consumers already have at least two subscription payments leaving their bank account every month.

The Lost in Transaction research, from specialised payments platform Paysafe, surveyed consumers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy and Bulgaria in April 2020. It revealed that the motivations behind subscription-based payments vary, but mostly centre around cost and convenience. A significant 44% of consumers agree that subscriptions are better value than other payment options for a similar service or product. Additionally, just over half (53%) of consumers agree that subscriptions are a more convenient method of paying for goods or services they regularly use.

Among this ongoing surge in demand however, some consumers still have concerns. 46% of people say that they worry that subscriptions can be difficult to cancel and make them feel tied into long-term commitments. Also, being forgetful can be costly, with 35% of consumers admitting overpaying for a subscription service that they have stopped using but failed to cancel.

When it comes to successfully keeping track of subscription payments, the research showed that the overall number of consumers struggling with this is falling slightly, having decreased from 37% in 2018 to 34% in 2020 – based on Paysafe’s ongoing Lost in Transaction research.

“The burgeoning subscription economy is driving traditional pay-per-product companies to move to subscription-based models,” says Daniel Kornitzer, Chief Business Development Officer at Paysafe. “However, it is clear from our research that companies currently offering or considering offering subscription-based payments should factor in a high degree of customer flexibility and transparency to their service offering. Do this successfully and companies can simultaneously increase consumer trust and alleviate common pain points often experienced with subscription-based payments, such as consumers overpaying or feeling like they are trapped into a long-term financial commitment.”


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