Alternative payment methods (APMs) have changed payment habits on a global scale. They currently account for 50-55% of total eCommerce around the world, ahead of regular credit or debit card payments. The key benefit that they bring to consumers is the quick, easy checkout process by no longer having to enter lengthy card details every time they make a purchase; the APM (or eWallet) bypasses this hassle by providing saved card details that have previously been submitted.

Alternative payment methods go by another name – local payment methods – which gives an insight into how they can be used to help merchants break into specific markets. If a merchant offers a payment method which is popular in a particular country, the checkout process becomes much simpler for potential customers from that country, so customer drop-off will be low.

Local payment methods are particularly important for SMEs based in the UK that are looking to take their first small steps of discovery onto the continent. With international cards and issuing banks often clogging up the payment process, LPMs are a dependable way to offer a fast, simple and secure payment that fast-tracks the customer through the check-out.

The real strategy behind deploying local payment methods is knowing which payment methods are preferred in which countries, and matching the methods you offer with your target markets.

For example, if a merchant wants to facilitate payments from Italy or France, MyBank should be offered as a payment method; for Germany, Giropay is essential, and so is Sofort – which is also important in Belgium and Spain; Trustly is a payment method trusted by customers in Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and throughout Scandinavia.

As you can see there are a huge number of LPMs, all of which are preferred in different markets, and no all-encompassing method that covers all of Western Europe. Although the world of alternative payments may seem like a maze, a well-thought out strategy will open your online business up to fantastic international growth into new markets that would be very difficult to access without this gentrified check-out process.

Merchants need to know which payment methods will help them to grow in their desired markets, and choose a payments processor that offers these key methods. Trust Payments have partnerships with all of the key local payment methods across Europe, meaning that wherever your customer base is, payments can be accepted without fuss. To find out how Trust Payments can power your international payments and ignite the globalisation of your SME, speak to one of our experts today on 0203 691 2697.

Source: The PPRO Payment Almanac