Welcome to the Age of the eWallet

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Today, we are witnessing the explosive growth of alternative payment methods. In 2017, alternative payment providers were responsible for more than 50% of global e-commerce sales, a figure that experts agree will continue to climb. If you still think that cash, debit cards, and credit cards are the only way to pay for your good and services, then let me introduce you to eWallets.

An electronic wallet, or eWallet, is best understood as a virtual cashless service which can replace hard cash notes and bank issued credit and debit cards. Whether you’re sending money to the other side of the world or simply across the room, transactions are completed in a matter of seconds. From inexpensive inter-bank transfers, to smartphone payment apps and local card schemes, eWallets are dominating the alternative payment marketplace.

Easy to use and set-up, eWallets are the fastest growing payment method in the world. SolidTrust Pay, Alipay, Qiwi and PayPal are all examples of popular eWallet providers. China is currently home to the world’s largest share of online shoppers using eWallets, while the majority of online shoppers in Mexico, Italy, and Spain have already turned to digital payment services to complete their transactions, shunning credit cards in favour of the versatility inherent in eWallet platforms.

The popularity of eWallets among consumers presents a unique opportunity for businesses. With over 300 different types of payments in the world of e-commerce, it is vital for entrepreneurs to understand their customers’ preferred payment methods. The most common alternative payment methods are bank transfers, direct debits, eWallets, mobile payments, local card schemes, pre-pay, post-pay, and eInvoices.

Popular Alternative Payment Methods

Bank Transfers

Online: Customers use their online or real-time banking information to transfer money with immediate online authorization.

Offline: Enables your customers to make an offline payment by using a payment reference (authorization is delayed).


Easy to use, this is the fastest growing payment method in the world and increasingly popular across all sectors.

Direct Debits

These are primarily low-value or predictable recurring transactions such as subscriptions.


Direct Carrier Billing: Increasingly important in developing markets such as Africa, this is a quick and simple payment method whereby shoppers simply provide their phone number.

Mobile Wallets: There is a growing choice of mobile wallet payment options that operate in your local country or territory. Few are capable of global reach yet.

Local Card Schemes

These schemes often operate like traditional cards but, in most cases, only in specific domestic markets. Some are more sophisticated, for example, offering card and bank transfer options.


Customers are required to buy a card or voucher before starting a transaction. These payment types are usually authorised immediately.


When your customer buys a product or service online, they pay for it later at an affiliated outlet or store. In most cases, the delay between the initial transaction and settlement means this will not work if you are selling perishable goods and time-sensitive purchases, such as travel tickets.


Your customer pays for their goods after delivery without sharing credit card or bank details.

Source: worldpay.com/sites/default/files/Worldpay-APM-Brochure-EN-u18.pdf

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