Alternative payment methods are any payment methods for online purchases that are not made via a credit or debit card. In recent years these types of payments have been on the rise. Whether it's ACH debit payments, some form of local payment or something else, shoppers around the world trust and see the value behind the different ways they can pay for goods and services. 

According to the "Global Alternative Online Payment Methods: First Half 2015" study done by yStats, this is an important trend that will likely continue. The study showed that alternative payments are on the rise, especially in emerging B2C e-commerce markets, such as China or Indonesia. In India, around 50 percent of shoppers preferred to pay with cash upon delivery. In Indonesia, two-thirds of customers preferred an electronic bank transfer to a credit or debit card payment. In China, which is the world's largest online shopping market thanks to e-ecommerce giant Alibaba as well as a few others, third-party payment providers were used most often. 

The study showed that this trend isn't limited to Asia-Pacific. Latin American and Eastern European shoppers also show an affinity for alternative payments. Those payment types range from localized payment methods and third-party payment providers to cash upon delivery and electronic bank transfers. Even in countries like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, where shoppers still prefer card payments, there is evidence of alternative payments becoming more popular. The study highlighted the popularity of Boleto Bancario, a local payment method regulated by the Brazilian Federation of Banks, as evidence of a method that is slowly becoming more appealing. 

Still, credit cards are quite popular in Canada, the U.S., and the UK. While their popularity is waning, e-commerce owners will likely need to offer processing of card payments for several years to come. 

Why the rise in alternative payment methods?
J. Walter Thomas Intelligence, a marketing and communications company, cited a Global Payments 2014 study that attributed the increase in alternative payment methods to the new digital technologies that have become readily available in recent years. JWTIntelligence specifically highlighted mobile wallets, digital currencies and mobile payments as drivers of growth in newer payment methods. Additionally, the company pointed to the data breaches at major retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Supervalu and Target as a reason shoppers are looking for different ways to pay for the goods they want. These shoppers hope newer forms of payment are safer than credit or debit cards, according to JWTIntelligence. 

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