STS, the payments acceptance specialist, has announced the results of its survey into the importance of Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) to retail merchant businesses. APMs differ from traditional card based transactions in a number of ways: form factor, technology used, associated/verification methodology and transaction flow. 61% of survey respondents, who represented STS customers, business partners and international payment specialists, said that they wanted to increase APM support in order to meet current market requirements; 46% said that this was in response to client requests and 43% in order to support expansion into international markets.
Mobile payments was judged to be the format of APM offering the greatest potential, significantly ahead of direct bank account payments which was only narrowly above QR code style payments. Crypto currencies received very limited levels of interest as a payments acceptance method for merchants. For those who did express an interest in crypto currencies Bitcoin attracted the most attention.
“It is very heartening to hear that 71% of businesses are ready to invest now in expanding the range of APMs they support” said Steve Turner, CEO of STS Payments “As a product led company we shall be acting on this feedback and adding new payment options to G8 our flexible, feature-rich, agnostic payments acceptance client application.”
PayPal was judged to be the most important APM for merchants to support, this was closely followed by Alipay with 53% of respondents saying it was Very important or Important to their business. IDEAL (Netherlands), Mobile Pay (Scandinavia) and Pay by Bank app (UK) all received strong, but more regionally based, support. There are many other APMs that are popular in specific markets.
Alipay is considered to be the most important Chinese payment method for merchants to support with 64% rating it Very important or Important; UnionPay came a close second with WeChat Pay back in third position with only a 39% score.
Retail merchants have a choice on how to technically connect to APMs. The most popular integration method was considered to be direct connection from the POS register with 36% of first preference votes. Indirect connection via a Payment Service Provider attracted a third of votes, however 21% stated that they would be happy with either direct or indirect connectivity.
STS is a leading payments acceptance application developer with unrivalled EMV expertise. Although the company is based in the UK, we have supplied over 150,000 merchant implementations located around the world across multiple industry sectors. We offer merchants independence from payment schemes, acquirers, gateways, PSPs and device manufacturers, thereby generating financial savings and maximising their payments flexibility and future choices.
We are a product-led company that invests heavily in developing high-quality payments acceptance applications and features in order to remain at the forefront of payments innovation. This started with EMV Chip and PIN payments in which we became a global market leader and now includes contactless, in-store mobile payments, payment cloud implementations and the management of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Our applications are designed to allow partners to establish competitive advantage. We have earned a reputation for trust, honesty and integrity by continually delivering high quality software and excellent support throughout our 20-year heritage.
Bing Dai, Senior Channel Manager, STS
+44 (0)20 8680 0252