April 24, 2015
Over the past 20 years, technology has morphed in countless ways to integrate with the daily lives of the average consumer. As time hurdles forward, more and more of the transactions and communications that used to take place in the physical world are moved into the digital space. Today, with every 30 seconds that pass approximately 1.2 million dollars is spent online. These numbers are a true testament to just how immersed people have become in the digital world.
The explosive expansion and deep interconnectivity brought on by these technological advancements has spawned a new kind of digital currency that will more than likely one day replace physical monies completely. As society continues to move to all things digital, it has become more important than ever for businesses to keep pace and implement an online payment portal to manage all of the ingoing and outgoing transactions between organizations and their consumers.
The big problem that most run into is which payment method is most suitable for utilization with that company’s needs.
To ensure that your business is not left in the proverbial dust, here are 5 of 2015’s most notable and watch-worthy digital payment modalities:
Paypal is without a doubt the world’s single most popular and widely used payment platform. The massively recognized method of payment, although not new to the game, is the largest in the market with 153 million accounts across 203 countries that span the globe. Within the past year alone, PayPal has processed roughly $203 billion in payments, only attributing $67 billion of which to eBay.
The payment goliath that is PayPal is now poised to grow even more massive as eBay sets it free to be an independent company. PayPal’s growth was stunted for years due to its association with parent company eBay, which was often viewed as a competitor by potential prospects. With this barrier removed, PayPal is free to expand its services to companies such as Alibaba, Amazon.com, and many others.
Based in the Isle of Man, Optimal Payments is a trusted online payment portal currently utilized all across the world including places like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The efficient currency gateway is used by consumers and organizations alike to safely process payments in over 200 countries and territories, allowing for billions to be managed by the company every single year.
Last month, Optimal Payments announced the acquisition of rival competitors the Skrill Group, which is one of Europe’s foremost electronic payment processing platforms. This acquisition allows Optimal Payments to continue expansion of the service into new markets and areas of the globe. With the ability to now process payments in 41 different currencies and a new combined company annual revenue of $697 million, Optimal Payments will continue to explode with widespread utilization in 2015.
Bitcoin has had somewhat of a controversial ride since its conception and that trend continues to this day as the currency ends the previous year at just 39% of the perceived value that it began with. This, however, is not nearly as bad as it sounds when put into context. It is true that the value of the bitcoin conversion to U.S. dollars has dropped 67% in the last year, however, the value of the digital coin is up overall by 1,879% when compared to the previous two years. Additionally, Bitcoin has seen substantial growth in several sectors, including the number of bitcoin related jobs and startups that have emerged.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive number that surrounds exactly how many startups were created. However, data provided by AngelList to Fortune confirmed 566 registered startups in 2014. In 2012 only 13 bitcoin startups were listed on AngelList. This massive boom in the startup sector means just one thing for Bitcoin; the digital currency will experience massive growth over the next couple of years.
Since its release back in October of 2014, ‘Apple Pay’ (https://www.apple.com/apple-pay/) has had a swarm of companies eager and willing to pledge their allegiance to Apple. Banks, retailers, and other companies are continually jumping on the bandwagon on what seem like a daily basis. The payment portal for Apple provides iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Apple Watch users the ability to pay for items quickly and digitally via a technology known as NFC or near-field communication.
Now Apply Pay is set to expand its services to the north in Canada this fall. Canadian bankers, however, are concerned about fraud protection issues after earlier this year unusually high fraud rates occurred from thieves using stolen information via Apple Pay.
Apple and several other banks insist that this situation was blown out of proportion and have dismissed any concerns surrounding the matter, according to CNNMoney. Whatever the case may be, rest assured that one of the largest tech companies on the planet will undoubtedly find a way to keep their customer information safe and make Apple Pay a success.
Facebook Messenger Payment Feature
As reported in this column last month, social media platforms are now starting to enter the payment processing arena. One example of this is the official announcement that Facebook has added a payment feature to the already hugely popular Facebook Messenger application.
Now users of the communication app can link a debit or credit card directly to the service and utilize it to send money to one another just as easily as a message is sent. These “peer-to-peer payments” as they are called will initially only be able to occur between individuals who are currently friends on the social network. Given Facebook’s reach, however, and its associated application, this portal is sure to open up to many other organizations and markets within a relatively short period of time.
Payment processing via social media is sure to provide a level of convenience and versatility that will continue to evolve social platforms into overall lifestyle platforms.
The digitalization of currencies has already begun and it is only a matter of time before all of it is digitized. When there is no more physical money to be dealt with, the only question that will remain is which platform to utilize for you and your organization’s transactions. Implement one of these payment portals for your organization and keep up with the world that is quickly becoming electronic through and through.
Have you implemented one of these platform with your business, and if so, how has it performed in comparison to a debit/credit card processor? Which portal do you foresee gaining dominance in the digital world?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.