Key Insights Into Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) in 2019

10-09-2019 | The Blog Series

In a world where the future is defined by eCommerce and the ever-growing influence of online shopping, alternative payment methods (ATMs) have turned into a topic worthy of the attention of both consumers and businesses. APMs are becoming omnipresent as online transactions made through APMs are expected to reach a staggering 55% by the end of 2019. This article provides insights into the essence of alternative payment methods, their various iterations and their advantages.

What do we mean when we say Alternative Payment Methods?

When talking about APMs, we refer to any method of payment that is not a credit card payment. These are all non-traditional ways of making payments. Currently, more than 200 different alternative payment methods exist around the world.

What are the most popular alternative payment methods used for international B2B payments

Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Bol.com, Ali express, and Microsoft all rely on one Alternative Payment Methods for their success in the Netherlands. Check out our video on the most popular APM in the Netherlands.


The 6 different types of APMs:

  • Bank Transfers are immediate payments made through the consumer’s regular bank account. This APM is expected to become the second most popular payment method by 2021.
  • Direct Debits include predominantly low-value transactions or recurring payments. These can be scheduled, even when the consumer does not have the required amount of money available in their account. This payment method is characterized by a much higher risk of chargebacks compared to other payment methods. Even though this chance exists, it remains a very popular method in terms of regular payments.
  • eWallet or Digital Wallet is a place where consumers can hold one or more currency purses. To execute payments using this method, consumers use their mobile devices. This is considered an easy way to transact as you simply link your credit card to your account on the app. The eWallet is currently the fastest growing payment method in the world and is expected to represent 46% of all global payments by 2021.
  • Mobile Alternative Payments consist of two types. One refers back to the previously mentioned eWallet (e.g. ApplePay) and the other is called Direct Carrier Billing. The second type is especially important in terms of developing markets and buyers use their phone numbers to make payments (e.g. Boku).
  • Local Card Schemes resemble traditional cards, but they are only applicable in specific markets. Examples include UnionPay and Carte Blue.
  • Prepaid/Post-pay The prepaid method includes a card or a voucher which can be bought or topped up and is authorized immediately in most cases. Post-pay is essentially instant financing, where shoppers can buy a product online and pay for it later.

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What makes APMs essential for businesses and eCommerce specifically

APMs allow businesses to be flexible and integrate a variety of payment options, which allows them to satisfy their customers’ needs, which vary around the world. Globally, shoppers have different preferences in terms of the ways they want to execute a payment. Taking care of those desires becomes integral for businesses.

Technically, by providing multiple payment options for customers, businesses decrease the chance of failed payments due to declined cards. However, the main key to success and boosting sales is providing buyers with choice. The incorporation of Paypal is a clear indicator of success, as it results in an almost 50% boost in conversion. Excluding APMs limits both business activities and customers. APMs can further solve the issue that arises in some regions where cross-border payments are not allowed and make such payments impossible. This further contributes to expanding the business and providing consumers with new choices.

If you are looking for a way to implement a new APM strategy into your business or are interested to know which APMs are vital to certain markets, then get in touch with PaymentGenes Consultancy to see how we can assist you. PaymentGenes consultancy is a global leader in Payments and FinTech industry consulting services.

Have you read our blog on E-wallets, ATMs and the influence of culture on payments? 


About PaymentGenes: PaymentGenes is the leading global Payments & FinTech business services firm. Our team offers a unique style of personal service in recruitment and consultancy, enabling your business to grow. Learn more about how we can help your business here.