This Statista report on retail e-commerce sales predicts that by 2020, almost 50% e-commerce will be happening through mobile phones.
The growth would have been faster if it was easier to make payments on mobile phones. On an average, an online shopper may have to go through 5–10 steps to carry out a purchase. This is a big reason why the shopping cart abandonment rate is so high especially when people try to purchase things from their mobile apps.
Shopping cart abandonment rates can be as high as 75% (source).
Digital wallets have solved this problem greatly.
What’s a digital wallet?
In simple terms, it’s a mobile app or an online service that allows you to store cash and make payments without credit cards and net banking. The most popular example of a digital wallet is PayPal.
Just like you take cash from somewhere or from your bank and put it in your wallet so that you can easily carry it in your pocket, you put cash, digitally, in a digital wallet so that you can conveniently pay from your mobile phone or even from your PC or laptop.
Using a credit card is a risky proposition. Your credit card can be stolen. Its information can be saved by someone and used without your knowledge. Thousands of identity theft cases in the US happen because of stolen credit card information.
If nothing else, maybe you don’t want to increase your credit card debt.
What about net banking?
Making payments through net banking involves multiple steps and they act as a big deterrent whether you’re shopping in a physical retail store (most of the retail stores don’t even offer net banking facilities) or from a website like Amazon.com.
When you pay through your digital wallet, you have a clear idea of how much money you have. This money is immediately deducted from your wallet so there is no chance of increasing your credit card debt. Since the money is transferred from one wallet to another, it is quicker, safer and less risky.
The best thing about a digital wallet is you can carry it as a mobile app in your mobile phone. So, when you need to make a payment, you simply have to take out your mobile phone and point its camera to a QR code, or manually make the payment.
It’s easier to make micro-payments using digital wallets, which is not possible with a credit card because the transaction fee itself might be more than the payment you are making with the credit card.
How do you put money in your digital wallet?
The process of putting your money in a digital wallet is just like making a purchase on a website.
Normally there is an icon or a button that says “Add cash”, or something like that.
After that, it is simply like making a payment using your credit card or net banking. Different digital wallets may have limits on how much cash you can add to your wallet in one go but normally, you can add sufficient amount of cash to purchase day-to-day necessities and make payments for different subscription services.
Most of the contemporary digital wallets enable you to make one-click payments if you’re logged in and there is enough balance in your wallet. At the most you will get an OTP in an SMS before the payment goes through.
Sometimes digital wallets are integrated in the service itself. For example, Apple Pay allows you to pay for apps and other services being promoted through the App Store. Similarly, Google Wallet allows you to make different payments to Google services directly. So does Uber with Uber Wallet.
Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway and Dominos allow you to make payments in advance, using their digital wallets, so that by the time you arrive at the outlet, the order is ready for you.
The importance of digital wallets
In 2016, the digital wallet market was valued at around USD 594 billion. The projection for 2022 is USD 3142.17 billion (source).
Every major technology and retail company has a digital wallet. Apple has it. Samsung has it. Google has it. Walmart has it.
Then of course, there is an assortment of independent digital wallet services, for example PayTM in India that is now owned by AliBaba.com.
Paying with digital wallets is very easy. Sometimes one just has to tap an icon and the payment is made and the thing or service is purchased.
Digital wallets have enabled even smaller businesses to accept digital payments, which was not possible before these wallets.
To be able to accept digital payments from digital wallets, you don’t need a merchant account, which can be a very complex process for a small business. Also, expensive. Every credit card transaction costs a fixed amount, plus a percentage of the transaction.
You can simply open your account in your preferred digital wallet service, get yourself verified, and start getting payments.
Even roadside vendors these days accept payments from digital wallets.
Hence, if your e-commerce website or mobile app is not accepting payments from digital wallets, you are missing phenomenal business opportunities.
In fact, most of your prospective customers and clients who don’t prefer to use credit cards or net banking, are being turned away.
They want to do business with you, but they can’t, because you don’t accept digital wallet payments. Isn’t it a tragedy?
Adoption of digital wallets on your website or mobile app can double, or even triple your sales, immediately.
All those digital wallet adopters who are not able to do business with you because they either can’t use credit cards, or they don’t want to, will be suddenly able to pay you and do business with you.
Basic digital wallet transaction types may include
- Deposits — the ability to add cash to your wallet.
- Withdrawal — the ability to withdraw cash from the wallet and getting deposited into your bank account.
- Refund — the ability to carry out refunds
- Transfers — the ability to transfer money from one wallet account to another
Integrating digital wallets with your e-commerce website or mobile app
Digital wallet integration is mostly API-driven. When you decide to go with a particular digital wallet, the vendor provides you with an API and authorization and then you use those API features to integrate the digital wallet into your shopping cart.
As mentioned above, the adoption of digital wallets or accepting payments is very simple compared to allowing credit card payments or net banking payments or your website or mobile app.
Integrating digital wallets into your shopping cart or mobile app no longer remains an option. If you don’t want to turn away customers who would like to do business with you but through their digital wallets and not credits cards, integrating digital wallets is a must.
How do you choose digital wallets for your business or mobile app?
Your choice may depend on
- Transaction fee: Digital wallets are free for consumers but as a vendor, you may have to pay a small fee — this fee can be based on individual transactions or a flat fee.
- User base: How many people are actually using a particular digital wallet. For example, if you want to integrate PayTm or MobiKwik, you will need to consider the number of your customers using these digital wallet services.
- Convenience: Your digital wallet must provide total integration with your existing payment processing system or at least, you should be able to integrate it with minimum alteration. It should also be very easy for your customers to use it.
- Different payment modes: Although it depends on your business model what payment modes you want to offer to your customers and clients, a typical digital wallet should be able to handle, aside from direct payments, promotional offers, coupons, loyalty memberships, gift cards, VIP statuses, shopping lists, preferences and transaction histories.
Other factors that have an impact on your choice of the digital wallet can be
- Global payments capabilities
- Exchange rates
- Variety of payment options
- Recipient payment choice
- Developer API integration
- Tax management
Your choice may also depend on the technology available to you and your technology partner. For example, DCI provides wallet integration services from a wide selection of digital wallets.
Before deciding to go with a certain digital wallet, you will have to consider that the integration fits with your overall business strategy, the sort of customer experience that you want to give to your customers, the costs and benefits involved in the technology and security that the digital wallet uses to ensure safety and seamless integration.
Once you have decided to integrate digital wallet (or multiple digital wallets) your technology partner can help you decide which all digital wallets are the best choice for your shopping cart or the e-commerce revenue model.
Provided that you decide to go with a digital wallet that is widely used by your target customers and clients, you will see an immediate jump in your sales because suddenly, all those people who are unable to pay you, will be able to do so.