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Alternative Payments to dominate e-commerce

14 May 2012 - 10:25 by Graham Miller

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Alternative Payments (AP) are becoming far more prevalent in the world of safe shopping online, with a new study from Worldpay suggesting that in three years time, the use of credit cards will represent less than half of all e-commerce transactions.

AP covers a variety of technologies, from straightforward online bank transfers and established services like PayPal, to newer NFC (near filed communication) services and digital wallets integrated into smartphones.

At the moment, just under a quarter of all online transactions are made by AP, but by 2015, it is anticipated that this will be the dominant form of e-commerce payment.

2015 will also be a landmark year for the total value of the global e-commerce market, which is expected to be worth over a trillion pounds, almost double the £605 billion it is worth today.

The UK's market for safe shopping online is so strong that it accounts for over a sixth of the global total at the moment. While its overall market share will shrink as emerging nations like China and India begin to seriously adopt e-commerce, it looks likely that Britain will remain a proving ground for e-commerce technologies in the west.

AP is particularly popular in places like Russia because traditional credit cards are far less common, which makes things like mobile and digital payments more attractive.

The result is that e-commerce companies are being advised to diversify the types of payments which they accept, in order to allow for the blossoming of the AP market.

This is likely to change the shape of e-commerce in the UK as well as overseas, so that the type of online shopping that is carried out in 2012, will look quite different from what is going to be available just three years further down the line.