Missed out the top stories in payments and eCommerce published last week in the media? Here is a summary of the main developments.

Google’s first retail store

Google has revealed plans to open its first permanent retail store in Chicago. “Now that the company has been making a big push into first-party hardware for a few years, it makes sense that it would want to start selling those devices in retail locations”, as Digital Trends reports.

The range of hardware offerings would include devices such as Chromebooks, Pixel smartphones, Google Home speakers, Nest home devices and Daydream VR headsets. Through this initiative, Google follows in the footsteps of other tech giants, including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – all of them having already their own retail stores.

Samsung Pay reaches 1.3 billion transaction milestone

Three years after the official launch, Samsung`s mobile payment service has now surpassed over 1.3 billion transactions globally.

With the rollout of Samsung Pay into Africa, the consumer electronics group now boosts a geographical presence in 6 continents and 24 markets worldwide. In addition, the group now has 2000 banking partners onboard, offering localized services which include online payments in 15 countries, transit payments in five markets, loyalty and membership cards in 20 territories and ATM transactions in five.

Recent industry investments

  • Walmart invests USD 16 bilion in Indian online retail store

In a move to accelerate its Flipkart business, US retail giant Walmart has invested USD 16 billion into the Indian eCommerce retail platform, as Innovation Enterprise reports. The investment positions Walmart as Flipkart’s main shareholder with nearly 77% in shares.

Flipkart is an online retailer of fashion and sports products, electronics, home appliances and books. Launched in 2007, the platform has 100 million registered users, with 100,000 sellers and 8 million shipments per month. As financial services firm Morgan Stanley predicts, Flipkart is expected to reach a gross merchandise value of USD 200 billion by 2026.

  • Visa announces investment in Japan’s Paidy

As the world moves beyond plastic and towards digital, Visa is constantly working to develop and support new payment methods. Most recently, the card network announced an investment in Paidy, an instantly-issued post-pay credit provider. The companies have joined forces to develop new digital payment experiences that will give Japanese consumers more options when buying online and in-store.

Paidy is a Japanese instantly-issued post-pay credit service for eCommerce consumers. Paidy consumers purchase products online using a mobile phone number and email address (verification is established though a four-digit code sent via SMS) and settle all their purchases in a single monthly bill.

Online shoppers’ payment preferences around the world

Industry experts have been vocal about the growing popularity of alternative (non-credit card) payments, which has resulted in an increasing perception that there is a ready market among merchants and consumers for alternative options.

A recent study released by yStats.com, a market research company, indicates that credit cards still represent the leading online payment method across the world. However, in recent years, e-Wallets such as PayPal have shown high potential to overtake traditional credit cards.

Thus, online shoppers’ payment preferences vary highly among different regions, as follows:

  • In Asia-Pacific, digital wallets are the leading payment method used for the purchase of online products and services. Thanks to China, digital wallets represent almost a 50% share among other digital payment methods such as bank cards or bank transfers. Notably, Asia-Pacific ranked as the world’s leader in mobile payment adoption in 2017.
  • Europeans have high interest in a wide range of payment options. According to yStats.com, in 2017 payment bank cards and PayPal were the top popular methods for online purchases. However, consumers in Germany, Austria or Switzerland along with traditional online payment methods prefer paying with an invoice that they receive in a parcel with the delivered goods or by an email.
  • In the Middle East and Africa, cash-on-delivery is among the leading online payment methods
  • North and Latin America present similar online payment patterns. Credit card is the preferred payment choice in the US, Canada and Latin American countries. Also, consumers in both regions appreciate the security of traditional payment options.

The online channel is continuing to grow in its importance to e-shoppers. But changing the attitudes of card-centric consumers online is very difficult. The fact that consumers are already accustomed to using credit cards and the existence of already-established networks of retailers who accept credit cards for payment online are undeniable advantages. But whether the usage of alternative options will mean the erosion of card usage (or the other way round), remains to be seen.

Interested in other recent industry developments? Here are some similar relevant international news stories published on our blog:

Weekly News Roundup: Focus on Asia-Pacific

The Fintech Industry in Numbers

The Starbucks Experience, New Challenger Banks and More

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