The top online payment method is… the credit card?

Credit cards

Last updated on December 10th, 2021

For awhile, there’s been numerous attempts to get the general public to switch to using various electronic (and proprietary) payment systems. Of course, Paypal’s been a popular online payment method for years. Recent years have seen a spike in smartphone app-based payment methods: Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.

However, according to a recent survey by market research firm Ipsos and banking giant ING, the most popular online payment method is still an old-school one: credit cards. They make up nearly two-thirds of online payments. That’s whether credit cards are stored on a site (auto-billing, retail sites like Amazon, etc.) or manually entered. The infographic below outlines the survey’s results.

Infographic by Statista (CC BY-ND)

Despite a fair amount of advertising, payment systems like Apple’s, Google’s, and Amazon’s don’t seem to be quite as popular. Amazon Pay apparently eclipsed Apple Pay and Google Pay; however, all three combined don’t even crack double-digits as a percentage.

Why do credit cards endure online?

I have a few guesses why credit cards are still so entrenched online, at least for those answering this survey:

  • PayPal, despite its drawbacks, is entrenched, familiar, and accepted by a variety of online vendors. Additionally, everyone accepts credit cards; the same isn’t true for Google/Apple/Amazon’s systems.
  • Google, Apple, and Amazon still seem tied to their respective companies/products. I’d imagine Apple Pay is more popular among Apple device users versus, say, owners of Fire tablets.
  • Banks and credit unions offer online bill payment services, apps, etc. these days.
  • It’s easier to just enter a credit card number online, versus deal with a middleman that doesn’t deliver an obvious benefit to the average user.
  • Credit cards are a lower learning curve versus learning a new piece of software.
  • Entering a credit card will be a onetime process for either popular sites like Amazon or for those using recurring billing (utility bills, Netflix, etc.). Thus a reason stored credit cards are the largest category.

Of course, the heavier competition for Apple, Google, and Amazon-based payment services seems to be offline. That said, from an anecdotal point of view, I mainly see people still pay for purchases with credit/debit cards or cash (checks seem to be a rarity nowadays). The most I’ve seen smartphone-based payment methods used to pay for anything is at Starbucks.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

View all posts by Anthony Dean →