If you have an ecommerce site, when was the last time your team reevaluated the payment methods you offer your customers? Given how much effort goes into creating a good ecommerce experience (we have13 volumesabout it), it’s surprising to see that at the very moment when customers are ready to pay, some aren’t given a chance, because their preferred payment method isn’t an option. In particular, crossborder ecommerce sites that sell to international users must understand their customers’ expectations and preferences around payment methods in order to get their business.

In ecommerce, analternative payment method指除了信用卡之外的任何形式的付款。它们被称为替代方法,因为在全球范围内,它们并不像信用卡那样流行或共同,这是许多国家的默认方法,多年来。在本文中,我们将介绍一些流行的替代支付方法和提示,了解如何改进选择替代支付方法的UX。

The findings and recommendations here come from research we conducted for the fourth edition of our ecommerce report oninternational purchasers。That research included participants in China, Chile, Mexico, and Spain who were asked to use international and domestic websites.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Pay with Credit Cards?

In the United States, paying with credit card is so commonplace that it’s easy to take it for granted. Around the world, however, there are different social, financial, and convenience factors that contribute to people’s payment preferences. It’s a common refrain in our line of work:没有用户的UX不是UX。If you want to grow your customer base, you’ve got to understand why some people choose alternative payment methods. Below are three common reasons why some people don’t use credit cards for online shopping:

  • 不信任银行本月itutions and credit cards。通常,由于过去的个人或国家事件,人们不信任银行和信用卡,导致消费者问题。例如,我们不信任的用户召回了朋友或家人的债务实例,必须支付不合理的费用,或努力取消不必要的信用卡。有时不当源于政府级别的失败,例如缺乏消费者保护或自由基财务控制(例如,2001年阿根廷的臭名昭着的“Corralito”,它汇总了所有银行账户一段时间)。
  • Ineligibility for banking products。In some cases, credit cards aren’t available to consumers— for example, because their income isn’t high enough or they don’t have a traditional employment contract. Young adults and low-income consumers in emerging economies are often in this situation.
  • 偏好方便,移动支付。The combination of the previous two factors with the timing of the arrival of mobile phones has led to explosive growth in mobile payments. In China, in particular, 65% of ecommerce spending in 2017 was with mobile wallets, according to a2018 report by Worldpay。Mobile digital wallets (or eWallets) like Alipay, WeChat Pay, and PayPal can be preloaded with funds or connected directly to a bank account. They save users from carrying a physical card and manually entering payment information.

Common Alternative Payment Methods

Around the globe, there are scores of payment methods people use. In ecommerce, they generally can be grouped into a few main categories. Consider which, if any, of these may appeal to your customers.

  • Bank transfer.While bank transfers used to take days and seemingly a lot of work to set up (and, in the U.S., consumers rarely if ever transfer money for casual use), online banking has improved, and transfers are fast and easy in many parts of the world. For example, in many countries in Latin America, payment via direct bank transfer is so common that friends transfer money to each other as routinely as people in the U.S. use Venmo to split a restaurant bill. In addition to several countries in Latin America, bank transfer is a common and expected way to pay in the Netherlands, India, Thailand, and Poland.

    MercadoLibre.com.mx allowed users to pay via bank transfer. Users selected their bank and made the transfer from their bank’s website.
  • Debit cards.在美国,信用卡和借记卡在线接受,只要它们由主要卡公司(签证或万事达卡)品牌。但在世界其他地方,银行区分信用卡和借记卡,因此电子商务网站要求用户指定他们将使用的卡类型。尝试在没有区分它们的网站上使用借记卡购买的用户可能会有麻烦,因为他们的本地银行将无法完成交易。
  • 移动付款应用程序。在中国,在我们研究的时候,像支付金这样的移动支付申请超过信用卡以供电子商务购买。(而且它们甚至是众所周心的购物:刚刚超过三分之一的销售点支出是2017年的移动付款应用程序)。在下面的示例中,桌面用户通过使用手机扫描a与支付宝账户登录到SASA.comQR codedisplayed on Sasa’s webpage. Once her credentials were identified, she completed the purchase from her phone.

    The Login through Alipay link led users to AliPay's website with instructions to Scan the QR code to log in
    Sasa.com: Chinese shoppers who began browsing on desktop often logged in to mobile-payment accounts, such as AliPay shown above, to complete a purchase from their phone.
  • In-person payments for online purchases.In some countries, like Mexico and Brazil, it’s common for people to make a purchase online and pay in person for it at a convenience store. A shopper in Mexico explained, “At Oxxo you pay your energy bill, your water bill, your bank, you can do everything at Oxxo. It’s part of the culture, so paying there isn’t a barrier.”
    ThePurchase Summarypage on Bestbuy.com.mx offered Oxxo and PayPal as alternative payments. Choosing Oxxo led users to a page with instructions and a barcode, which could be presented to the cashier to complete the payment. (For the sake of clarity, these screenshots were translated from the original using Google Translate.)
  • Debit cards requiring a physical device for two-factor authentication.In Chile, consumers who want to pay with their debit card must carry around a special key fob, also known as a “disconnected token” that generates one-time passwords, which users then manually input into a website’s checkout flow to complete the purchase. While secure, this method has several downsides. First, people must remember to carry their device with them at all times if they want to make a purchase. Second, the passwords time out after 30 seconds, so users must be quick to type in the password on the screen. If the password on the device changes before the user submits the payment, the user will have to resubmit the form with a new password.

    A user holds a key fob up to the temporary password field
    加拿大丰业银行智利要求用户验证每一个line purchase by entering a code from a physical key fob into a form on the bank’s website. The device generated a temporary numeric password which had to be input on the website before it reset, after about 30 seconds.

3 Ways to Improve Payment Method UX for International Purchasers

  1. Offer at least one alternative to credit cards.Ecommerce sites should always offer credit cards as a payment option, but this option should not be the only one. Allow shoppers to pay using another method, such as debit card, bank/wire transfer, eWallets (PayPal, Amazon Pay), or mobile-payment services such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Alipay, or WeChat Pay — according to what makes sense for your customers.

    In some cases, the payment method can offer a competitive advantage. For instance, the password manager 1Password only offered credit cards as a payment method, while a competitor, Dashlane, accepted PayPal in addition to credit cards. In both cases, the sites were available in 10 or more languages, so it’s clear the companies are interested in selling to international customers.
    1password.com only allowed users to pay via credit card.
    Dashlane.com allowed users to pay via credit card or PayPal, thus supporting a wider range of customers.
  2. For country-specific sites, localize your alternative payment methods.Research the payment methods common in your target countries. Then, evaluate if it’s feasible to offer them on your country-specific sites. Include only the methods that are likely to be popular with your audience.

    For example, the Walmart website offered different payment options in Brazil and the United States. In the United States, there were 8 ways to pay. But in Brazil, Walmart.com.br offered just 3 options: credit card, debit card, and bank ticket.
    在荷兰,van gogh博物馆默认提供了8条付款方式可见,包括荷兰(理想),德国(Giropay)和比利时(Bancontact)的热门付款选择。客户可以查看更多的选择ionsand see an additional 6 ways to pay. If you’re thinking 14 methods sounds like choice overload, you might be right; in many instances more is not better. However, given the museum’s status as an international attraction, it’s appropriate that this site welcomed a diverse range of payment methods.
    Book your tickets page with expanded payment options
    In addition to considering eWallets and bank transfers, it’s normal in many places around the world topay in installments(特别是对于昂贵的物品,如设备,电子产品和珠宝),并且该方法也在美国变得越来越普遍。评估是否包括支付计划方法,例如KLARNA或肯定,会吸引您的客户。
  3. 考虑与必须采取其他步骤进行购买的用户的结账体验的质量。For example, users who opt to pay in person (via Oxxo or Boleto Bancario, for example) should be able to easily access the deposit details: the site could send the information via email or text message or might present it in a printable format. Or, customers who must use an external security token should be able to go through the checkout as smoothly and quickly as possible, without any additional steps or upsell screens, to compensate for the extra work involved in using the one-time password.


If people from other countries already visit your site and make purchases, you might think it isn’t necessary to adjust your payment methods for them. But you’d be wrong. For each international customer that makes a purchase, there could be others who abandon checkout because they aren’t comfortable with any of the options available.

If your online sales are low in a particular country, conduct research and examine your analytics data to explore whether inadequate payment options could be the reason. Companies aiming to grow their international-customer base should start with the most-popular payment methods in those countries which already provide them with visitors and track the results after implementing the changes.


Worldpay. 2018. Global Payments Report 2018. Retrieved from:https://www.worldpay.com/us/insight/articles/2018-11/global-payments-report-2018