Mercator Blog

The Importance of Global Cash-based Online Payment Services
Date: November 29, 2013
Research Team
While cash may one day become insignificant consumer payment instrument, it remains right now very relevant to consumers in all corners of the globe. That said, there is a pressing need for cash-based online payment services.

Besides helping financially underserved consumers worldwide, cash-based online payment services can also help ease concerns over e-commerce payment fraud.

A 2012 survey from Eurobarometer indicated some countries are more concerned about online fraud than others. Respondents in Cyprus and the Czech Republic were the most concerned about online fraud with 70% and 68% expressing some level of mistrust, respectively. Respondents in Sweden (23%), the Netherlands (29%), and Denmark (32%) were the least concerned. The survey average was nearly 50%.

In addition to helping the unbanked and underbanked make online payments and easing online payment fraud concerns, cash-based online payment services can assist in minimizing the issue of low payment card acceptance in some markets. In countries where relatively few merchants accept payment cards, cash-based alternative online and mobile payment services can complement existing merchant establishments and grant consumers more opportunities to spend, especially online.

In Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research report, Cash-Based Online and Mobile Payment Services Around the World, we covered in depth the major drivers of demand for cash-based online payment services as well as global cash trends. We also profiled some of the leading and innovative players operating in the space including Russia-based QIWI, cashU, which operate in the Middle East and North Africa, and UK-based Ukash, among others.

While many in the payments industry have been quick to write off cash as a popular future consumer payment instrument, the fact remains cash is a significant medium in the overall payments mix and is contributing to the growth of global online and mobile payments through cash-based alternative payment services. Furthermore, cash-based online and mobile payment services may have already carved out a sustainable market niche and will continue to service consumers moving forward.

Mercator will publish an upcoming research note on cash-based online payment services, specifically in the United States.

Follow Tristan Hugo-Webb on Twitter @THugoWebb.