Online payment systems (OPS) are pretty boring to most online shoppers, who just want to be able to push a few buttons and enter a little bit of information and be done with a purchase. But from an Internet retailer’s perspective, OPS are an essential component of a successful operation. Since customers expect to get through their order without any issues, it is essential the final piece of that process, payment for their purchase, goes smoothly. If there are any problems with payment, customers are more likely to abandon their online shopping cart. Additionally, if problems occur with payment, customers are almost always going to blame the online retailer and not the company that provides the payment system.
The scale, importance and technical capabilities required for accepting online payments means that almost all online retailers must rely on another company to build and manage these systems. It is just too complicated and expensive for all but the largest companies to create their own payment systems. Because of the complexity, there are few players who offer OPS. The king is PayPal, which has been the leader for many years. They were not only among the first to offer the OPS option, the systems they designed have been extremely easy to use for both online sellers and online buyers.
It now looks like another player has entered the arena, and it will almost certainly give PayPal a run for its money (pun intended!). According to this USA Today story, Amazon is now strongly pushing it own online payment system giving online marketers an intriguing choice. The battle is now on and it will be fun to see what happens over the next few years.