Irrespective of the business type and industry, the entire business cycle revolves around getting paid. Making money is the primary intent behind starting or running a business. But with changing times, how you accept payments from customers does make a difference.
From the age-old barter system to paying for things in cash, the business ecosystem has evolved considerably. What has not changed over the decades is the value and role of money in our lives. Now, the next big thing in the world is digital payments and the availability of various payment options.
As per statistics, the total number of digital payments in the year 2021 across India stood at 43.71 billion. It is backed by the growth in Internet users, the count of which reached the mark of 622 million in 2020 and is expected to reach 900 million by 2025.
On the demand side, consumers prefer paying vendors digitally without having to deal in cash only. Also, modern-day trade expects large payments to get settled quickly over long distances and with the least transaction cost.
If you run a business, no matter how big or small it is, you can accept digital payments via a wide range of payment options. Let’s cover them all.
What is a payment option?
In simple terms, a payment option can be defined as the way customers select to pay a merchant for goods or services.
The accepted payment options on the merchant side also depend on the type of business they run – online or brick-and-mortar store. Also, there can be multiple subcategories within different payment options. For example – in credit cards, there are cards supported by Mastercard, Visa, or RuPay.
A complete list of payment options for businesses
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Net banking
- Digital wallets
- Cash on Delivery (COD)
- Buy Now Pay Later (also known as BNPL)
Listing payment options might not be enough for many business owners to understand how to select the right ones. Let’s get into the details.
Credit cards are issued by different financial institutions (banks) to individuals to enable them to borrow funds up to a certain limit. Cardholders can use the cards to make online and offline purchases and pay the spent amount back within the stipulated period without penalties.
The pre-approved limit of credit cards is determined by the chosen bank based on his/her credit score or CIBIL. In general, the higher the score, the higher will be the card limit.
As per the growing trend of buy-now-pay-later, the credit card industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% during 2020-25, says data. Credit cards do help people in making high-value purchases easily but they also come with the risk of overspending beyond the repayment capacity.
Also known as bank cards, debit cards allow an individual to use money available in his/her bank account for different kinds of purchases. They eliminate the need to carry cash for purchases. Alternatively, consumers can also withdraw money through ATMs using these cards.
Both credit and debit cards look identical typically. However, there is a key difference between the two – debit cards allow individuals to use the money they have in their bank account(s), while credit cards help in borrowing money for a short term from the card issuer for purchases.
Also known as Internet banking or online banking, net banking is a option with which bank account holders can avail of various banking services via the Internet. They need not visit the nearest bank branch for every small and big banking needs, be it checking the account statement or balance, opening an FD account, paying utility bills, transferring money, and many others.
Some of the primary advantages of net banking are:
- Round-the-clock availability of banking services
- Convenience of paying bills and other banking transactions remotely
Once bank account holders have registered for the net banking facility, they can also use it as a payment option while making purchases online.
Unified Payment Interface, popularly known as UPI in India, is an advanced payment option that allows users to send and receive money instantly via their smartphones. It is a single platform that merges various banking features and enables real-time bank-to-bank payments using a registered mobile number, UPI ID, and PIN.
As a unique initiative taken by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and RBI, UPI has made the process of transferring money very easy. Unlike in the past, individuals do not need to remember the account number, IFSC code, or bank name of recipients to send money.
With UPI, they only need UPI ID and PIN for money transfer, thus simplifying the payment process at nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and online purchases.
Digital wallet is one of the most common payment options used in India to send and receive money. As an equivalent to a physical wallet, it is meant for both online and offline purchases. Users can add money into their digital wallets and then use it for wallet-to-wallet or wallet-to-bank transactions.
Paytm is the pioneer in bringing digital wallets to the nation and allows individuals to send and receive money online. In the Indian digital payment landscape, the payment service provider is the largest player serving millions of merchants and end-consumers.
Cash on Delivery (COD)
COD is a payment option that allows consumers to pay for goods or services at the time of delivery instead of pre-paying for the same. One of the primary reasons why customers in India rely on this payment processing option is that they get time to save till the expected delivery and make full payment.
Many merchants who want to accept cash payments primarily also rely on COD as the payment option for last-mile delivery of products or services. It also facilitates immediate payment acceptance at the merchant side.
Buy Now Pay Later
Popularly known as BNPL, Buy Now Pay Later is a short-term financing option that can be offered as a payment option to consumers to buy products/services but pay later. It also gives them the flexibility to pay for large-ticket items either in total after a certain period or in EMIs.
In general, the BNPL credit period varies from 1 to 36 months, based on the transaction amount and chosen BNPL facilitator. For merchants who want to target consumers that do not have a credit history, offering BNPL as a payment option can be a game-changer for their businesses.
Recommended Read: How to Offer Buy Now Pay Later Option to Your Customers?
Advantages of accepting online payments through various payment options
When you, as a business owner, offer a wide range of payment options to your customers, you benefit from getting paid on time and without possible hassles. Given below are some of the benefits of allowing your customers to pay you via different payment options:
- Easy to accept payments digitally
- No need to handle a large volume of cash
- Direct settlement into your bank account or linked digital wallets
- Ease of getting paid by customers for frequent and large-value transactions
- No need to stand in queues in banks to deposit or withdraw cash for use
- Ease and convenience for customers to pay you online
- Ease of accepting payments remotely using the right payment option
Things to consider while shortlisting payment options for your business
Making multiple payment options available to your customers is obviously good. Many customers do not complete the purchase because they cannot pay via their preferred payment option. But it is also possible that you offer a plethora of payment options and they still drop just the same way.
Hence, there’s a happy medium that you need to strike – select payment options that are ‘just right’ for your business. It depends on various factors like:
Preferred purchase mode of your customers
Do your customers buy from you both offline and online? Or are you only serving offline customers from the nearby areas?
Choosing the most preferred mix of payment options for your customers may be the best option if they make purchases in both ways. But if they primarily checkout online, you can choose to limit yourself on online payment options while keeping the least offline payment solutions handy.
Do you offer products or services with a one-time purchase or recurring billing model?
Then you need to factor in the need for a subscription facility to accept recurring payments. Based on the business model your customers are most familiar with, you can select payment options.
Scope of business
Having a regional or national-level business requires a specific set of payment options for operations. Besides this, if you want to lay the ground for international deals, you will also need to accept options that help accept payment in multiple currencies.
In most cases, payment options are available at a certain upfront and ongoing cost for usage. For instance, there is a monthly rental charge associated with POS machines, while there is MDR for payment gateway integration. Hence, it is important that you compare these costs and select the options accordingly.
You May Also Like to Read: All About Payment Gateway Charges in India
Join hands with Paytm for Business to start using various payment options
Before you start accepting payments via a plethora of payment processing options, you need to select the right payment solution provider. Paytm, being the largest payment enabler in the country offers a comprehensive suite of online payment options for all types of businesses.
The following table covers our payment products using which you can start accepting payments via various payment options:
|For Offline Businesses||For Online Business|
|Paytm All-In-One QR||Paytm Payment Gateway|
|Paytm Dynamic QR||Paytm Payment Links|
|Paytm All-In-One POS||Paytm Dynamic QR (for GST compliant contactless payments)|
|Paytm Smart POS||Express Payments|
How many payment options can I select for my business?
You can select as many payment options as you want, depending on their suitability for your business. Keep in mind that the right selection of these options will help you attract potential customers.
What are different online payment options?
For online businesses, the list of popular payment options includes debit cards, credit cards, net banking, digital wallets, to name a few. It is up to you to decide which of these options you would like to use for the business.
Which payment service provider should I choose to include various payment options?
You can partner with Paytm for Business for its comprehensive payment suite that enables you to accept payments online in various ways. Our payment products are fast, easy to use, and are highly useful for both in-store and online payments. Check the table above for the complete list of payment products.
Are all payment options safe?
All the payment options mentioned above are highly secure and are backed by anti-fraud technology.