Fintech, or financial technology companies, have revolutionised many areas of our financial lives in recent years, from banking to investment to budgeting. Hundreds of new companies have sprung into life, launching mainly apps that disrupt entire financial industries, and gain millions of customers by offering solutions that simplify and improve people’s financial lives.
This is also true of making payments. It was not that long ago that to pay for items, whether online or in a retail establishment, you needed to have either a debit or credit card, and had to go through an often fiddly and time consuming process to enter your card details or add your pin etc.
In recent years however, everyone will have seen many new logos appearing on website check-out areas and shop cash-desks. No longer is it just the Visa and Mastercard logos that are prominently displayed, as a wide variety of new ways to pay are now accepted. Below are a few of the main new ways that one can pay these days.
It was only a matter of time before the technology giant found a way to enable their users to pay with their smartphones, and ApplePay launched in the USA in 2014, followed by the UK in 2016, China in 2016, and now it has become one of the world’s largest payment systems. In 2020, Applepay had over 500 million users.
For users of Android phones, GooglePay is available and works in a similar way to Applepay, and in the USA, other Applepay competitors include Venmo and Zelle.
Founded in 2005 in Sweden and entering the UK market in 2017, Klarna has taken the UK payment landscape by storm. They follow the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) concept, which allows consumers to pay a small fraction (or even none) of the cost of an item at time of purchase, then pay in several further instalments.
Zilch are a homegrown BNPL competitor of Klarna, who have started to slowly and surely gain market share and become the payment provider of choice for many UK consumers. For full Zilch reviews click here. Zilch allows the user to pay for purchases in 4 instalments, with the first instalment of 25% of the purchase price due at time of purchase, then the remaining 3 instalments due over the next 42 days.
Paypal could be described as the original fintech company, having launched way back in 1998, way before the fintech revolution took hold. Nowadays Paypal is an almost expected option in any online shop check-out, and can be found pretty much everywhere, and this success is demonstrated by the $25 billion in revenue Paypal generated in 2021.
The above are just a small fraction of the new options available, and who knows how many more innovative and convenient payment solutions will become available in the next few years. What is certain is that consumers and merchants will both benefit from this expansion of choice.