Types of Payment Methods Online

Founders work on their business model with a lot of passion and creative ideas. Quite a few of them also open an online shop at the same time or at least have to ensure in some way that they can also sell their goods and services via the Internet. Sooner or later, the question arises as to which payment options one would like to offer at all, which of them are primarily requested or even expected by the clientele and how complicated it is to process them afterwards. It may also be unclear whether a newcomer can integrate any system into his website without any problems or whether certain requirements have to be met.

The fact is that the digital possibilities are becoming more and more diverse to ensure money transfers from A to B. And thus new providers come onto the market who benefit from the great demand in e-commerce. Not all of them are necessarily as serious as they might appear. It is therefore advisable to focus on proven payment methods and do thorough research.

In addition to options that can be used universally anywhere, such as credit card debiting or payment via PayPal, there are already industry-specific options. For example, Paysafecard , which has proven itself in gaming as well as in the entire entertainment and social media sector, is often used in online casinos . It enables quick processing without an account or credit card. For other areas of application, however, there may be other solutions.

We highlight the most common payment methods and their special features.

Why are the payment methods so important?

Especially if you are new to the business and first have to laboriously build up a customer base and create trust, you want to do everything right as possible so as not to fail with your project. This also includes conveying from the outset that you are reliable, that you handle sensitive data safely and that you treat them fairly. Ultimately, with your e-commerce idea, you will probably only be one of the toughest competitors. To stand out positively is therefore always the top priority.

Today’s buyers are spoiled, however, and have become quite comfortable as a result. Everything should be resolved with just a few clicks, without the process creating any further effort. So the easier you make it for your audience to make a payment, the sooner they’ll be ready to take that step. And the more extensive the selection of different options, the more flexibility and self-determination you give your customers. After all, not everyone automatically has a PayPal account or online banking access.

If you can also have test seals or security certificates, that speaks for you and your serious business conduct, so that the customer does not even have any doubts as to whether he is dealing with a trustworthy company.

Popular payment options compared

The following ways have proven their worth and have already become standard methods in online business.


Nowadays, a lot of processes are done online with the help of an instant transfer. An intermediary provider such as Klarna establishes the secure connection to the customer’s online banking. Since the payment process must then be completed using the banking app, the likelihood of fraud is extremely low. And as a dealer, you can get your money straight away.


Master and VISA credit cards are not only widely accepted in e-commerce, they are also becoming increasingly popular for shopping in the supermarket or restaurant so that you do not have to carry large sums of cash with you. Due to the international spread, credit card payments make it very easy for your customers from abroad to make a purchase. However, certain security measures against data theft are required.


Almost 70 percent of Germans prefer the service provider PayPal to make their online purchases. This makes it the undisputed most popular digital payment method. For you as a seller, there are fees of around 2 percent as well as a small service fee per process. Depending on the world of goods, this is usually easy to cope with. The advantages are obvious: Payment is fast and PayPal reliably protects you against payment default. Unfortunately, it is not protected against hacker attacks and the storage of the data is also a concern of some critics.


Purchase on account is still popular. Because the goods are ready for dispatch immediately and arrive at their destination quickly, without the customer taking any risk. As a provider, on the other hand, you first make an advance payment and may have to run after your money with annoying reminders. However, there are special providers who can protect you against missing payment from the customer.


If the risk of the entire transaction is to be outsourced to third parties, companies such as Skrill are ideal. They guarantee very quick processing and are therefore ideal for digital goods such as selling your own eBooks or download files that are subject to a fee.


In their own newsletter or advertising partners communicated these codes usually account for only a portion of the value of the goods, must be used so that yet another method of payment for the remaining balance. The billing takes place directly in the shopping cart. For example, you can use a discount code to reward the initial registration in your online shop or successful referrals, which improves customer loyalty.

If you sell your own gift vouchers, the redemption conditions must be realistic and clear. The money is already safe for you, even if the voucher is not redeemed for whatever reason. It is also about generating more traffic on your site in this way, which experience has shown works quite well.


SEPA direct debit schemes are still used, but they involve too much administrative effort. Prepayment and cash on delivery are rarely used anymore because the whole process is slowed down and made more difficult. On the other hand, Amazon Pay is becoming more and more fashionable, with payment being made via the customer’s Amazon account.

What else to look out for

For the best possible data encryption, your website should be secured with an SSL certificate that you can set up when you create the domain. A lock symbol appears to the customer in the browser line. A Trusted Shops seal can also serve as a figurehead. This is already provided for in many modular systems for online shops.

In addition to the payment methods, the user-friendliness of your website also plays a decisive role. Anyone who runs their own small shop at the same time as an online business is faced with another challenge. Namely, to record and settle the cash and card payments on site with the help of a suitable cash register system .

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