Cash moves over for e-wallets

by. Jeff Falk

A new study claims alternative payment methods, including e-wallets, mobile payments and bank transfers, are seeing growth worldwide. The study Your Global Guide to Alternative Payments by WorldPay predicts that online purchases made using alternative payment methods will increase to 59 percent by 2017.

E-wallet based payments, which totaled $295 billion in 2012, are set to rise five-fold to $1.6 trillion by 2017 and will garner a fair share of the alternative payments market.

Even so, a breakdown of the study’s numbers by country shows people worldwide still love their plastic. U.K. results show that British consumers mainly use cards to pay for goods and services (78 percent), with e-wallets the next most popular method (16.2 percent). PayPal handles 13 percent of these e-wallet transactions. In China, 44 percent of transactions are made using e-wallets, with Alipay handling the greatest market share at 30 percent of total payments.

Due to increased smartphone adoption and maturing technology, mobile payments, which stood at just $18 billion in 2012, will increase to $117 billion by 2017 the study says.

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