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Online shoppers sceptical about cryptocurrencies, as demand for pre-paid cards doubles

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Despite all the hype around Bitcoin, consumer demand for cryptocurrencies, both now and in future, is surprisingly low, as shoppers are currently seven times more likely to buy something online with a prepaid card than a volatile digital currency.

According to the new research from Intrapay, fewer than 2% of shoppers have used cryptocurrencies and a mere 6.5% wish to use it to buy items online and in future.

Meanwhile, as consumers are becoming increasingly security-savvy, demand for pre-paid cards has almost doubled, from 9% to 17% . This is because consumers want payments to give them more control of their money, as they wish to receive real-time updates on the payment status and receive help with budgeting, says the study.

“Cryptocurrencies may have enjoyed plenty of hype over the last year, but are just not viable as a mass payment method in the current market. Retailers looking to grow must understand consumers and offer the payment options that will drive loyalty, engagement and conversion,” says Koen Vanpraet, the chief executive officer of Intrapay.

“This cannot come from forcing unwanted payment methods on them: it must come from listening to retailers and their customers, meeting their needs with payment methods that truly engage the customer and add value to the business.”

The report goes on to reveal the reason why cryptocurrency remains cryptic to sceptical shoppers by pointing to a lack of control consumers feel of their money, as they wish to receive real-time updates on the payment status and receive help with budgeting.

Moreover, hidden charges is another unpleasant surprise, which lands as the second-largest for abandoning a transaction. In fact, over 50% of respondent failed to complete a purchase when faced with unexpected extra charges. Another half (50%) of survey participants revealed that in a past, they have abandoned a sale transaction after being required to enter too many details into an online checkout.

Retailers’ must reassure their clientele of safety of their payments, as 90% of consumers report that security is one of the most significant factors of the online payment experience, while four in ten demand greater convenience, with an equal number highlighting the speed of payment as one of the most important aspects.

Therefore, adhering to rather orthodox payment methods is the key to building a customer-retailer relationship based on reputable payment services. In fact, direct debit and credit cards remain the most popular of purchasing goods online. However, this doesn’t indicate that they aren’t willing to use the latest trustworthy payments including prepaid cards, bank transfers and mobile payments.

Paul Winslow, chief marketing officer at Intrapay, says: “Security versus convenience is still a significant driver in consumer behaviour online, but what our research shows is a shift to new, innovative alternatives, and greater transparency from merchants and their payment partners. ”

Photo credit: Syda Productions (Fotolia)

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