local payment methods

How to accept alternative payment methods

In an era where global e-commerce is expanding rapidly, understanding and integrating alternative payment methods can be a game changer for businesses aiming to tap into new markets. With each region having its unique payment preferences, tailoring your payment options can significantly impact your market reach and customer satisfaction. This guide will explore the importance of alternative and local payment methods and how to implement them effectively in your business strategy.

Why is it important to accept multiple payment methods?

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, having a vast option of payment methods is the cornerstone of success. It’s not just about completing a sale; it’s about enhancing the customer experience and building trust. Offering a variety of payment options caters to a wider audience, ensuring that customers can pay in the manner they find most convenient and secure. This adaptability can significantly increase conversion rates and foster customer loyalty.

What is local payment method?

A local payment method refers to the payment options that are widely accepted and preferred in a specific region or country. These can vary greatly across different areas, influenced by local banking infrastructures, cultural norms, and economic factors. For instance, while credit cards are popular in North America, mobile payments like PIX are a lifeline in Brazil. Understanding and offering these localized payment options can be crucial for businesses looking to establish a foothold in international markets.

Why is payment processing important?

Efficient payment processing is vital for the smooth operation of an e-commerce business. It’s the backbone that supports the transaction flow from the moment a customer adds a product to their cart to the final checkout. Effective payment processing ensures quick, secure, and hassle-free transactions. It also involves safeguarding sensitive financial information, which is paramount to maintaining customer trust and complying with global data security standards.

Why is a payment strategy important?

A well-thought-out payment strategy is important because it directly affects your business’s bottom line. It’s not just about accepting payments; it’s about optimizing the process to reduce fees, minimize fraud, and ensure a seamless customer experience. A robust payment strategy takes into account various factors like transaction costs, currency exchange rates, and the integration of multiple payment methods to cater to different customer preferences.

Which payment method is best and why?

The best payment method depends on your target market and customer preferences. In regions with a high preference for digital and mobile wallets, options like Apple Pay or Google Pay might be ideal. In contrast, markets with a reliance on bank transfers or cash payments might require a different approach. The key is to understand the local payment landscape and offer a mix of methods to cover the preferences of your target demographic.

What is the most trusted payment method?

Trust in payment methods can vary regionally, but generally, methods that offer security, convenience, and speed are highly valued. Credit cards are often trusted due to their widespread use and the security features they offer. However, in regions where digital wallets or mobile payments are prevalent, these might be considered the most trusted due to their ease of use and integrated security measures.

North America (USA and Canada)

In North America, the e-commerce landscape is diverse, with a strong preference for credit and debit cards. These offer consumers a familiar and secure way to shop online. Digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are also gaining traction due to their convenience and enhanced security features. For businesses, offering these payment methods means tapping into a broad customer base that values security and convenience.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express): Credit cards are among the most widely used payment methods in North America. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted by most merchants. These cards offer convenience, consumer protection and often come with rewards programs. They are used for both online and offline transactions.

Debit cards: Debit cards are linked directly to a user’s bank account. When a purchase is made, funds are immediately deducted from the account. They are widely accepted in stores and online and are often used for ATM transactions. Debit cards offer a level of spending control as they limit spending to the account’s available funds.

PayPal: PayPal is a widely used digital wallet and payment system that allows users to make online transactions securely. It’s commonly used for online shopping, peer-to-peer payments, and  online businesses. PayPal accounts can be linked to bank accounts, credit cards, or debit cards for easy funding and payments.

Apple Pay, Google Pay: Apple Pay and Google Pay are mobile payment and digital wallet services that allow users to make payments in person, in iOS and Android apps, and on the web. They are known for their convenience and enhanced security features, like two-factor authentication and tokenization of card details.

Bank transfers (ACH in the USA, EFT in Canada): Automated Clearing House (ACH) in the USA and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in Canada are methods used to transfer money from one bank account to another. ACH is often used for direct deposit of paychecks and recurring bill payments, while EFT includes various types of electronic transfers in Canada, such as Interac e-Transfers, which are popular for peer-to-peer payments.

Cheques: Despite the rise of digital payment methods, cheques are still used in North America, particularly for business transactions, rent payments, and by individuals who prefer traditional banking methods. They involve writing and signing a paper cheque that directs a bank to pay a specific amount from the chequewriter’s account to the payee.

Each of these payment methods caters to different needs and preferences of consumers in North America, ranging from traditional methods like cheques to modern digital solutions like mobile wallets. Their widespread acceptance and integration into various financial systems make them crucial components of the North American payment landscape.


A mix of traditional and innovative payment methods characterizes Europe’s e-commerce market. Credit cards remain popular, but local payment methods like SEPA bank transfers and digital wallets (e.g., Klarna and Sofort) are indispensable for catering to local preferences. Integrating these methods can help businesses gain a competitive edge in the European market.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express): In European e-commerce, credit cards are a fundamental payment option. They offer ease of use, security, and are widely accepted for online purchases. E-commerce sites in Europe utilize secure processing with strong customer authentication, aligning with the PSD2 regulations for enhanced security.

SEPA Bank transfers: The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) facilitates bank transfers in Euros across European countries. SEPA bank transfers are a popular choice for e-commerce payments, particularly for larger transactions or within the B2B sector. They offer a standardized, secure, and efficient way of direct bank-to-bank transfers.

PayPal: PayPal is prevalent in European e-commerce due to its convenience and strong security measures. It allows customers to pay without directly sharing card or bank details with merchants. PayPal’s buyer protection program is a significant trust factor for consumers making online purchases.

Local payment wallets (e.g., Klarna, Sofort in Germany): Various European countries have popular local payment wallets or systems. For example, Klarna and Sofort in Germany offer direct payments and installment-based purchases, which are widely accepted by e-commerce platforms. These methods cater to local preferences and often provide additional payment flexibility.

Apple Pay, Google Pay: These digital wallets are increasingly popular for e-commerce in Europe, offering a quick and secure way to pay online. They are particularly favored for mobile commerce due to their integration into smartphones, providing a seamless and swift checkout experience.

Contactless payments (NFC-based): Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, used in contactless payments, is also making its way into e-commerce, particularly in mobile transactions. This method allows for fast and secure payments with a simple tap or hover of a smartphone over a payment terminal, aligning with the growing trend of mobile shopping.

European e-commerce payment methods reflect a mix of traditional and modern preferences, emphasizing security, convenience, and adherence to regional regulations. The diversity of payment options aligns with the varied financial infrastructure and consumer habits across different European countries. E-commerce platforms in Europe often integrate multiple payment methods to cater to the wide range of customer preferences and ensure a smooth online shopping experience.

local payment methods


Asia’s e-commerce is booming, with local payment methods like Alipay and WeChat Pay dominating regions like China. Credit cards are widely used, but the real game-changer has been the rise of mobile wallets and QR code payments. These methods reflect the region’s rapid technological advancement and consumer preference for mobile-first solutions.

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard): Credit cards are a standard payment method for online purchases in Asia, especially in more developed markets. E-commerce platforms ensure secure transactions with fraud protection mechanisms

Local payment methods like Alipay and WeChat Pay in China: In countries like China, local payment solutions like Alipay and WeChat Pay dominate the e-commerce landscape. They offer mobile payment solutions that are deeply integrated into consumers’ daily lives, providing convenience and widespread acceptance.

Bank transfers: Direct bank transfers are a common e-commerce payment method in several Asian countries, especially for larger transactions. Some countries have specific bank transfer systems that are widely used for online shopping.

Mobile wallets (Paytm in India, GoPay in Indonesia): Mobile wallets are increasingly popular for e-commerce transactions in many Asian markets. They provide a quick and easy payment method, often with added benefits like cashback offers and promotional discounts.

QR code payments: QR code payments have gained significant popularity in Asia. Consumers can make payments by scanning a QR code at the checkout page of an e-commerce site, which is convenient and reduces the need to enter payment details manually.

South America

Credit cards are widely used in South America, but local payment methods like Boleto and PIX hold significant importance in Brazil. Digital wallets are also gaining popularity, offering secure and convenient payment options. Businesses looking to expand in South America should consider these local preferences to connect with the market effectively.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, local brands like Elo in Brazil): Credit cards are widely used in South American e-commerce, with regional variations in preferred brands. They are essential for cross-border transactions and are supported by most online retailers.

Boleto and PIX in Brazil: This is a unique payment method in Brazil where customers can pay offline for their online purchases. It’s a widely accepted method in Brazilian e-commerce, catering to those without bank accounts or credit cards.

Within the Brazilian instant payment (IP) ecosystem, the Brazilian Central Banks created Pix, the Brazilian IP scheme that enables its users — people, companies and governmental entities — to send or receive payment transfers in few seconds at any time, including non-business days.

Bank transfers: Direct bank transfers are used in South America, with some countries having specific systems designed for e-commerce transactions. They are seen as a secure way to transfer funds.

Digital wallets (Mercado Pago, PicPay): Digital wallets like Mercado Pago and PicPay are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and the added security they offer for online transactions.


Africa presents a unique e-commerce landscape with a heavy reliance on mobile money services like M-Pesa. While credit cards are used, the real focus for businesses should be on integrating mobile payment solutions that cater to a largely unbanked population.

Mobile money services (M-Pesa in Kenya, MTN Mobile Money):  Mobile money is a dominant e-commerce payment method in many African countries. Services like M-Pesa allow users to store and transfer funds using their mobile phones,which is crucial in regions with limited banking infrastructure.

Credit cards (mainly Visa and MasterCard) are used in African e-commerce, primarily in more urbanized and developed areas. They are often used for transactions with international e-commerce sites.

Bank transfers: Bank transfers are a common payment method for online purchases, particularly in countries with more developed banking systems.

Cash payments: In many areas, cash on delivery remains a significant method for e-commerce transactions, catering to those who prefer not to use digital payment methods.

Australia and New Zealand

Credit cards and PayPal dominate the e-commerce sector in Australia and New Zealand. However, local payment methods like POLi Payments in Australia are also significant. Offering these alongside traditional methods can enhance customer experience and market reach.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard): Credit cards are the cornerstone of e-commerce transactions in Australia and New Zealand, offering convenience and security with widespread acceptance.

PayPal: PayPal is a popular choice for online shopping, providing a secure way to pay without sharing card details with merchants.

POLi payments (Australia): POLi is an online payment method that allows customers to pay directly from their bank account. It’s widely used in Australian e-commerce for its ease of use and security.

Bank transfers: Bank transfers are commonly used, especially for larger transactions or in B2B e-commerce.

Apple Pay, Google Pay: Digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for mobile commerce, due to their seamless integration and quick payment processing.

Middle East

The Middle East’s e-commerce market is a blend of modern and traditional, with credit cards and cash on delivery both playing significant roles. Understanding this duality is key for businesses aiming to make inroads in this region.

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard): Credit cards are a primary payment method in Middle Eastern e-commerce, with high penetration in more developed areas.

Cash on delivery (COD): COD is still popular in many Middle Eastern countries, especially where consumers are less inclined to share financial information online.

Bank transfers: Bank transfers are used, but their prevalence varies by country. They are often seen as a secure way to conduct online transactions.

Local digital wallets and payment apps: The rise of local digital wallets and payment apps is evident, offering convenient and secure payment solutions tailored to the local market.

Each region has its unique set of preferred e-commerce payment methods, shaped by local financial infrastructures, consumer habits, and technological advancements. This diversity necessitates that e-commerce platforms.

Closing Thoughts

Navigating the diverse world of local payment methods can be a complex but rewarding journey for any business aiming to expand its global footprint. By understanding and integrating the preferred payment methods of each region, businesses not only enhance the customer experience but also establish a sense of trust and familiarity with their brand.

If you’re looking to streamline your payment processes and effectively integrate diverse local payment methods into your e-commerce strategy, consider reaching out to experts in the field. Contact Gr4vy today to explore how their payment orchestration platform can simplify and optimize your payment systems, ensuring you stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce. With Gr4vy, you can effortlessly adapt to regional payment preferences, manage multiple payment methods, and keep your focus on growing your business globally.

Remember, in the world of e-commerce, the right payment strategy is not just about processing transactions; it’s about creating connections and building lasting relationships with customers worldwide.