With the rise of technology, customers have maximized the potential of online payment systems. Over the past several years, it’s become the dominant payment method for customers.
But that still hasn’t stopped people from using traditional payment methods, also known as offline. As they say, old habits die hard.
As a business, you have to decide which method is best for you: online, offline or both? This guide helps break down the pros and cons of each option and how you can approach it.
The Complete Breakdown of Online & Offline Payments
Here are the differences between the two…
What is an Online Payment?
Offline payments refer to payments that are made online, via the internet. This includes the likes of e-transfer, Interac transfers, credit and debit cards payments. In many cases, you will either have to submit payment details, “tap or swipe” your card, or send money to an email address or phone number.
Even though payments are entered into an online system, they are not processed in real-time. It could take a few days for your bank to recognize the update.
- Quick, simple and effective. You can easily make payments online, sending large sums of money with a few clicks of a keyboard, mobile phone or app.
- Plenty of electronic payments are available, including e-transfer, Interac transfers, credit and debit cards payments.
- Easy to keep track of all payments for both the payer and payee. This also helps reduce the potential of payment fraud.
- Can streamline accounting and payments as all records are kept.
- Advanced technological and systems mean that payments are secure and safe. Password protection and specific detail submissions add another level of security.
- You can make payments across the world without dealing with currency differences.
- The potential for online fraud and theft is possible.
- You will require a stable internet connection to ensure payments are made.
- There can be issues with the payment gateway, which can deter or cause issues with payments.
What is an Offline Payment?
Offline payments are exactly how they sound like: they’re not electronic payments. Merchants and customers can keep track of payments made by cash, cheques, bank transfers and any other non-electronic payments. These are considered traditional payment methods.
- Being a traditional form of payment (aka. Used by financial institutions such as banks) means that payments are more trusted.
- Payments are transparent, as both the payee and the payer are certain of the transaction that occurred.
- Payments are direct with no and are considered more secure. This is because it does not rely on the internet or payment gateways.
- There is a limitation in what can be paid for and how when it comes to offline methods. You can’t make overseas payments for one thing.
- It takes longer for the money to be received. Buyers and sellers will have to check and recheck their accounts to confirm payments.
What’s Better for Your Business?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. It ultimately depends on how your business operates and the options you wish to provide to your customers.
In many cases, it’s best to offer various payment options, so your customers can have full control over how they want to pay. Offering both online and offline options can offer your customers the best of both worlds, particularly if you run and operate a brick-and-mortar business. If your business is strictly online, then online payments are the best option for you.
The best course of action is to assess your current payment methods and improve them. If you are using traditional methods, find ways to improve processes. If you’re maximizing the online potential, seeking and adopting advanced business payment solutions can enhance your business’ operations and management.
Whether you’re a local cafe selling sandwiches or a corporation offering marketing services, it’s imperative that you provide your customers with easy and simple payment methods.