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The rise of eCash: Why more consumers are using cash online

August 17, 2023

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Megan Megan Oxman, Interim President Digital Wallets at Paysafe
Megan Oxman, Interim President Digital Wallets at Paysafe

Here’s how using cash online helps customers take control as they manage online security concerns and economic uncertainty. According to our Lost in Transaction 2023 payment trends research report, the number of consumers using cash online is growing, and quickly.

By Megan Oxman, Interim President Digital Wallets at Paysafe

In fact, eCash, which enables consumers to generate a barcode and pay offline at a conveniently-located store, is more popular than at any other point since our Lost In Transaction research series began in 2017.

Now, 31% of people who used cash online in the previous year are paying with it more often than they did 12 months ago. So what’s driving this growth, and how can businesses help customers embrace this increasingly popular payment method?

How popular is eCash?

Overall, 30% of respondents who used eCash in the past year say it’s their preferred way to pay online. This makes it the fifth most popular online payment method after debit cards, credit cards, digital wallets such as Skrill or NETELLER, and credit cards stored in Apple Pay, Google Pay or a similar mobile wallet.

And many of those who use cash online, rely upon it: 23% of respondents who say eCash is their preferred payment method would abandon their cart if they can’t pay with it. Put simply: businesses may lose customers if they don’t provide this payment method.

Why are consumers using cash online?

The greatest drivers in the growth of using cash online are the rising cost-of-living and concerns about online security. In times of economic uncertainty, consumers often turn to cash to help them exercise more control on their spending and stick to a budget.

With eCash becoming more widely available as purse-strings tighten, it’s no surprise that consumers would take the opportunity to take this money-saving technique digital. Now, more consumers are using cash online to control online spending just as they use physical cash to manage their outlay in stores.

It’s telling that, while eCash usage has increased across the board, the spike has been greatest among respondents who changed payment habits due to the cost-of-living crisis, with 60% using eCash more often. The budgetary benefits of using cash online are not to be underestimated.

eCash offers a secure online payment alternative

Our research also found consumers view eCash as a more secure online payment option, particularly when it comes to online video gaming and iGaming. Almost half (49%) of respondents who pay for online gaming told us cash-based methods are the safest way to make online purchases.

As to why this is the case, eCash payments don’t require consumers to share any financial details online — a key concern about ecommerce, with 52% of respondents explaining that they don’t feel comfortable sharing financial details online.

eCash and the bottom line

Businesses should be looking to incorporate a number of different payment methods to cater for consumers’ needs, and eCash can be fundamental to satisfying both budgetary concerns and settling nerves around security.

The right payment platform can enable businesses to do this – helping to meet customers’ needs by allowing them to take control of their spending and their personal data.

To learn more about why a growing number of consumers are using cash online, check out our Lost in Transaction 2023 report.

As to why this is the case, eCash payments don’t require consumers to share any financial details online — a key concern about ecommerce, with 52% of respondents explaining that they don’t feel comfortable sharing financial details online.

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