FinTech is Shopping for New Ways into E-Commerce
By Nicolas Marchese
With the dynastical rise of such e-commerce giants as Amazon and Alibaba, there is no question that e-commerce is the inevitable future for both merchants and consumers. As a result, financial technology has plenty of opportunity to revolutionize an emerging space and create new revenue streams for online businesses.
When looking at how fintech has already affected online shopping, the simple observation is the increase in efficiency. E-wallets, peer-to-peer payments, and in-app purchasing have created easy to use and secure means for consumers to pay. This convenience has also incentivized consumers to use enterprise-specific services, such as the Starbucks app and its currently lagging competitors in Silicon Valley (e.g. Apple Pay).
The next most anticipated improvements will be in customer acquisition overseas, as cross-border payments are made less difficult with new services.
Businesses, especially those in e-commerce, have plenty of incentives to conduct themselves overseas. However, in the world of online shopping, payments create serious challenges without the help of new services that increase the breadth of payment possibilities for international consumers.
One company, BlueSnap, boasts global payments in 100 local currencies and over 110 trusted payment types. This reduces buying friction, which is a blanket term for any difficulty that causes a shopper to abandon their cart. The ability to reach more consumers with various payment methods across the globe is what makes such firms as BlueSnap, Strike, and several others essential to the future of e-commerce. By offering comprehensive services to merchants that allow them to accept currency, existing businesses will thrive and new ones will emerge.
In addition to improvements in conventional currency, IBM has developed a new blockchain platform that will allow for payments to be cleared and settled at greater speeds throughout the world. The corporate giant partnered with non-profit blockchain organization Stellar and currency exchange service KlickEx to develop the platform.
Speaking to the theme of efficiency, this blockchain technology that operates on a dispersed network will allow banking to occur in real-time, even in remote areas. This, much like other payments innovations, will improve the costly, laborious and error-prone process of accepting global payments as a corporation.
The emergence of innovative payment platforms is largely credible to fin-tech firms. It is with the help of such pioneers to the industry that e-commerce will be continue as a behemoth in retail for both convenience and efficiency.