How Covid-19 is shaping the online payments industry

 

 

Covid-19 is impacting every area of society and commerce. We’re changing the way we work, spend, and do business. Every industry is being affected. Crucially, some of the changes made now will remain long after the pandemic has ended. The online payments industry is one sector where the impact is being felt more than others.

 

Less cash is more

Already, we’re seeing less use of cash for financial transactions and the greater adoption of digital technologies for even the smallest payments. Across Europe, countries are increasing the amount allowed for contactless payments. Without doubt, this habit is one that will continue after the current crisis ends. Even before the pandemic, the frequency of digital payments was rising year-on-year, as cash payments fell. More payments than ever are made using cards, contactless technology, smartphones and other devices.

Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of these transactions – not just because people are staying at home (although this is another factor we’ll look at in the next section), but because it’s a safer form of payment requiring less physical interaction and less risk of contagion.

 

Digital checkout sales are growing

One of the main reasons cash use has halved in the UK is as a result of the lockdown. Many retailers have locked their doors, but many too have begun selling exclusively online – some, for the first time. Online payments and e-transactions are surging as more people shop online for essentials that they previously bought in physical stores.

All this is happening despite a complete fall off in hotel and flight bookings, most of which are, today, purchased via online transactions. When travel does begin again, this will be an added stream of online payments. Meanwhile, most refunds for cancelled bookings will have to be made online.

State authorities are helping by actively encouraging online shopping. In turn, this is giving a welcome boost to the Internet of Things (IoT). The more people use these technologies, the more they’re likely to keep the habit, especially when it comes to essentials such as groceries. After all, online payments are even safer than contactless payments; they don’t require touchpoints.

 

Online payments are becoming more versatile

The way online payments are made is evolving faster because of the pandemic. As customers are more willing to use new online payment systems, traditional banking transactions and recurring card payments are being replaced by solutions that offer more versatility to customers and businesses alike. These new payment systems come with added tools for greater control over functionality and service offerings, as well as offering useful dashboard and reporting features for businesses.

 

More security, less fraud

Unfortunately, crises such as Covid-19 create opportunities for criminals. Online payment systems are already much more secure than physical payments and that security is improving all the time. New technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning can make a big difference to identifying potential fraud and preventing it before it happens. As a result of the pandemic, these new solutions are already being fast-tracked to make online payment systems safer and more attractive to customers and businesses.

 

Customer behaviour will drive the online payment industry

Ultimately, it will be the customer that will drive the growth of online payment sector. As businesses see customers making more online payments, the best will want to make those payments as easy as possible for customers. Traditional payment providers will have to fast track their own efforts to keep up.

Astute business owners and entrepreneurs know that the technology is already there with the likes of KoalaPays. Those that integrate those solutions into their payment systems will benefit most, now and in the years to come.

All of these developments in the online payment industry are making it easier to buy, sell and do business. And because of the increased uptake, companies are realising the benefits in terms of quicker transactions, lower fees, greater security and more flexible collection options.

The pandemic has inevitably meant a huge rise in online and digital payments, but this is not a temporary thing. This is one that is set to continue well into the future. Businesses that do not adapt, evolve and invest in digital payment solutions will be left behind. Those that do, will thrive. After all, it will be online payment industry and the technology behind it that will drive the recovery in the aftermath of this pandemic.

Cash is no longer king. Online payments are here to stay.

Cryptocurrency – everything you need to know

 

 

Cryptocurrency has garnered a lot of attention since its conception. It has its shares of ups and downs but is still going strong. New cryptocurrencies emerge every day and are catching people’s attention. For the beginners to the crypto-trading world, going in with information is imperative.

 

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is defined as an internet-based medium of exchange using crypto-graphical functions for financial transactions. This is an alternate to the tangible currency that is not being carried around. It is a digital asset that can be easily transferred. It is exchanged between two parties using private and public keys that allow access to the cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency does not rely on banks for exchange of the digital asset – the processing is instead completed over blockchain networks. They are designed to be decentralised so the transactions are only processed once confirmed.

 

The origin

There were several attempts to make a digital currency but they did not reach completion or did not gain popularity. The first cryptocurrency to reach a significant height of success was Bitcoin. It was launched in 2009 by an unknown entity only known as Satoshi Nakamoto. In the same year, the software was made public through a white paper letting people mine bitcoin themselves. It was seen as a novelty when it was released but managed to be established as an actual currency by 2010. Since then numerous currencies have been made. The value of these currencies including bitcoin varies. Bitcoin at its most successful was priced at $20,000 and currently averages at $7,000.

 

How to acquire it?

Cryptocurrency can be acquired through several methods such as mining it or outright buying it. Different places can allow an interested party to find cryptocurrencies. These places include cryptocurrency software, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency ATMs, and cryptocurrency P2P. The place that is right for you depends on several factors. For example, if the currency you are interested to acquire can be done so using fiat currency or can only be acquired through exchange of another crypto; what is the amount you are willing to pay for it and how much time you have are another two factors that impact the process of finding cryptocurrencies.

Before deciding to enter into the crypto-trading world you need to decide whether you’ll acquire the cryptocurrency through mining – a time, resource and energy-intensive method or through buying it.

 

How to Mine Cryptocurrency

Mining the cryptocurrency is arguably the most difficult way of getting them. It is stated for the crypto-enthusiasts. This is because the mining process is time-consuming, requires resources and a large amount of energy. If you are looking to go the route of mining the cryptocurrency, maintain realistic expectations. Also, it is likely that even with so many efforts it may not result in much. Moreover, the costs of mining software and hardware along with the consistent adapting and updating will add up quickly. The energy needed will also do some substantial damage to your electricity bill.

Miners generally join in a pool with other miners so the cryptocurrency can be mined in less time. One computer cannot mine much at a single time. The cryptocurrency is mined through solving mathematical equations and is awarded at successful completion. With more people mining together there are better chances of mining significantly more. The mined cryptocurrency is then shared among the people involved.

 

How to Buy Cryptocurrency?

Mining is a strenuous process and not everyone is capable of spending the time and money required for it. They also may not have the capability of solving the complex mathematical equations needed to mine the cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency in its early period could only be mined. Now it can be purchased in various ways.

The most common way to buy cryptocurrency is through a cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange platforms allow trading and purchasing cryptocurrency. Some cryptocurrencies can be bought for fiat currency, however, others can only be obtained if another currency like bitcoin is exchanged for them.

 

Bitcoin and other popular Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin was one of the first successful cryptocurrencies and still the most notable. Many people who do not have information on cryptocurrency associate it with bitcoin. Other coins are referred to as altcoins with the most famous ones being Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and so forth. Ethereum comes after bitcoin in popularity. It differs from bitcoin because it attempts at disrupting data storage instead of being a currency and disrupting banks like bitcoin. Ripple helps financial institutions because of its ability to be used in the middle of a transaction of fiat currencies which will minimise the liquidity. Litecoin’s speed in transactions is similar to bitcoins.

 

E-Wallets

E-Wallets or cryptocurrency wallets are the public or private key needed to buy the cryptocurrency and store it. The digital key will confirm the exchange and transaction and link the trader to the block chain network.

Just as there are several cryptocurrencies there are also several choices in digital wallets. The main factor behind deciding on the wallet is the consideration whether your choice of cryptocurrency is compatible with it. They include paper wallets and hardware wallets. The latter can be connected with the computer for purchases and then stored offline. Paper wallets will have public and private keys on paper and will not connect online.

Get in touch with our representative here to find out about the digital wallet solutions we offer.

A guide to making international money transfers

 

 

 

Making overseas payments used to be complicated and costly. Even now, banks, building societies, post offices and the use of international money orders can be expensive and inefficient when it comes to making international money transfers.

New technology has changed all that. There are now many online international money transfer service providers, but most tend to be designed for individuals sending money, rather than companies looking to do business internationally.

Finding the best one for your business needs can be a minefield. Here’s what to consider when it comes to finding the right international money transfer service for your business.

 

Keeping costs down

Every business has to keep their costs low to succeed. And if you need to make a lot of overseas payments, fees can add up very quickly. Most service providers charge a transfer fee, either in the form of a fixed fee or a percentage of the amount being transferred. Depending on the number and value of the payments you make or receive, you’ll want a provider that can offer the best value for your business.

With some providers, charges may not end with the transfer fee either. Most international transfers require a Foreign Exchange (FX) transaction. Other international payment providers make their money through a large spread between the buy and sell rates. The difference can be significant between one service provider and another. On top of all this, your own bank, or the receiving bank, may charge a fee for funding/receiving the transfer.

All these fees can put customers off completely when it comes to buying from you, so it’s hugely important to make sure you use a service that keeps costs low for you, as well as your customers.

 

Functionality that meets your needs

Depending on your reasons for making or receiving international money transfers, it could be useful to have certain features or functionality built in. For instance, if you’re a business that’s taking a lot of payments from overseas, keeping the process as simple as possible for your customers could make a difference to the amount of business you do.

Speed of transfer and delivery methods can all influence whether a customer chooses you or one of your competitors. This is why, at KoalaPays, we’ve tailored our service to give you the widest choice of instant payment methods, including digital wallets, SWIFT transfers and SEPA transfers – in more than 20 currencies worldwide. We also offer dedicated bank accounts to make funding and receiving payments as efficient as possible.

Having information at your fingertips can be crucial when it comes to making vital business decisions. That’s why a KoalaPays account comes with a comprehensive range of reporting tools, designed to make it easier for businesses to gain valuable insights and manage their finances more efficiently.

 

Staying safe and secure

Security can be a concern for many when it comes to overseas money transfer, especially businesses. Fortunately, with KoalaPays, we’ve taken care of all that. Our systems have been designed to be fully PCI-Compliant, using all the latest fraud prevention technology to ensure every transaction is protected and secure.

We also understand that many businesses have multiple users using the account, so our accounts can be configured with shared users features and customised access options to meet the needs of your business.

It’s also important to ensure that any payment provider you use is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. KoalaPays is an FCA compliant EMD Agent which is an important step in becoming a credible merchant solutions provider.

 

Making overseas payments easy and convenient

Bureaucracy and paperwork used to be a real problem when it came to making international payment transfers. Here, at KoalaPays we’ve made it as simply as possible to open an account and once you’re up and running, making and receiving instant payments involves little time and administration on your behalf.

Everything can be managed online making it convenient and hassle-free to make regular payments, or to receive money instantaneously into your bank account, so you can keep cash moving through your business.

To find out more about opening a KoalaPays account that makes it easier for you to do business, click here

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