Competition in business is one of those things that isn’t always beneficial for those involved. Two coffee shops on the same intersection inevitably eat into each other’s profits and customer base, for instance, often resulting in the demise of the least aggressive café. However, from the perspective of the early morning coffee-drinker, competition almost always produces good customer service and lower prices.
The art of fighting over customers is so important to businesses that the entire concept of competition is a protected thing. Any company trying to avoid it by devouring more than its fair share of smaller outlets is likely to attract the ire of the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, as reported at tradenews.com. Competition is protected because it is so impactful, it increases choice, lowers prices, creates new job opportunities, and breaks up potential monopolies.
In the world of online payments, it’s fair to say that PayPal won the popularity lottery by virtue of the fact that it’s one of the oldest providers out there. Although, it was invented amid a flurry of other providers at the turn of the millennium, along with Neteller (1999), ecoPayz (2000), and Skrill (2001). PayPal itself appeared in 1998. Since then, a raft of names has cropped up, including SOFORT, Jeton, and the various phone-based wallets like Apple Pay.
While PayPal is known for serving many different markets and retailers, some payments providers have grown to serve a particular niche as a means of getting ahead of the rife competition. Neteller and Skrill are particularly popular in the online gaming community. For instance, the casino Lucky Days supports both of these wallets. Casino comparison site Bonus.ca, which made Lucky Days its Casino of the Month for August 2021 due to its bonuses and free spins, notes that the site accepts ecoPayz, too. The fact that a popular, well-established site accepts these payments demonstrates the success of these payment providers’ strategy of finding a niche.
Recently, PayPal made waves in the payments space by taking a bold step towards cryptocurrencies, in what some might consider an intrusion on more specialist providers like Neteller. Elon Musk’s former plaything now includes the ability for customers in the UK to buy, sell, or hold bitcoin. This move could help make the cryptocurrency more mainstream, according to newscientist.com.
Store of Value
It’s unlikely, though. Bitcoin has long served as the occasional interest of large companies rather than a permanent partner. Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, video game storefront Steam, and plenty of other businesses have all tried to incorporate bitcoin in the past without much success. While its supporters do view the cryptocurrency as a treasure trove, it’s a poor store of value due to its volatility.
Oddly enough, the future strength of online payments may have little to do with companies like PayPal at all. Over-complicated check-out systems mean that 76% of all UK shopping carts are abandoned at the virtual till (78% worldwide) so efforts to shorten or even eliminate parts of the customer journey are vital for payment providers. It’s no coincidence that ‘one click’ purchases are already in use on Amazon and Google Play.
So, while increased competition has been good news for consumers, both shoppers and payment companies are stuck behind aging check-out systems.