The Payments Ecosystem: Online, In-Store, and Mobile

From cash to check and credit cards to Bitcoin, the payments industry is always evolving the ways in which we offer and accept payment.

Today, more and more companies are taking advantage of the low barriers to enter the payments space and becoming players in the arena. Armed with new ways to facilitate payments, traditional payment businesses are now forced to keep up or clock out.

The e-wallet, a way to digitally store payments, is slowly gaining popularity. The announcement of Apple Pay is one of the largest attempts so far to jumpstart eWallet adoption and make tap and pay terminals essential to every merchant point of sale.

Small businesses with a storefront prefer tablet POS applications; it removes the need for a bulky traditional register and the enormous counter space that comes with it. To accompany the low barrier to entry of a tablet POS, a new merchant can accept payments using their existing mobile phones by keying in a credit card number or using an attached card swiper.

From integrated APIs to hosted checkouts, e-commerce providers are enabling websites to accept multiple forms of payments and simplify the checkout process. You might be familiar with companies like Paypal, one of the first companies to help businesses accept credit cards online.

To give you a better idea of what the payments industry currently looks like, Payfirma mapped out the current payments ecosystem (from their point of view) into categories within a value chain from consumers to merchants.