To shop or pay for services online, most people use a credit card. However, given the growing incidence of credit card fraud, many people are looking for safer alternatives. There are actually lots of ways to pay online, without having to give out your credit card information. The following are five alternatives to consider:
Prepaid debit card
A prepaid debit card works just like a credit card or debit card when it comes to making online payments. The advantage is that you are only exposing the cash you’ve already loaded onto the card to potential fraud. And, if the card details are stolen, you can simply throw away the card and get another one. The other advantage of prepaid debit cards is that they are accepted by any online site that accepts credit cards.
PayPal is the most popular platform for transferring money to companies and between people. Increasing numbers of online merchants accept payment via PayPal, making it a viable option. The other advantage of PayPal is that you can use it to make peer-to-peer transactions – so if you need to send money to a friend or family member anywhere in the world, you have a simple and cost-effective means to do so.
Several solutions have been created specifically to allow consumers to make online payments without the risk of having their credit card details stolen. These services, which include the likes of Skrill, Paysafecard, and Shopify’s in-app payment platform, provide an extra layer of security to a transaction. They are extremely handy when you want to pay a merchant you don’t know very well.
These services are very popular with small e-commerce stores and new online gaming sites. For example, you can use Paysafecard to buy credits to play online casino games, and Skrill is increasingly popular with eBay merchants.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin went mainstream in 2017, but numerous vendors accepted the digital currency as far back as 2013. Until recently the downside for vendors is that to accept Bitcoin payments, one needs to have a Bitcoin wallet and know how to use it. Fortunately, there are now easier options in the form of several points of sale solutions which make accepting cryptocurrencies as easy as any other payment method. The most popular is Bitpay, which accepts Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Other POS solutions allow consumers to pay using most of the well-known cryptocurrencies.
Many retailers, both online and offline, sell gift cards. While gift cards have their limitations – they can’t be reloaded for one – they also offer a money-saving advantage. Gift cards can be bought and sold on exchanges like Cardpool, which allow consumers to buy these cards at a discount. If you are buying a product from a well-known retailer, you may be able to get a discount of up to 25 percent by buying an unwanted gift card.
Not only do these alternatives allow you to avoid exposing yourself to credit card fraud, but they can allow you to avoid using a credit card altogether. If you struggle to manage your finances and tend to use credit facilities too often, it may be a good idea to avoid having a credit card altogether. So, it’s reassuring to know that in the digital world there are other options available.