If there’s one thing that affects every consumer purchase, it’s how they pay. So how do payment options and preferences affect the buying journey? Which features matter most, and how might their presence or lack thereof affect how people choose retailers and buy products on a daily basis?

To gain insight into consumer preferences related to online and in-store payments, we asked members of the DISQO Audience to share their opinion. In total, 984 people shared:

  • Methods used when making purchases
  • Factors that influence payment methods used
  • How payment methods influence purchase decisions
  • Preferences with respect to payment options

Top Ranked Payment Features

Ease of use and peace of mind are a must when making payments. Indeed, survey results reflected the desire to keep sensitive information protected, with respondents noting that privacy and security (69%) was their highest priority consideration when selecting a payment method followed by speed & convenience (56%), and mobile payment options (29%).

Online Shopping

What payment methods are used when shopping online? While the typical respondent admitted to using multiple forms of payment for online purchases, the most common payment methods noted were debit (59%), credit (55%), and PayPal (52%).

When exploring which payment methods were used most often, a slightly larger spread between the frontrunners emerged, with 39% turning to debit, 31% choosing credit, and 23% preferring Paypal.

The motivators behind these selections were also slightly different. Those who prefer to use their debit card primarily do so for the convenience (35%) and the ease of budgeting their finances (31%). Credit card shoppers notably choose this method of payment for rewards programs (36%), followed by convenience (26%) and safety (24%) factors. Finally and perhaps unsurprisingly, people who prefer Paypal equally appreciate its safety and convenience (44%).

Looking at everything as a whole, convenience was the top reason people turned to a given payment method for online shopping (31%), followed by safety (20%), staying on budget (15%), and rewards (14%).

In-Store Shopping

How do payment preferences online compare to that of in-store shopping? The payment methods used while shopping at a physical store include debit (65%), cash (55%), and credit (47%). When looking at which payment methods are used most often while shopping in store, half of respondents admit to using debit (50%). The usage for credit (25%) and cash (21%) drop even more dramatically.

The factors that motivate people to use different payment methods are relatively similar. People stated convenience as the main reason for using debit (42%) and cash (40%), while rewards were the biggest consideration when choosing to use credit (53%).

Online vs. In-Store

Comparing online and in-store shopping, more people (65%) claim that they will use their debit cards when shopping at brick and mortar stores than they will for online purchases (59%). On the flip side, more people (27%) claim they will use gift cards online than they will for purchases at brick and mortar stores (15%).

Payment Method Importance

Digging deeper into consumer attitudes, we asked survey participants to indicate the level of importance they place on a retailer offering each type of payment method, both in an online and in-store setting. When it comes to online shopping, debit (48%) and credit (45%) availability is extremely important. Looking at in-store transactions, consumers find the availability of cash (56%), debit (52%), and credit (51%) extremely important.

How much does a store’s available payment methods impact people’s likelihood to shop there? About 30% state that it greatly impacts, 33% state that is moderately impacts, 24% state that it slightly impacts, and only 12% claim that it does not create an impact at all.

About the Study

The Payment Preferences Survey was conducted in October 2019 and reached 984 members of the DISQO Audience. The survey uncovered insights into how people prefer to pay when shopping online and in-store and the factors that influence these preferences. Additionally, the survey asked about how payment methods might influence purchase decisions and what people look for in respect to payment options.

Join the Conversation.

Do you use the same payment method when you shop online as compared to in-store? How important is it for stores to offer the payment method you prefer? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or Facebook.