Payment Options in the Sharing Economy
As the sharing economy is booming – with services such as Uber, AirBnB, Etsy and Gumtree cutting out the middleman and create a more diverse marketplace – it has raised issues around payment. The current payment options for the sharing economy all have challenges and difficulties, so we take a look at the options that are available.
Gumtree do not provide a payment system, which means that payments for items purchased through the platform are the responsibility of the buyer and seller. By avoiding implementing a payment system, Gumtree has made a simple system for the business, however, this can have a negative effect due to the uncertainty that is created, as Gumtree is not able to guarantee safe or secure payments which may put off some potential customers.
Another option for the sharing economy is to partner with a Payment Gateway and Acquirer, however in this system the payments are gathered centrally and then distributed to each individual merchant, which could become slow, difficult and costly as the marketplace grows.
Another option is to use PayPal, however this requires the buyer to leave the platform to make the payment which is a factor in negative customer experience and a loss of sales.
AirBnB has recently developed its own electronic money (eMoney) infrastructure in order to enable funds to go directly to the individual merchant whilst also remaining trackable (which is useful for AirBnB in calculating their fees). This is a good solution to the problem, however it does require a specialist team as well as a large investment in terms of time, money and resources to create a system such as this.
Paybase is the final option, offering an end-to-end eMoney solution in one unified API. Paybase provides a solution that is easy to set-up and maintain, meaning that time, money and resources are spent on improving the important areas of a site rather than on the payment system. Choose a payment system that suits your business and your customers needs – not forgetting to consider and make adjustments for any potential downsides of your choice…