You can use your mobile wallet, I will use the money from my wallet
Have you ever used a debit or credit card to shop online? Most people reading this probably have, at one time or another. But when we talk to people about their online shopping preferences, there are always questions about it: Are cards better than cash on delivery? Are they safe? Isn’t CoD much more reliable?
After requiring credit cards, e-commerce companies like Flipkart broke new ground and introduced CoD. Today we have digital wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik that offer yet another way to pay online, without the risk of having your credit or debit card details stolen. Credit and debit card transactions have also become more secure, with secure OTPs and passwords required to complete any transaction.
Although this fusion of internet, security and cash payment is loved and appreciated by everyone who owns a debit or credit card, this modern payment process has yet to fully take over India. I still don’t feel safe when I pay with our cards, I wonder: “What if I disburse the money and the product is not delivered or is defective? What is the procedure for getting my money back? Will it be easy?
We’ve all encountered this feeling at one time or another, and while some of us have welcomed it and taken advantage of the service, others have remained skeptical. Of course, these issues don’t go away with cash on delivery – you have to pay to receive the product and only open it later. But talk to a few Indian parent groups and you’ll see a lot of people feeling that way.
According to a recent report, CoD accounts for 60% of all deliveries in India. According to the report, Snapdeal considers around 60-65% of all payments as CoD, as does Jabong. Flipkart and Foodpanda are at 50%.
Reducing the CoD percentage is important for eCommerce businesses as it would reduce costs and increase revenue once users start trusting the online marketplace or retail store.
“It will reduce the likelihood of cancellation or return of goods because psychologically customers tend to change their minds after ordering a product, since there is no risk of losing money,” explains Business Standard citing a Morgan Stanley report. “Furthermore, increased customer stickiness with that particular provider (assuming there is no trade-off in service levels) as the overall ease of making payments increases.”
Informal bureau surveys tell us that some people at least transact using cards simply because they don’t want to deal with cash, or don’t carry cash at all, or that they find it convenient to have the product delivered anywhere without the need to ensure that money will be available at the place of delivery. While this is true for many people we spoke to, I – and apparently more than half of Indian customers – still lack confidence when it comes to ordering online, and that’s because companies e-commerce companies have a horrible track record when it comes to actually delivering what we order.
Ultimately, the experience when buying cash or cards is the same, as you’ll have to open the box, see something’s wrong, and then ask for a refund anyway. E-commerce company delivery staff don’t exactly wait for you to boot up your new smartphone to accept payment. So practically, there is no difference. The fear remains, however, no matter how illogical, when you hear about people’s bad experiences.
Snapdeal would have delivered stones instead of an iPhone 4s to a customer. This case has been highly publicized, but for many of us the opinion is that once your money is gone, it’s just gone. Calling customer service and going through the full refund process is another level of nuisance.
Cases like this could very well be an attempt by rival companies to spread negative impressions among customers, but it instills fear in those ordering online.
In my case, the most expensive product I ordered online was my Google Nexus 5, which at the time cost Rs. 29,000. ‘ve only ordered low cost products like headphones, shoes and t-shirts, just because I feel like I can afford to lose a few hundred rupees in case things go wrong. as expected.
Of all kinds of card transactions I’ve made so far, paying for Uber rides using the Paytm wallet has been my biggest fear so far. Since everything happens automatically, what happens if the wrong amount is cut? Of course, you can request – and get – a refund, but then you have several steps to take to ensure that payment happens, so the risk of something going wrong and your money being wasted is only ‘increase. When an app like BookMyShow crashes in the middle of a booking – but you get a text message saying the funds have been deducted – you’re stressed trying to confirm whether the booking went through or not; whether you’re going to have to hunt down and chat with customer service from (two different companies) or not.
Looking at the pros and cons, it’s easy to see why I – and 60% of all Indians – opt for cash payments instead of cards. To solve this problem, companies are going to have to find new ways to make online payments more secure and reliable, in addition to their delivery and return processes more foolproof, in order to convince us to start paying in advance. With sellers I’ve had repeat good experiences with on small value transactions, I’ve also become more willing to make larger online payments. It’s a small step, but maybe it’s the path that all e-commerce platforms expect from us.
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