Ever been online, doing some shopping, looking for that one item that has been so elusive for so long … and, suddenly, there it is! But having no credit card on hand and no PayPal to use, sitting there wondering … what to do!? Ah, yes, the “bill me later” site or other similar sites where a person can sign up and with approval buy items online through partnering merchants or other merchants using a pre-approved credit line. Or even the Coinstar option of converting coin into an Amazon.com gift card.
Online businesses that are in tune with their online shopping, buying market are developing very leading edge tools to “get that sale” by any financially reasonable method. PayPal has implemented the “bill me later” method and site, where it has partnered with a large number of online marketers to allow online buyers to pay their bill later, by check or funds transfer. The prospective buyer must preemptively signup on the “bill me later” site and be approved for this type of transaction. Then by shopping with a partnering online store the buyer can often get very nice deals and discounts for their purchasing and loyalty. A number of different sites with the same pattern of buyer pre-approval and partnering with online stores give the online buyer a large number of options outside of using a credit card. Coinstar, as mentioned above, has partnered with Amazon.com to transfer coin counted to an Amazon gift card without any fee, which is ten percent of the counted coin if turned into paper currency. So a coin changer gets a ten percent bonus just by going the gift card path. That is a nice incentive. If Amazon does not have want the shopper wants, but some other merchant does, the shopper can get what is called an “e-certificate” that is like a gift card but can be used at any online merchant. Some other “pay me later” sites allegedly will send a bill to the online shopper who can then pay by paper check. That is innovation tying in with existing methods.
Most of these sites will recognize a returning shopper – buyer with only the shopper’s social security number, address, and name. These sites will have to maintain hacker-proof security else what prevents a hacker from just going wild with such simple sale-acceptance criteria after authorization. The buyer will also have to maintain solid security on the device used to make the purchases to prevent a hacker from getting such simple information. This all just seems ripe for a hacking. Buyer Beware!!
Of course there are prepaid debit cards that one can purchase at almost any bank and even in some cases online. There are a number of other PayPal-like service sites where a person can tie a bank account into a site registration to be able to transfer funds electronically from site to account and from bank account to the site account. Even with these types of fund transfer outfits several online marketers have partnered to have an even broader service and purchase capability to the huge online market. There seems to be no horizon.