Reading Time: 3 minutes
Customers and business owners are always looking for convenience and flexibility when it comes to transactions. And online payments offer just that. That’s why most merchants offer multiple digital payment options. From credit and debit cards, NEFT and IMPS to E-wallets, UPI and BNPL. While these are the most popular digital payment methods, they aren’t the only ones. Here are some of the lesser-known ones.
Digital Payment Methods You Should Know Of
Have you ever left your wallet at home and suddenly found yourself in an area with bad data connectivity and no WiFi? Making a payment without an internet connection seems next to impossible, or is it? The solution: Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
If you don’t have a smartphone or internet connection at hand, USSD will provide you access to mainstream online banking services across India. All you need is a mobile phone with an SMS facility. With USSD, you can transfer a maximum of Rs.5,000 a day, review your account balance, and receive a mini account statement.
How does USSD work?
Register your mobile number with your bank for mobile banking services to gain access to USSD. You will then receive an MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and MPIN (Mobile PIN), which you will have to memorise to use the USSD service. Once you’re registered, dial *99# and follow the interactive menu that pops up on your mobile screen to transact.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could transfer funds, make payments, deposit cash, make withdrawals and check your bank balance without remembering your bank account number? With Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), you can!
AEPS allows you to transfer money between two Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. The transactions occur at MicroAtm / Point of Sale via a Business Correspondent (BC) or Bank Mitra. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) set up AEPS to encourage cashless transactions and empower all sections of society.
3. Point of Sale Financing
Point of sale (POS) financing is a payment option that gives customers the flexibility to make a payment over time in instalments. Here businesses can extend credit to their customers at the point of payment.
We can broadly categorise POS financing products into open-end and closed-end credits. An example of open-ended credit is a traditional credit card that consumers can avail of. Closed-end credit refers to businesses that offer to finance a particular product’s purchase. For example, if you had to buy a high-value product such as a new phone or refrigerator, you could apply for a credit line from the seller while purchasing it.
4. Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS)
Point of sale (POS) terminals are a common sight across most big and small convenience stores. However, merchants have started opting for a more user-friendly system, mobile POS terminals. An mPOS is essentially a smartphone, tablet or another wireless device that can download an app and read cards. These wireless on-the-go devices allow merchants to accept card and mobile payments outside the confines of their physical stores. Whether it’s a local pop-up, private hosting or exhibition, business owners can use an mPOS wherever their customers are.
5. Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards are commonly issued by banks and networks such as MasterCard and Visa. Unlike your debit or credit card, a prepaid card is not linked to your bank account. The cards are pre-loaded with a certain amount of money which you can use for your daily purchases. Once you use the entire amount, you can reload it with money online or at physical branches.
With the Indian government actively taking steps to promote a ‘Digital India’, digital payment methods are primed to spread throughout the country. Each of them comes with its own unique advantages. The best way to make the most of these various options is to find the one best suited for your needs.