In today’s modern world, cash is slowly becoming obsolete around the globe as technology is making people go digital with payments. Going by the latest stats, the fintech sphere is now worth $179 billion, and it is on its way to hitting annual revenues of $492 billion in the next five years, growing at a yearly rate of 16.8%. Multiple factors drive the rapid expansion of this sector. These include the widespread adoption of smartphones boosted by fresh regulatory changes that have empowered fintech-related companies to compete with traditional financial institutions. Furthermore, advancements like digital ledgers, popularly called blockchains, and artificial intelligence have unlocked novel opportunities in this landscape, further driving growth.
Nowadays, concerning e-commerce transactions, digital wallets are king, boasting an estimated transaction share of 49%, which should jump to 54% by 2026. Credit card payments hover in second place with a 20% share, followed by debit one posting a 12%, and P2P transfers, which now have a 9% slice of this market. What is curious for many is the available data shows that China has attained the highest cumulated transaction value. But virtually everyone is moving swiftly to accepting digital payments. Hence, below, we detail what many would call the top five online transaction choices for the common folk, each featuring its distinct characteristics most suitable for specific things.
Also known as Weixin, WeChat is an instant messaging and social media app created by the Chinese multinational tech conglomerate Tencent. It debuted in January 2011 and earned the title of the world’s most widely-used smartphone app seven years later, as it racked up over a billion users. Its uses are diverse, including sharing photos/videos/locations, broadcast messaging, hold-to-talk discussions, and payments (of course). The app implemented transaction capabilities in 2013, causing its user pool to grow to four hundred million the following year, with 90% of these people hailing from China.
In Asia, WeChat’s biggest competitor is Alibaba’s Alipay, which used to have a 54% share of China’s mobile payment market. The two pieces of dedicated money transfer software have a combined user pool of 2.5 billion, accounting for 90% of Chinese mobile payments, with WeChat currently holding a 39.5% market share.
While WeChat is Asia’s social networking giant, Alipay, as mentioned above, is still the dominant mobile payment juggernaut, as it puts more of a focus on the e-commerce side of its business, supporting twenty-seven currencies, compatible with all kinds of devices, facilitating easy money transfers for things like food deliveries, buying transportation tickets, paying bills, and more.
In China alone, Alipay has more than 652 active monthly users, and it claims that its total global user count stands at 1.3 billion. Apple Pay and Google Pay have 507 million and 421 million users, respectively.
Founded in 1998 as Confinity by Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Max Levchin, PayPal often gets cited as the world’s original e-wallet. It merged with Elon Musk’s online banking company, X.com, in 2000, and the year after, it changed its name to PayPal, slowly swelling into a famed electronic transaction pick for millions, as it offered top-notch security and protection against fraudulent chargebacks.
In 2022, PayPal’s transfer volume surpassed $1.36 trillion, bringing its worldwide market share to almost 42%, the highest globally. In the early and late 2000s, PayPal rose to prominence as one of the top payment methods for online casinos, as e-wallets dramatically fueled that industry’s expansion and got a major shot in the arm as eBay’s preferred transaction solution.
Crypto has been in all the rage in the past five years, with Bitcoin still holding the dominant market cap at 49.6%. And in the past decade, thousands of competitors have emerged to Satoshi Nakamoto’s revolutionary invention. One of the ones that has kicked up the most dust is Solana, a proof-of-stake coin with smart contract functionalities. In January 2022, it listed a market cap of $55 billion, and much of its popularity globally comes from the fact that it can process transfers at lightning speeds.
For example, in most cases, Bitcoin transactions take sixty to ninety minutes to finalize, whereas Solana ones happen in a flash. The network can process sixty-five thousand transfers per second, which is ten thousand times faster than the Bitcoin blockchain. Since debit card deposits and particularly withdrawals can take much longer to process (hours/days in some cases for removal requests), it is clear why online gamblers, like PayPal, also love Solana.
Paysafecard is a pre-paid cash-based online transaction choice that utilizes a 16-digit code, which reigns supreme as the favored pre-paid payment solution for millions. It is part of Paysafe Limited, the same multinational company that owns other famous payment methods like Skrill, Neteller, SafetyPay, and PagoEfectivo.
Over fifteen thousand websites accept Paysafecard, with around two thousand operating from the US and a thousand apiece based in Germany and the UK. Gambling is the vertical where Paysafecard enjoys the most establishment, followed by video games, adult, and computer electronics.
What Is the World’s Number One E-Wallet?
Going by transaction volume, that would be PayPal.
Which Online Payment Method Has the Most Users?
That would be Alipay, with 1.3 billion users worldwide.
What Is the Fastest Payment Solution?
Solana, as its transfers generally take less than five seconds to process.
To Sum Up
Online payments are taking over. Individuals who crave speed and anonymity would be wise to navigate the blockchain realm. But casual users are likely to stick to e-wallet options, with Google Pay and Apple Pay now contending with PayPal for the number one spot in this field.