Communications technologies, mainly the Internet and mobile phones, have dramatically altered the ways in which individuals interact with each other and, in turn, consumers are shifting more of their purchases from the physical world to the virtual. Merchants have adapted by becoming multichannel marketers and banks are following suit by providing new means for consumers to interact with their finances through popular tools such as online bill pay and mobile banking.

There are a wide range of payment alternatives available to consumers, merchants and banks. A partial list includes the following:

- PayPal
- Bill Me Later
- Google Checkout
- Pinless Debit
- Secure Vault Payments
- eBillMe
- Amazon Payments
- Revolution Card
- Bill2Phone
- TrialPay
- GreenDot

Most of these alternatives are optimized for online commerce in order to secure consumer's financial information and reduce the chance of fraud. Popular online payment methods are PayPal, Bill Me Later, Google Checkout and eBillMe. Revolution Card and GreenDot are examples of payment methods that work in both the physical and online world. Several of these also offer merchants lower interchange fees compared to credit cards.

Get the full story at E-Commerce Times