Mobile Is the Most Popular Payment Method in Bulgaria
Across the world, digital payment methods are becoming increasingly widespread. Where once cash was king, consumers are now turning to methods that offer greater flexibility. They no longer want to have pockets full of change or make frequent trips to their nearest ATM; rather, they like to know they have constant access to their money at the click of a button.
This is something digital payment methods support, whether Apple Pay, PayPal, an e-wallet, or one of their many other modernistic counterparts. Given the numerous upsides, it’s unsurprising these reign supreme, with mobile now boasting 80 per cent of the payment method market share in Bulgaria and e-wallets accounting for two per cent.
Of those who use mobile payment applications, 75 per cent believe in their security, which provides a further compelling explanation for their phenomenal popularity.
We take a look at the factors driving mobile’s takeover of the modern payment method market.
Ease of use
For hundreds of years, cash reigned supreme as a payment method. There was a time when it seemed impossible to topple it from its throne, but digital payment methods have managed to do exactly that. A key factor in explaining their dominance in the payment methods market is how easy mobile payments are to make.
One of the issues with carrying cash is that it needs to be physically transported from place to place. However, for convenience and security, most people loathe carrying large sums of money. This becomes an issue when one finds themselves short, necessitating an inconvenient trip to the nearest ATM to withdraw funds.
With mobile payments, this isn't a problem. So long as one has their smartphone on them, they can make a payment by double-clicking and presenting their phone screen to the card reader. This makes the entire checkout process quicker and more streamlined.
Accessibility and security
Mobile payment methods have the added boon of providing consumers with instant access to their cash. Allowing them to spend as much as they like on a single purchase, they’re not limited in the same way as cash withdrawals. ATMs, for example, have a maximum amount of money that can be withdrawn in one day. This means impulse purchases can't always be made in the instant. Even withdrawals from banks can take some days for funds to clear if the amount is over a certain sum.
Also key to explaining the popularity of mobile payments is their perceived safety. As we mentioned above, 75 per cent of consumers believe in the security of this type of transaction, with many stating they feel safer using a digital payment method than carrying cash.
Certainly, mobile payment providers use some techniques to make digital payment methods secure. Relying heavily on technology, they often utilise two-factor authentication and face recognition as preventatives against fraud. As a result, lots of people are happier to pay by mobile, especially when transactions are over a certain amount.
The burgeoning growth in mobile payments goes hand in hand with an increase in online sales. Bulgaria's e-commerce market grew by an incredible 41 per cent in 2020, meaning physical payment methods became largely obsolete.
This is a trend we can see across several sectors and regions globally, with online casinos in South Africa providing one example. As this overseas internet industry has boomed, so too has the country’s reliance on digital payment methods, with a choice of banking methods cited as a particular highlight on review sites like the one we linked to. This site provides reviews of all of the best casino operators and takes into elements such as payment options. Equally, it also lists the number of games available for those who want to find out what's on offer.
The same pattern is present in Bulgaria’s internet casino sector, along with other digital industries such as online retail, and has precipitated a twin-boom in mobile payments. This is especially relevant given the number of online purchases made from smartphones as opposed to less portable devices such as desktops.
When it comes to understanding the incredible dominance of mobile payments in Bulgaria, several factors are contributing, from the parallel growth of the online retail sector to the ease, accessibility, and perceived security perks of paying this way.
Given that each of these factors continues to be very much at play in our modern world, this trend looks set to become more dramatic still as we progress forward into this new decade.
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