When attempting to buy a product online, consumers have very few payment options that do not involve taking on credit card debt. But some say they’d prefer to have more.
A new study from the online payment site eBillme.com found 27 percent of respondents said they would shop online more often if they had an option for payment besides taking on credit card debt, CNN Money relayed. The respondents said they prefer to control their finances by paying in cash. Of course, this isn’t possible over the internet, but there are a number of options considered “cash equivalent.”
For example, services, such as eBay-owned PayPal and eBillme, allow users to link their bank accounts to online profiles so they can choose to take money directly out of their checking or savings. PayPal is by far the biggest of these services on the internet, and can be used at checkout not only for eBay auction winnings, but also at hundreds of other sites. In addition, eBillme is accepted by over 800 online retailers.
“It’s a debt-free way of shopping online,” said Marwan Forzley, eBillme’s CEO. “No interest or fees, and since you can only spend with the money you have available, it’s a great option for sticking to a budget.”
Forzley added the vast majority of consumers – 74 percent – use cash or cash equivalents, such as prepaid cards or gift cards, when making payments in the real world, the news provider reported. More stores began offering gift cards in recent years as consumers increased demand for them; these can often be used to make online purchases as well. However, gift cards may come with some initial fees when they are first set up, or maintenance charges if they go unused for a certain amount of time. But some consumers may prefer this type of fee over taking on credit card debt.
The report also noted consumers can use the popular CoinStar machines to make giftcards for online retailers like Amazon.com and iTunes, as well as companies with both brick-and-mortar and online stores, such as Old Navy and CVS.
Many consumers have been successful in paring back their credit card debt recently by keeping a closer eye on spending and paying more toward their balance every month.