Cogent Reports: PayPal Faces Challenges from a Growing Field of Competitors

While PayPal is better known and long-established, 13 challenger brands including Square and Amazon Payments are gaining recognition and credibility in the rapidly changing payments marketplace, according to Merchant Paymentality, a Cogent Reports study from Market Strategies International.

“Currently, PayPal is the only alternative web- and mobile-based payment processing provider among a field of 35 competitors to earn ‘Star’ status for brand equity, and it is the only brand used by a majority (53%) of micro- to mid-sized businesses and private enterprise owners,” said Keith Bossey, senior vice president of the Financial Services division of Market Strategies. “However, several other non-traditional providers, many of which are much younger than PayPal, have earned the ranking as brand equity ‘Leaders’.”

The Cogent Reports study compiled brand equity rankings based on a combination of brand awareness, consideration and overall brand impression. Results were indexed and then grouped into four levels: Stars, Leaders, Players and Drifters/Rookies. With its exceptional awareness and impression ratings, PayPal essentially defines “Star” status, but with above-average ratings of their own, “Leader” brands are positioned for growth in a space with plenty of room to grow.

Top 14 Non-Traditional Payment Processing
Providers by Brand Equity Score
Rank Provider
1 PayPal
2 Square
3 Amazon Payments
4 PayPal Here
5 Google Wallet
6 BillMeLater
7 Square Wallet
8 Intuit GoPayment
9 PayPass
10 Authorize.net
11 Apple Passbook
12 PayPal Beacon
13 Mobile Pay on Demand
14 PayWave

In addition to increasing awareness, wider acceptance of alternative payment solutions is on the rise. According to the study, more than one-third of private enterprise owners and businesses with fewer than 500 employees not currently accepting payments via web account payment services, mobile devices or wireless/mobile wallet solutions plan to do so in the near future.

“There is a seismic shift going on in the payments world right now,” added Bossey. “While it’s true the field is currently dominated by a few established market leaders such as PayPal, Square and Amazon Payments, there is still plenty of opportunity for a host of challenger brands.”

Driving the movement toward wider reception of new payment acceptance alternatives is the belief among merchants that these methods will be less expensive than traditional credit card processing fees and confidence that customers will recognize and appreciate these new payment options.

“Meeting the needs of customers and paying less is a very compelling argument for making the switch,” said Bossey.

Merchant Paymentality also reveals interest in alternative payment solutions is highest among younger decision-makers and businesses at the larger end of the small business spectrum. Another group of early adopters—and an increasingly important segment of the small business market—is private enterprise owners, consisting largely of home- or web-based businesses.

According to Bossey, this latter group represents the leading edge of awareness and acceptance of alternative payment providers. “So, if you want to see where alternative payments are headed, just visit your local food truck at lunchtime and order your payment to go,” he said.

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