An Australian innovation, Touch Payments allows consumers to shop online without a credit card -- by selecting the 'Touch Payment' method at the checkout, goods are delivered in the ordinary fashion and the customer receives an invoice to pay by a certain date, as they would an electricity or phone bill.
Invoices can be settled via credit card, debit card, direct debit, PayPal, BPay or cash at the post office, while there's also an option to defer payment for an additional 16 days. The company promises shoppers a "try-before-you-buy" experience, focusing on instant gratification.
"Instead of paying for your items before getting them in your hands, wait for your items to be delivered to you at home and only pay for what you really want," the Touch Payment website reads.
With the option to pay invoices by credit card, Touch Payments may seem to just add another layer of work to the online shopping payment process. However Touch Payments co-founder and CEO Jonas Larsson said the system offered many benefits to shoppers that a credit card couldn't.
"One of Touch Payments' core value propositions to the consumer is that you never have to share any sensitive information like credit card details at the checkout," said Larsson. "This reduces the risk that a third party will use your credit card fraudulently.
"The key issue for most mobile-shoppers today is keying in a 16 digital credit card number, expiry date and CSV number; with Touch Payments none of this is required. In addition, you don't have to deal with burdensome and time-consuming charge-backs."
However, there are restrictions; limitations on returns are set by individual online merchants, and customers need to pay their invoices on time as "non-payment will lead to a debt collection process""
Larsson said the service has received a positive response in the soft launch stage, though Touch Payments is yet to reach broad availability on online shopping sites. Those that want to give it a try can do so through Australian eyewear retailer Bailey Nelson and homewares site Zanui.
As for the impact Touch Payments is expected to have on the e-commerce space, Larsson said it will "increase the trust" of people shopping online.
"We will start to see behavioural changes in segments of the market who currently don't shop online. We have had customers in their 20s and 60s which tells us that our solution is simple enough to understand and attractive enough to use."