The Pros and Cons of Different Online Payment Methods

March 19th, 2023 by Felix Cheruiyot

In a hypothetical realm, envision a scenario where obtaining your morning coffee, paying off your expenses, and even buying essential household items can all be accomplished from the luxury of your own dwelling. Acknowledging the influence of the internet, this world has now become a tangible reality. Enter the several online payment methods we have available to us today.

With an abundance of internet-based payment methods currently obtainable, how does one determine which option is the most suitable? Would one choose the safeguard of a bank transfer or the expediency of a digital wallet? Alternatively, perhaps one would prefer the comfort of a credit card or the simplicity of a debit card. The sheer number of choices at one's disposal can be bewildering and daunting, leaving one uncertain about which payment method is optimal for their needs.

But worry not, as in the subsequent paragraphs, we will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the benefits and drawbacks of various online payment methods, thereby providing you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision and traverse the constantly-evolving landscape of digital financial transactions.

Card Payments

Card transactions have become the conventional method of payment in the contemporary world. Among the various payment modes, plastic card payments, including credit and debit card payments, have acquired immense popularity. These transactions are favored by both consumers and businesses due to their convenience and ease.

Card payments are digital transactions where customers pay for goods and services using plastic cards instead of cash. These cards come in two types: credit and debit. Credit cards allow the cardholder to borrow money from financial institutions to buy products, while debit cards deduct the funds directly from the user's bank account.

When a cardholder makes a payment, the card's information is sent electronically to the merchant's payment terminal. The terminal contacts the card issuer to authenticate the cardholder's identity and verify whether they have enough funds available to complete the purchase. Once the transaction is authorized, the funds are transferred from the cardholder's account to the merchant's account. Let's explore the pros and cons of card payments below;



Convenience ranks high among the many benefits of card payments, transforming the way consumers and businesses engage in financial transactions. The swift tap or swipe of a card simplifies the purchasing process, eliminating the need to carry cumbersome cash or count loose change. This seamless exchange empowers individuals to navigate the buying experience with unparalleled ease, as card payments usher in a new era of effortless spending. Embracing this innovative mode of payment transcends traditional limitations and paves the way for unparalleled efficiency in our daily lives.


Card payments are secure and safe, reducing the risk of theft or loss of cash. Through the use of advanced encryption technology and multi-factor authentication, these digital transactions provide an additional layer of protection for both consumers and merchants. Furthermore, financial institutions constantly monitor for fraudulent activity and have mechanisms in place to alert customers to unauthorized transactions, ensuring a safer and more controlled payment experience.

Credit building

Credit building stands as a noteworthy advantage of utilizing card payments in today's financial landscape. By making timely payments and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio, individuals can establish a solid credit score, paving the way for future financial opportunities. Opting for card payments not only streamlines transactions but also allows users to demonstrate their responsible borrowing habits to potential lenders. Ultimately, the ease of using cards in conjunction with responsible financial behavior can lead to favorable credit ratings, opening doors to a wide array of benefits and services.

Online shopping

Card payments provide a convenient option for shopping online and making transactions from any location globally. Online shopping platforms have burgeoned due to the ease and efficiency offered by card payment systems. This method of payment has not only transformed the user's shopping experience but also revolutionized the retail industry as a whole. Given the boundless opportunities to explore a wide variety of products and services without geographical limitations, card payments have become an integral component in the dynamic world of online commerce.



Card payments are susceptible to fraud, and recovering funds lost during a fraudulent transaction can be challenging. As technology advances, criminals devise new and sophisticated tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in the system. Even though cybersecurity measures continue to improve, the cat-and-mouse game between fraudsters and security professionals is an ongoing battle. Consumers and businesses alike must remain vigilant and educated on the latest scams, regularly monitor their accounts, and employ protective measures to minimize the risk of falling victim to card payment fraud.


As our society increasingly embraces the convenience of card payments, this shift simultaneously carries the risk of fostering dependency on this form of payment. Consumers may become oblivious to the drawbacks of relying heavily on credit cards, such as accruing debt and damaging their credit scores. When faced with enticing offers and rewards programs, people may not only lose track of their spending but also unwittingly venture into financial turbulence. In essence, not being vigilant about one's expenditures can transform card payments into a double-edged sword, posing serious threats to one's financial health.


While card payments have indeed revolutionized the way we conduct transactions, there exists a lurking financial predator within their convenience: fees. These fees, often hidden within the fine print or entwined with an unsuspecting bill, prey on millions of users worldwide. From interchange fees and processing charges to unforeseen international transaction costs, the drawbacks they impose on consumers and businesses alike are difficult to ignore. As we further discuss the wonders of card payments, it becomes vital to recognize these fees and strive for more transparent solutions in the ever-evolving financial landscape.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they provide a convenient and secure way to store and make payments online. A digital wallet is essentially an electronic version of a physical wallet, where you can store your credit and debit card details, as well as other payment methods such as cryptocurrencies. Digital wallets come in many forms, including mobile apps, web-based wallets, and even physical devices.



Budgeting has become increasingly efficient and user-friendly with the advent of digital wallet payments. The convenience and accessibility of digital wallets have revolutionized the way people manage their personal finances. By offering real-time data on expenses and a platform to categorize transactions, digital wallets foster better financial decision-making. Furthermore, features such as customizable budgeting categories and automated notifications offer an interactive experience, keeping users engaged and aware of their spending habits.

Peer-to-peer payments

Peer-to-peer payments have emerged as a significant advantage of digital wallet technology. This innovative method simplifies monetary exchanges by allowing individuals to transfer funds directly to one another, without the need for intermediary institutions. As a result, users can avoid unnecessary delays and fees commonly associated with traditional payment systems. Overall, the adoption of peer-to-peer payments has not only improved financial efficiency but has also opened doors to a more connected and accessible global economy.

Streamlined checkout process

Streamlining the checkout process has become a major priority for businesses in today's fast-paced world, and digital wallet payments emerge as a powerful solution. By reducing the need for physical cards or cash, these payment methods provide customers with an efficient shopping experience that saves time and minimizes hassle. Digital wallets cater to the growing demand for contactless transactions, ensuring security and privacy for users.

Enhanced security

Enhanced security stands as a prime benefit of utilizing digital wallet payments. The advanced encryption and tokenization methods employed by these digital platforms protect sensitive information and reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. In addition to that, multifactor authentication and biometric features add extra layers of security, granting users increased peace of mind. As digital wallet payments continue to gain widespread adoption, their innovative security protocols have the potential to revolutionize the way we safeguard our finances.


Security concerns

Security concerns associated with digital wallet payments are an essential aspect to consider when evaluating their drawbacks. The growing reliance on technology-enabled transactions has led to increased vulnerability to cyberattacks and fraudulent activities. Digital wallets, while offering unprecedented convenience, can also expose sensitive financial information and make users a target for hackers.

Resistance to change

As digital wallet payments continue to gain momentum in the financial landscape, one notable drawback emerges – resistance to change. The inertia of sticking to traditional payment methods stems from a deep-rooted fear of adopting new and seemingly complex technologies. Addressing this challenge calls for crafting innovative solutions that instill confidence and ease in users, ultimately bridging the gap between the familiarity of cash transactions and the enticing possibilities offered by digital wallets. Educating consumers and merchants alike on the benefits and security measures in place can be an effective approach to overcoming this resistance and embracing the future of finance.

Bank Transfers

Bank transfers have rapidly gained popularity as a reliable and efficient payment option in the online space in Kenya. This growth can be attributed to the increasing internet penetration in the country, as well as the convenience and security offered by modern banking systems. The Kenyan government has been instrumental in supporting this development through progressive regulation and promoting financial inclusion. As a result, businesses and individuals are now able to seamlessly execute transactions, contributing to the overall growth of the digital economy in the region.


High security

Bank transfers have long been a trusted and widely used payment method in various sectors. One of the main advantages of utilizing bank transfers as a preferred payment option is the high level of security it offers. Financial institutions implement cutting-edge technology and multiple layers of defense mechanisms to safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access. As a result, both businesses and individuals can experience peace of mind knowing that their financial transactions are protected by the highest security standards available.

Based transaction fee

One notable advantage of using bank transfers as a payment method is the relatively low base transaction fees associated with them. In comparison to other methods, such as credit cards or digital wallets, bank transfers often provide more cost-effective solutions for both individuals and businesses alike. These reduced fees can lead to significant savings over time, especially when dealing with large volumes of transactions.


Delayed payments

Delayed payments are often considered one of the primary drawbacks of bank transfers as a payment method. This issue can significantly impact businesses and individuals alike, causing potential disruption in cash flow and financial planning. Moreover, delayed payments may result in missed deadlines, affecting the reputation of both the payer and the payee.

Unnecessary paperwork sometimes

One notable drawback of bank transfers as a payment method is the significant increase in paperwork that it can entail. As financial institutions need to maintain accurate records of each transaction, the documentation required for these transfers can be quite extensive. This added administrative burden may lead to increased processing times and additional costs for both banks and their clients.


With the whole world experience a major shift as far as payments are concerned, it is no surprise that topics like this are gaining widespread recognition to allow people make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the payment method that works for them. In this article, we’ve explored the pros and cons of three major online payment methods; including bank transfers, card payments, and digital wallets, also known as mobile money payments.

Each payment method has its strengths and weaknesses, leaving people with enough information to make an informed decision on what best works for them. For Kenyan folks looking for a payment provider that offers numerous options as far as payment methods are concerned, we highly recommend IntaSend. IntaSend allows you to receive payment through different channels, including mobile money, bank transfers, card payments, ACH, and Bitcoin. IntaSend is ideal for both registered and unregistered businesses of all sizes as well as freelancers and individual users.

Get started with IntaSend today by signing up for an account. The process is seamless, so it shouldn’t take your time.

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