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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     Equity level
1     PayPal     STAR
2     Square     LEADERS
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.

About Merchant Paymentality

In October and November 2013, Cogent Reports interviewed a sample of 2,504 US-based merchants that were recruited from the ResearchNow opt-in online panel. Respondents were either business decision-makers for for-profit companies with fewer than 500 employees and with a total annual revenue of at least $50,000 (89% of the sample) or private enterprise owners who, separate from any full- or part-time employment, own or run a private business enterprise that sells goods or services, either in-person or online, with a total annual sales revenue of at least $25,000 (11% of the sample). All businesses or enterprises must have been operating for at least one year. By applying minimal statistical weighting, the business decision-maker data reported in this study are representative of the US micro to mid-sized business market in terms of number of employees and total annual sales revenue as described by the Small Business Administration and Hoovers’ business databases. Due to its opt-in nature, this online panel (like most others) does not yield a truly random probability sample of the target population. As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections. Market Strategies International will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Market Strategies International and Cogent Reports™

Market Strategies International is a market research consultancy with deep expertise in communications, consumer/retail, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology. Offering custom research services and syndicated research products, the firm provides insights from more than 75 countries, focused in the areas of brand, communications, CX, product development and segmentation. Its syndicated products, known as Cogent Reports, help clients understand the market environment, explore industry trends and evaluate and monitor their brand and products within the competitive landscape. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research firms in the world, with offices in the US, Canada and China.

Read Market Strategies’ blog at FreshMR, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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