Overspending and Fraud: The Downside to Digital Payments

Today, thanks to digital technology, making payments is a breeze. Consumers can choose any number of instant ways to make a payment, such as mobile wallets (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, etc.), eWallets (e.g PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.), and even contactless card payments via debit and credit. Digitally transferring funds or making purchases has never been faster or easier.

While certainly a convenience, at the same time, the ease and speed of using this payment technology also makes it easier for users to overspend or become victims of fraud.

Overspending is a growing problem

Since consumers can gain access to their money in a matter of seconds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the e-commerce spending boom continues to grow with each passing year. To put this into greater perspective, by the end of last year, according to an e-commerce growth forecast from eMarketer, it was predicted that, worldwide, total retail sales would reach $22.737 trillion (approximately £13.5 trillion).

This is reportedly a 5.8% increase from the previous year. However, simply because consumers are buying more online and via mobile with the ease of instant pay apps and other electronic payment methods, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are being frugal with their spending. On the contrary, a survey conducted on a group of 18 to 35-year-olds in the UK, discovered that the average millennial spends £6,589 a year on nights out. It was revealed that 78% of those surveyed went out twice per week with an intended budget of £50 per night, but regularly overspent, forking out more than £1,300 extra a year on items, services or experiences they didn’t actually need.

Overspending can occur for any number of reasons ranging from the desire for instant gratification, wanting to have a good time, or even the peer pressure of wanting to impress someone. Whether its fashion, food, gambling, gadgets or some other form of entertainment, it’s easy to spend and it’s fun. However, it’s not just overspending that is a risk of payment technology. Another drawback of instant payments is fraud.

Fraud and the importance of using secure and trusted fast payments

It is now more important than ever that consumers make certain the quick digital payment methods they use and where they use them are secure and reputable.

For instance, an example of a fast and secure payment method is PayPal One Touch purchasing. Once activated on your device, this payment option doesn’t require you to enter your credentials each time you use it, making it a great option for buying fashion, gadgets and other items when you shop online at places you can trust like Amazon, eBay, and other reputable retailers that accept it.

PayPal one touch purchasing

On the other hand, if you like to spend on entertainment like gambling, an example of a quick and trusted payment option for making secure deposits and withdrawals is Fast Bank Transfer for casino players, which you can find at reputable sites like PlayOJO and other UKGC-licensed gambling destinations.

Meanwhile, in terms of making purchases in trusted local stores, restaurants and other establishments, contactless payments – mobile wallets or plastic credit/debit cards – are the fastest and securest choice.

Still, even with these secure payments, you can never be too careful, because with digital convenience also comes cyber security threats, such as fraud. According to figures from UK Finance, contactless card fraud overtook cheque fraud in the first half of 2017, reaching over £5 million.

Using a credit card reader

Of course, it’s not just contactless payments that are at risk of security issues, either. In fact, an increasingly popular way to send money now is using fast peer-to-peer payment apps. To use them, you simply enter the person’s name and phone number to send money. However, if you accidentally enter in the wrong phone number and send the money to the wrong person, you might not get the money back since electronic money isn’t certified or verified, making theft easy.

Digital payments are the present and the future. Responsible use is key to staying in control of overspending and keeping your money safe and secure.

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