If we’ve learnt anything from retail trends to-date, it’s that convenience matters – and it matters more every day. Consumers are increasingly making the most of online shopping, one-click checkouts, next day delivery, and any other service or function which gets them the products they want faster and with the least amount of effort.

Creating a convenient retail experience requires several contributing factors, and ensuring a no-fuss checkout full of various ways to pay is certainly at the top of the list. According to PPRO, 67% of UK consumers have abandoned an online retail site due to the payment process. 22% of these left because the process was too complicated, and 21% left because their preferred payment option wasn’t available.

So, what payment methods do consumers want to see at the checkout?

The new credit card

Consumers increasingly expect point-of-sale (POS) finance as a payment option, particularly for big ticket items which might previously have taken months to save for. By allowing consumers to spread the cost of their payment, purchases are instantly made far more affordable and accessible.

This option is so appealing that it will actually persuade a consumer to commit to a purchase that they were previously hemming and hawing over. According to the Citizens Financial Group, 76% of consumers are more likely to make a retail purchase if a payment plan backed by a “simple and seamless point-of-sale experience” is available. Coinciding with this, it also found that 66% of consumers feel their desire for credit cards is appeased, and they’d rather not have more just to make a large purchase.

Clearly, consumers are after more credit to make their purchases, but they don’t want any more credit cards.

Why are credit cards the less attractive option?

The mass move towards POS finance is partly due to the growing influence of the millennial market. Millennials are much less likely than older generations to have and use a credit card. Many don’t want to live off credit cards, but equally they can’t or don’t want to put off certain larger purchases, such as furniture and travel.

This generation also faces looming debts from huge student loans and are perhaps less likely to risk adding to it. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to use credit options at all. Rather, tech-driven and enhanced lending solutions have changed the market and diverted consumers from credit cards towards POS finance.

While consumers benefit from supportive payment plans, working with these innovative lenders also bodes well for retailers who are paid upon confirmation of product delivery – the customer pays the lender back over a course of months, not the retailer. This is a positive alternative considering the sizeable chunk that credit card programs typically take.

A lending process built with the consumer in mind

Ultimately, what all this means is that choice and convenience reigns supreme. That’s why a great POS finance solution is one that prioritises the consumer and provides the fastest, most accessible experience possible. This can be achieved by having a solution that combines the lender and technology to cut out the middle-man and reduce the time taken for approval. This approach offers more flexibility to make use of exciting new tools and services that help retailers meet changing demands and more accurate assessments of a customer’s credit worthiness.

By James Bradley, Business Development Director, DivideBuy