11 Most Popular Online Payment Methods for Membership Organizations

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11 Most Popular Online Payment Methods for Membership Organizations

Running a membership-based organization requires an openness to diverse member preferences, especially concerning payment methods.

Every member has payment preferences—some prefer cards, while others opt for bank transfers, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. The strategic approach is to accommodate the preferences of all members, ensuring that none are compelled to leave due to the unavailability of their preferred payment method.

This blog highlights the 11 most popular payment methods available, guiding you to identify any potential gaps in your current payment options.

Read on to discover which payment methods you might be missing and explore opportunities for improvement, ultimately promoting member satisfaction and business success.

Key Takeaways

  • Members have varying payment preferences, and a successful membership-based business accommodates a wide range of choices, including cards, bank transfers, digital wallets, and more.
  • Traditional methods continue to play a significant role, while modern solutions such as digital wallets, mobile payments, and "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) are also gaining popularity.
  • Digital wallets are rapidly gaining global acceptance, Mobile payments are becoming increasingly prevalent, and cryptocurrency is steadily gaining traction as a viable payment method.
  • Factors such as security, user experience, and demographics of the membership base are crucial when selecting payment methods.
  • Glue Up's Membership Management Software offers a holistic solution, integrating diverse payment methods. The platform is accessible across devices, prioritizes privacy, and provides analytics, making it an all-in-one tool for membership organizations.

What is an Online Payment Method?

Let's quickly recall what a payment method is. It serves as the pathway through which customers, or in your case, members, choose to send their payments for the goods or services they purchase.

What is an online payment method
When it comes to payment methods, there is a wide variety of options available. However, every method shares the same purpose: connecting businesses to customers and facilitating seamless, quick, and smooth transactions.

The diversity in payment methods caters to the varied preferences of customers, ensuring a more inclusive and user-friendly experience in the purchasing process.

Types of Online Payment Methods for Member-Based Organizations

Members are no longer limited to just one or two payment options; an extensive array of choices are available. Let's explore and identify the most widely used payment methods to understand consumers' preferences and trends better.

Types of online payment methods
By recognizing and incorporating the most popular payment methods, businesses can enhance user satisfaction and streamline the payment experience for their members.

Credit and Debit Cards

Credits and debits have become integral parts of our lives, and their significance cannot be denied. As we steadily progress toward a cashless society, our dependence on these financial instruments is increasing.

Paying through cards has emerged as the most practical and preferred option for customers. According to Forbes statistics, 90% of Americans with bank accounts prefer to pay via card. This encompasses debit cards 49%, credit cards 32%, virtual debit cards 5%, and virtual credit cards 4%. In contrast, only 9% of individuals opt for traditional methods like cash or checks.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Alipay, Samsung Pay, etc., have revolutionized how we make payments, providing a highly convenient method for users to send contactless transactions.

Members appreciate the simplicity of these platforms, where the need to enter personal details repeatedly is eliminated. The robust security measures implemented by these digital wallets also contribute to a sense of trust and confidence among users, ensuring minimal data compromise.

The widespread adoption of digital wallets is evident in the global user base, which stood at 3.4 billion in 2022, consisting of a significant 42.6% of the worldwide population. Projections for the future indicate substantial growth, with the number of global digital wallet users expected to increase by 53% by 2026, reaching 5.2 billion users.

This would represent an impressive milestone, encompassing over 60% of the world's population and underscoring the increasing reliance on these convenient and secure payment methods.

Bank Transfers (ACH, Wire Transfers)

Bank transfers, among the oldest payment methods, continue to be relevant in the modern era. Despite the availability of numerous modern-day payment options, people consistently choose bank transfers, whether through wire transfers or Automated Clearing House (ACH).

The enduring popularity of this payment method emphasizes its importance and suggests that it cannot be overlooked.

The trust and familiarity associated with bank transfers make them a preferred choice for many individuals. Members often find comfort in the reliability and security offered by this established method.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments have emerged as the ultimate convenience in financial transactions, capturing users' interest. Whether it's through contactless payment methods or remote transactions, mobile payments, often referred to as m-payments, have gained widespread acceptance for several compelling reasons:

  • Convenience
  • Speed
  • Security
  • Efficient tracking

The beauty of mobile payments lies in the freedom it affords individuals, liberating them from the need to carry physical wallets.

In a recent survey conducted in 2022, a remarkable 56% of US customers expressed their comfort in leaving their wallets at home and relying solely on their mobile phones for payments. This statistic underscores the growing confidence and reliance on mobile payments among consumers.

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)

"Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) is a modern payment method gaining prominence with platforms like PayPal Credit, Afterpay, Affirm, Klarna, and more. It introduces a fresh approach to purchasing by allowing users to acquire items and pay for them in short, manageable, interest-free installments.

Typically applicable to purchases ranging up to $1000 or $1500, these payments are spread over bi-weekly or six-week intervals, varying across service providers.

This innovative payment model has captured the attention of a significant consumer base. By 2026, almost 40% of US internet users will use a BNPL solution, highlighting how the payment method is edging further into the mainstream.


Cryptocurrency is emerging as a recognized payment method, with institutions like The Global Chamber of Digital Commerce providing membership tiers payable in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and USD Coin (USDC). The Fintech Association of Central and Eastern Europe also accepts Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) for individual and corporate memberships.

In a remarkable display of this growing trend, statistics reveal that in the first fiscal quarter of 2022 alone, Visa's crypto-backed card facilitated a staggering $2.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency payments.

This rise in adoption is not confined to transactions; it reflects a shift in consumer sentiment. A significant 39% of consumers believe cryptocurrencies should not be limited to investment but should also be actively used for payments. This growing preference underscores the expanding role of cryptocurrency beyond speculative investments.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards function like prepaid recharge systems; users load funds onto the card before utilizing them for transactions.

These cards are designed for one-time use but can be reloaded multiple times. Individuals seeking to monitor their budget often opt for this payment method.

Unlike credit or debit cards, these prepaid cards are not linked to a bank account. Despite this distinction, they are still recognized as a valid and secure payment method.

Alternative Payment Networks (APNs)

Talking about Alternative Payment Networks (APNs), UnionPay in China and M-Pesa in Kenya stand out as remarkable examples, having gathered substantial popularity in their respective regions. In the United States, although a singular dominant APN similar to those is absent, there are noteworthy contenders providing diverse services and challenging traditional credit card networks. Two notable examples include:

Osnap: This network specializes in micro-payments and tipping facilitated through QR codes. It caters to the growing trend of streamlined, convenient transactions in the digital space.

Tokenization: This approach involves replacing sensitive card data with secure tokens, enhancing the security of online transactions. Tokenization has become increasingly important in the realm of digital payments.

QR Codes

QR codes are a seamless bridge between the physical and digital payment domains. Members can effortlessly scan these codes with their smartphones to initiate payments, eliminating the necessity for manual card entry or data transfer.

This provides convenience and speed for in-person and online transactions. However, QR codes offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Convenience: Simplifies payment initiation through quick and easy scanning with smartphones.
  • Speed: Accelerates transactions by eliminating the need for manual card entry or data transfer.
  • Versatility: Applicable to both in-person and online transactions, catering to diverse payment scenarios.
  • Reduced Errors: Minimizes the risk of input errors associated with manual data entry.
  • Accessibility: Requires only a smartphone with a camera, making it widely accessible for users.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication utilizes distinctive physical attributes such as fingerprints, facial features, or voice patterns to validate identity and authorize payments. This advanced technology significantly improves data security and eliminates the need for traditional passwords, providing a more secure and personalized payment experience.

With biometric authentication, there's no requirement to carry wallets, cards, or any physical tokens. Instead, individuals can simply be present, relying on their unique biological traits for identity verification and seamless payment transactions.

This revolutionary approach to payments not only simplifies the user experience but also marks a significant step toward a future where the reliance on traditional payment methods is reduced.

Gamified Payment Experiences

Gamification injects an element of fun and engagement into payment processes. Members can earn rewards, points, or badges by making timely payments, completing challenges, or referring friends.

This innovative approach boosts member satisfaction, reduces membership churn, and incentivizes positive payment behavior, fostering a sense of community within the organization.

Navigating the Choice and Choosing Wisely: Tips for Selecting the Perfect Online Payment Method for Your Membership Organization

Navigating through numerous online payment methods can be confusing. Integrating every method is unnecessary; instead, focus on selecting the ones preferred by your members.

which payment method to choose
To understand these preferences, we share tips that will empower you to make informed decisions.

Member Preferences and Market Standards

The best approach to determining the ideal online payment method for integration is understanding Member Preferences and Market Standards.

Integrate the payment method most frequently used by your membership base—whether it's cards, digital wallets, or bank transfers—to enhance user experience. However, to know member preferences, consider employing various methods:

  • Surveys: Conduct surveys among your members to ask about their payment preferences.
  • Payment platform data: Analyze data from your existing payment platforms to understand the payment methods your members frequently utilize.
  • Competitor analysis: Study the payment methods competitors adopt in your industry to understand market standards.
  • Website/app data: Examine data from your website or app, such as checkout preferences and frequently used payment methods, to get insights into the actual behavior of your members.

You can quickly gain insights into your members' preferred payment methods by conducting thorough research and directing efforts in the right direction.

Transaction Fees

When selecting a payment method to integrate, it's crucial to consider transaction fees. Members generally prefer options with lower or no transaction fees to minimize their expenses. For instance, bank transfers, especially wire transfers, often incur higher fees, leading some members to avoid this payment method.

Therefore, it's advisable to observe and prioritize payment methods that offer lower transaction fees when integrating them into your system.

Security and Fraud Prevention

When establishing a payment method, prioritize options that ensure the utmost security for your members. Opt for methods that incorporate robust security measures, such as two-factor authentication or OTP (One-Time Password).

These features enhance the security of transactions, providing members with a trusted and secure payment environment. Furthermore, prioritize PCI compliance in handling data. It's essential to guarantee that the chosen payment method adheres to PCI standards, ensuring the secure handling of sensitive information.

Compatibility With the Membership Platform

Please ensure that your chosen payment method is seamlessly compatible with your platform. In a broader sense, the selected payment method should seamlessly integrate into your system.

External websites should not be redirected when members utilize them, providing a streamlined experience. Additionally, it's crucial to offer options for automatic payments, especially if you have a recurring membership model.

The billing process should be seamless from the user and system perspectives, eliminating any friction or confusion for members. Aim for a smooth and automated process, minimizing the need for manual operations.

Demographics of the Target Audience

Before selecting an online payment method, conducting a thorough analysis of your membership base demographics is essential. Identify the geographical distribution of your members and prioritize popular payment methods in those regions.

For instance, if a significant portion of your members is based in the United States, where 75% or 3 out of 4 Americans actively use PayPal, considering digital wallets like PayPal would be a logical choice to align with their preferences.

Similarly, for members located in other regions, it is imperative to investigate their residence and preferred payment methods. Tailoring your payment options to the preferences of your diverse membership base ensures a more user-friendly and regionally relevant payment experience.

Mobile Compatibility

As the use of smartphones for online shopping continues to rise, it is imperative to prioritize the mobile compatibility of your chosen payment methods. Guarantee that the payment options seamlessly integrate into mobile apps and are responsive on mobile websites, given that 40% of users may switch to a competitor after a poor mobile experience.

Therefore, pay attention to the user interface and experience on mobile devices to ensure a smooth and convenient payment process for your members.

Refund and Chargeback Process

Conduct a thorough evaluation of each payment method's refund and chargeback processes. It's crucial to recognize that different payment providers and methods come with diverse policies and procedures for managing refunds and chargebacks.

A comprehensive understanding of these processes is essential for effectively handling member disputes and building a positive relationship with them.

Consider the ease of initiating refunds, chargebacks, associated costs, and timeframes. A transparent and customer-friendly refund process not only aids in managing disputes but also contributes significantly to member satisfaction and builds trust in your organization.

How Glue Up Can Help?

Glue Up's Membership Management Software addresses organizations' pain points and empowers them to manage their members.

How Glue Up can help

It is designed to seamlessly retain and grow member communities while streamlining management processes in the following ways:

Flexible Integration Of Payment Methods

Glue Up allows you to integrate any payment method you prefer – whether it's cards, bank transfers, digital wallets, etc. Regardless of your preferred online payment method, Glue Up will take care of most of the methods.

Also, you experience the freedom to cater to your members' needs by enabling payments in multiple currencies, making transactions easy and familiar in regional currencies.

Centralized CRM for Insights

The centralized CRM consolidates all your data, providing deep insights into member engagement allowing you to understand your community's pulse and make informed improvements accordingly.

Comprehensive Membership Management Features

The Membership Management Software ensures all essential features for easy and smooth membership management.

In addition to these core functionalities, the software goes above and beyond by offering additional features to enhance the overall organizational experience. These supplementary features are:

  • Unlimited Membership Types
  • Auto Renewals
  • Member Lists with Advanced Search Capabilities
  • Automated Reminders
  • Membership Directory

Accessibility, Privacy, and Analytics

Glue Up's software is accessible on all devices – be it mobile, desktop, Apple, or any other. On the other hand, you can benefit from custom privacy settings, which allow members to control their information. Meanwhile, engagement analytics allows monitoring of member engagement while displaying membership status.

If you think your membership management software could be more efficient than Glue Up and are ready to take your membership organization to new heights, book a demo with Glue Up.

Discover how our Membership Management Software can streamline your processes, enhance member engagement, and unlock exceptional growth and retention opportunities. Step into a new era of organizational efficiency and member satisfaction with Glue Up!


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