The Pros and Cons of eCommerce Credit Card Payments for your Shoppers

As an eCommerce merchant, accepting credit card payments is essential in order to remain competitive. In fact, if you don’t accept credit cards, you risk losing hundreds of potential customers who are not willing to pay via another payment method. But, have you ever considered the pros and cons of eCommerce credit card payments to the shoppers themselves?

Used correctly, a credit card can be an invaluable financial instrument when it comes to online shopping. However, many shoppers find themselves stung by high interest rates and other associated fees that risk plunging them into substantial debt.

As a business owner, it’s important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of accepting eCommerce credit card payments for your customers. Payflex outlines them here: 

Pros of eCommerce Credit Card Payments: 

1. Paying with a credit card is convenient and quick
Accepting credit cards significantly improves convenience for shoppers. And if they are a registered user, their details can be saved for future purchases, making the shopping process even easier and more seamless. 

2. Credit card shoppers can spread out big purchases

Credit cards allow shoppers to spread out the cost of big ticket purchases like home appliances, a holiday or a new item of furniture, over a number of monthly payments. 

3. Credit card shoppers can earn rewards on their spending

A number of cards offer reward programmes enabling shoppers to earn rewards such as cash back or points. The more they spend, the more points or cash back they earn.  For instance, with a Discovery credit card, a shopper will typically earn Discovery Miles for every Rand they spend using the card to use towards flights and travel. Discovery also rewards shoppers for responsible spending.

4. Using credit cards for online shopping is safer

One of the biggest advantages of using a credit card for online purchases is that they have built-in fraud protection. This means shoppers can easily stop or cancel their card in cases of fraud. And if a charge appears on their credit card for a purchase they didn’t make, they can dispute it with the credit card provider and in most cases, it will be reversed.

5. Credit cards can build up a credit history 

Credit cards offer one of the best ways for shoppers to build their credit and improve their credit scores. A good credit history is important when applying for big loans like a bond. 

Cons of eCommerce Credit Card Payments: 

1. Credit cards can hurt a credit history
Having too many lines of credit can damage a consumer’s credit score by making them appear potentially risky to lenders. When shoppers have more than one credit card, they are essentially taking on more risk. This means they need to manage and keep track of multiple payments and due dates. And if they fail to manage their payments properly, their credit score could be reduced. 

2. Credit card interest charges

If shoppers can’t pay their  balance in full each month, they’ll pay interest charges. This will most likely mean they will end up paying much more for items in the long run than their purchase price. 

3. Credit card fees

Interest payments aren’t the only cost associated with credit cards. Shoppers are also required to pay a host of other credit card related fees including annual or monthly fees, foreign transaction fees and late payment fees.

4. Credit cards can promote reckless spending

Since credit cards are so easy to use, it can be incredibly easy to overspend.  While commercially this might make sense for you as a business owner, overspending can be very detrimental to a consumer’s disposable income, credit score, and ability to pay the amount owed. 


As a merchant, it is important to strike a careful balance between your bottom line and the best interests of your customers. So, when it comes to credit card payments, make sure you try to promote responsible spending as much as you can on your platform. 

It is clear that the pros certainly outweigh the cons when it comes to credit card payments. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, credit card payments have become an indispensable part of consumers’ lives. Their ease of use and convenience can be highly beneficial to shoppers if used responsibly.