Skyzer Blog

Your guide to the rise of Alternative Payment Apps

30 Jan

The EFTPOS device has been in a constant state of evolution since the founding of the electronic payment industry, with new payment methods making themselves known every year. Modern technology has come a long way, and now there is a new player in the payment game: alternative payment apps.

Payment apps aren’t entirely new. However, their popularity has been steadily rising over the past few years, to the point where Chinese apps like WeChat have over 1 billion active monthly users. Kiwis are hopping onto the bandwagon as well, which is why it’s high time that New Zealand businesses take another look at the payment methods that they offer in store.

So, what are alternative payment apps, and what are the benefits of offering them in your store?

What are Alternative Payment Apps?

An alternative payment app is a contactless, cashless form of payment that allows customers to use their phones to complete a transaction. These apps use one of two methods to facilitate payment: NFC (near-field communication) or a QR code that customers can scan in-store.

With the convenience that these apps offer, it’s no wonder that they have been steadily gaining popularity. Customers no longer need to carry a wallet with them at all, since a so-called “digital wallet” will suffice. Smart businesses stand to benefit from catering to the customer’s need for a convenient experience.

Let’s take a look at the most popular payment apps on the market today.

Google Pay

According to Forbes, Google Pay was the most-downloaded payment app of 2019, now making it a solid competitor to the Chinese WeChat. Google Pay uses NFC, which is the same technology used by debit cards to allow contactless transactions, and stores the user’s debit card details in a digital wallet for use. The app is only available for Android users.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is the iOS equivalent to Google Pay, and is available on all late-generation Apple devices. It also uses NFC technology to allow transactions. Apple got to the idea of payment apps before Google did, releasing the technology two years prior to the Internet giant in 2013. That said, their limiting factor is their sole compatibility with iPhones, as Google’s limiting factor is with Android devices.


Alipay is one of the biggest players in the game, overtaking Paypal as the biggest mobile payment platform in the world by 2013 nine years after Alipay’s release. As of 2019, the app has over a billion active users, providing world-class payment security and 100% reimbursement for any unauthorised transactions. Alipay uses QR codes for payments in-store, which can be implemented on mobile EFTPOS machines or standalone terminals.

Invented by Alibaba Group’s CEO Jack Ma, Alipay has enjoyed massive success in Asia, and is steadily making its way through Europe, North America, and the Pacific Region.


OxiPay is a payment app that offers something unique: you can pay using your mobile, even if you don’t have the full amount. For people who cannot afford to pay the entire sum of a purchase upfront, they can use OxiPay to pay the retailer immediately, and then pay the full amount back to OxiPay over the course of the following four to eight weeks. There are no interest fees, only a fee for late payment, and sign-up is free for any user over eighteen years old. This method of payment has become popular in the Pacific region, with many large retailers supporting this method of payment in-store.


Finally, we have WeChat. Released in 2011, the app is China’s solution to an all-in-one hub, offering messaging, payment options with QR codes, subscriber platforms and even a social feed. Due to the international tourism industry, this app is making its way across the sea to countries like our very New Zealand, offering local businesses the opportunity to expand their clientele.

Why Should Your Business Offer Alternative Payment Methods?

Offering alternative payment methods is, in short, a way to keep up with current global economic trends. Alipay and WeChat have over 1 billion users each, not to mention that Google Pay and Apple Pay are steadily ramping up to similar numbers as more users familiarise themselves with the technology. 

An app like OxiPay offers secure payments to your business, and the only risk is in the hands of the user (who has to pay the amount back). You are guaranteed the full amount!

Furthermore, including QR-payment methods in your brick and mortar store will open your business up to international patronage. Stores all over Asia offer QR code payments as a standard, so when travellers from those countries come to New Zealand, they will expect the same thing.

Help your business to stand out to international travellers. As a business, you will benefit from offering all possible forms of payment because you will not be limited in your revenue. Anyone who walks through the door will know that they can complete a transaction in-store.

Talk to Skyzer about implementing alternative payment methods in your business.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current terminal or you’d like to switch to an entirely new EFTPOS machine, Skyzer can help. Our expert team will work with you to determine which payment methods work best for your business, then provide you with the software and hardware you need to implement them in-store. Get in touch today.