At a time when retailers are struggling to find new buyers in the poor economy, online payment service provider eBillme.com has launched a “walk-in” payment option for Web shoppers who do not have online banking or credit cards. The effort could enable an additional 72 million people in the US to become online buyers, according to the company.
“There’s a fundamental reason for marketers to take an interest in this new market,” eBillme CEO Marwan Forzley said. “It is a new customer that has been underserved in the past – they aren’t the first segment merchants usually think of, but there has been a lot of recent focus due to the downturn.”
Forzley described the cash buyer as making less than $40,000 a year. Often, they are seniors, or part of a disenfranchised or migrant community that does not have access to banking.
As of September 3 — the program’s launch date — 840 e-commerce sites, including Tigerdirect.com, Sears and Buy.com, can allow consumers to order online and then pay in cash at one of 75,000 locations across the country. EBillme has partnered with MoneyGram International, IPP of America and PreCash to provide a network of payment outlets. EBillme confirms receipt of payment before informing the merchant to ship the product ordered.
In addition to some online marketing of the new service that is already underway, eBillme plans to launch offline marketing efforts at a number of the payment locations. These may include on-site video, posters and pamphlets in one or several of the local languages.