August 1, 2023
Adrian Escude
How many forms of payment currently exist?
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mins. de lectura

When Don Hilarión, the celebrated character in the film La Verbena de la Paloma, announced that “times change, which is outrageous”, little could he have imagined what was about to befall us in every aspect of our day-to-day lives. And certainly if he read the content of what follows concerning the various forms of payment that exist today, he would have taken his music somewhere else.

We do not need to go back to the end of the 19th century to find someone who would be perplexed by the changes wrought in payment methods; it's enough just to go a few decades back. Not long ago it was only possible to pay by cash and, at the outside, by cheque. These days there are so many ways that the best thing is to make a list in which we include virtually everything. And it seems certain that before long we'll see options that we cannot even imagine today.

In-person ways and methods of payment

Despite the increase in online retailing, a large number of consumers continue to prefer going to bricks and mortar stores to do their shopping. In this way, they check the products that interest them with their own eyes, they quiz the shopkeepers about their characteristics and pay in situ. For this type of retailing relationship there are various forms of payment.

Payment in cash

This is the most traditional payment method. This involves the notes and coins we are all familiar with, which are regulated by the state and each one of which has a certain value. Until a short time ago, the majority of buyers used this payment method. Although it is still important in quantitative terms, more and more users are switching to other methods.

Credit and debit cards

These are the typical cards that banks offer their customers. They may be credit (used to finance a purchase immediately, in other words, the bank charges the operation later) or debit cards (requires having the money in the account, because the entire outlay is charged at the moment of purchase). In recent years the contactless system for using cards has been rolled out. This enables payments to be made without having to insert the card into the slot of the terminal - it suffices simply to place the card near the screen and enter the PIN, if the device requests it.


This is one of the payment methods that has been around longest. It's a financial document that enables a company or individual to pay another. It displays the agreed amount, preferably in words, the number of the account from which the money will be taken and the recipient of the transaction.

Payment by mobile or NFC

This is one of the payment methods that has grown most rapidly in recent years. Smart phones have become an extension of ourselves and they also serve as a means of paying. In this case, a connection is made with the bank so that by simply moving the mobile towards the payment terminal, payment is made of the agreed amount. One category of payment by mobile is payment by smart watch. Payment is made by moving the watch towards the terminal.

Deferred in-person shopping

Companies like SeQura ensure that in bricks and mortar stores using their payment method it's possible to buy a product and pay for it in instalments. The process is extremely simple. The products chosen are scanned with a mobile, the payment instalments are chosen, the personal details requested are supplied, the credit card number is entered and the code that SeQura gives the customer is shown at the checkout. It's as simple as that.

Promissory notes

This is more common in transactions conducted between companies rather than between individuals. It involves issuing a promise to pay, which has to display the amount of the payment, the place where it will be made and the date it falls due.

Online payment methods

During 2020, users who acquired products and services online in Spain bought an average of €2,100. Bearing in mind that the percentage of online buyers has not stopped growing, it is hardly surprising that in recent years online payment methods have gone on multiplying and improving. The goal is clear: to give consumers more facilities when it comes to paying online.


One of the best-known online payment platforms. It enables users to transfer, pay and receive money. It's linked to a bank account, and from there they can carry out all the transactions they want.


Apps have become one of the commonest methods of payment. In many cases they serve as a way of paying and receiving money among acquaintances. They're stored on smart phones and they enable users to buy products and services at online retailers in a quick and easy way.

Online debit and credit cards

These require the existence of a payment gateway that works as an intermediary between the buyer and seller. Users just have to enter their account number and follow the small number of steps they're given during the transaction to make their purchase.

Payment with mobile number

The online store requests the mobile number of the person about to make the purchase. After a few steps to ensure security, the charge for the purchase will appear in the phone bill in the month following the transaction.

Payment by digital currency

The most famous is Bitcoin, but there are many others. Cryptocoins are emerging as one of the most widespread forms of payment and more and more online retailers are enabling payments to be made with them. As things stand however their use has not become standardised among consumers and only a small proportion of the population uses this payment method.


SeQura is nowadays one of the payment methods that gives users most facilities to make payments for their purchases whether online or offline. It offers various methods of payment, each of them with their specific characteristics:

Pay later

Flexibility in payment is increasingly important for building the trust of consumers online. SeQura incorporates this payment method, which enables the purchase to be paid for only when you have it in your hands and checked that it fulfils what your were looking for when you decided to buy it. Up to 7 days are available to pay for your purchases without any problem whatsoever.

Split payment

This enables consumers to adjust the time and instalments to the situation in which they find themselves. With SeQura you can choose the instalment amount that best suits you and the number of months over which you want the purchase to be spread

Split into 3

This is another of the payment methods offered by SeQura. In this case, users can pay the price of their purchase split into three instalments. This means that, if there's a need to buy something in a month where funds are tight, the pressure on the finances of the person concerned is divided.