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From Swipes to Leases: The Evolution of Retail Payments and Why Retailers Should Adapt

Feb 13, 2024

A happy couple shopping in a retail store where they are considering how to make a payment on the one they want to take home.

To not only survive but thrive in the retail world, adaptability is paramount — especially when it comes to embracing payment technology. Today’s businesses find themselves navigating a landscape shaped by the rising importance of digital payment solutions. This trend has become a defining force, molding consumer expectations and instilling a desire for exceptional convenience, control and flexibility in their payment methods.  

This article aims to take a closer look at the spreading impact of this transformative trend, exploring how it is influencing the retail experience. Additionally, we will explore the growing role of flexible payment options, focusing specifically on the innovative lease-to-own solution offered by Acima Leasing.  

Understanding the Development of Retail Payment  

The integration of digital payment solutions extends beyond the adoption of trendy technology; it fundamentally addresses the demands of a generation largely raised on the principles of instant gratification and personalized experiences. Recent studies reveal a noteworthy shift, with an astounding 70% (1) of consumers now prioritizing personalized payment options during the checkout process. This is not merely a fleeting trend; it signifies a classic transformation that retailers must navigate successfully to remain competitive in the ever-evolving market. 

Meeting the Demands of Today's Shoppers 

Modern consumers are not merely looking for products; they expect a comprehensive and positive shopping experience that offers them choices, flexibility and control over their payment methods. However, the evolution of the demand for a positive customer experience is not limited to payment methods alone; it extends to the entire consumer shopping journey. This shift necessitates retailers to embrace technological advancements and offer seamless integrations to provide a holistic shopping experience.  

A global survey highlights the growing importance of payment flexibility, with an overwhelming 63% (2) of consumers more likely to patronize retailers offering preferred payment options. Retailers, in response to this demand, are diversifying their payment methods, ensuring they cater to the preferences of their consumer base. As a result, consumers are now empowered with an array of choices, from traditional credit cards to digital wallets and beyond.  

The Rise of Lease-to-Own Solutions 

Within the dynamic landscape of the retail payment ecosystem, one notable trend gaining momentum is the growth of lease-to-own solutions. These innovative options provide consumers with the flexibility to lease products rather than committing to an outright purchase. The appeal of lease-to-own extends beyond traditional payment methods, it embraces shopping power by offering flexible payment options.  

This approach is gaining ground rapidly, reducing shopping barriers for a broad spectrum of consumers who may have faced limitations with traditional payment methods. The intricacies of lease-to-own models involve a nuanced understanding of consumer behavior, credit considerations and the unique value these alternatives bring to the table — marking a departure from conventional, rather limiting underwriting practices. 

Why Should Retailers Consider Offering Lease-to-Own? 

Embracing lease-to-own solutions is not just a tactical response to a current trend; it is a strategic move that manifests a retailer’s commitment to their customers when it comes to the convenience of their payment options. Retailers that integrate and prioritize these kinds of options demonstrate a heightened sensitivity to the needs of shoppers, providing budget conscious solutions that resonate with an even broader consumer base. 

Even better, the benefits of incorporating lease-to-own solutions extend beyond customer satisfaction — this adaptability creates a symbiotic relationship, where both the business and the consumer enjoy substantial benefits. In fact, retailers that embrace these innovative payment methods are increasing their opportunities to boost sales and enhance customer experience by directly addressing their customers’ unique needs.  

Acima Leasing is committed to setting you up for success. Once again, enter technology: our team is ready to show you how lease-to-own can support your business in either e-commerce or in-store. This not only attracts current customers looking for those payment options, but a new audience of customers that were once out of reach traditional shopping challenges.   

Join the Lease-to-Own Revolution 

In the face of evolving customer payment preferences, retailers must not only adapt but strive to thrive in the highly competitive market. Lease-to-own models are quickly emerging as pioneers in the growing retail landscape, prioritizing payment flexibility and solutions to the various shopping payment barriers that some customers might be facing. The transformation is not merely about convenience; it is about meeting modern demands and ensuring sustainable growth in a rapidly digitizing world. So isn’t it time to start taking a closer look? Let’s talk and start giving your customers the experience they’re seeking through the innovative solutions you could start incorporating today. 

1. Alessio Botta and Marie-Claude Nadeau. "The 2022 McKinsey Global Payments Report." McKinsey, October 2022, 2. Chris Nerney. "Consumers Want More Payment Flexibility in Their Shopping Experience." CIO, 22 Aug. 2022,