One of the biggest expenses of online businesses today is the marketing budget. Management spends a lot of time and effort on the marketing strategy, as well as on the tactics of buying leads. They will always measure critical KPIs such as CPA, CPR, LTV and the like. From our experience, Management often tends to neglect a very crucial stage of the “funnel”; - the conversion rate of the payment page.
Many factors can affect a good payment experience; one that ends with the acquisition of a new customer or the retention of an existing one. The following model represents the basic rules for building a winning payment page:
Let’s review the different rules together, starting from scratch:
Keep It Simple
Manifest a clean and simple payment experience when you design the User Interface (UI) by creating a clear design of the payment fields to fill in; - fitting everything into 1 page without the need to scroll up or down to see all the details requested. Additionally, add a clear explanation on the CVV field and include simple validation errors near the field that were filled in incorrectly. By doing so the user will know exactly how to fix their errors. It is also recommended to add checkout buttons at the top and bottom of the page.
Avoid asking too many registration details and focus at this stage only on the required details for processing the transaction and verifying the customer identity, as required (KYC – Know Your Customers). In the event that the customer has already filled in some of the details at an earlier stage, you can pre-populate and avoid duplication of questions. This stands for payment details as well, as some of the system saves the credit card details for future transactions. We recommend you use this option, after you make sure the details are saved in a secure way.
Another important issue is what to do in cases where the transaction is “Declined”. As your customer is still in front of the screen, you have a few seconds to present a clear call-to-action message by offering him the option to either fix the credit card details, try a different credit card or try an alternative payment solution (targeted per the customer country). It’s important to optimize and filter the decline messages from the bank. In cases of stolen cards or fraudulent transactions you should present a general message of failure and send the customer away.
Give your consumers peace of mind
Make sure your payment page is secured according to PCI DSS regulation (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). The PCI standard was formulated by the 5 major credit card companies to ensure protection of credit card data in any environment it is stored, processed or transferred. The standard includes different requirements as to how to implement security metric in order to prevent data compromise. You must be PCI compliant, as it is a regulation and any data breach exposes you to legal consequences.
The payment gateways offer 3 main methods of implementation:
Usage of the processor’s payment page in a re-direct or iFrame method. This requires the lowest PCI level and leaves you with minimal flexibility in design of the page.
Full API (Application Programming Interface) implementation allows the Merchant to build the payment page with full flexibility while storing the credit card data in its servers. This requires the highest PCI level.
Client Side Encryption – the merchant builds the payment page with high flexibility while the credit card details are stored at the processor. This requires the medium PCI level.
In order to comply with PCI certification, the Merchant is required to fill in an SAQ questionnaire and perform quarterly penetration tests.
Create a familiar environment
Avoid re-directing the customer to an external payment page as much as possible and keep a seamless experience in your website. Even if you choose to use the processor payment, in most cases, you will be able to put your logo and web page colors in, to give the closest “look & feel” of your website UI.
A visual payment process can be quite helpful to the customer and highly increases the success of the transaction. For instance, presenting a visual of the credit card with empty fields to be filled in.
Let your consumers run the show
Offer your customers a variety of payment methods. Once the customer chooses his preferred payment method, the chances of the transaction’s acceptance are increased.
Perform market analysis in order to learn the acceptable local methods for payment amongst your target markets. Credit cards are not always the first option in all the countries. In Russia they will choose to pay with e-wallet, while in Europe they are big fans of direct debit, and in LATAM cash based payments are most common. Your payment processor will be able to offer you many local payment methods and can guide you on their implementation process.
Keep up with your consumers
Make sure you are always up to date with the latest innovations in payments and fraud detection and update your payment processes accordingly.
PaymentsOp is a niche consulting company specializing in e-payments and risk management for e-commerce for all players in the payments arena: Acquirers, Payments Gateways, High risk merchants and startups.