Best online payment practices for web apps
Having the most efficient payment system on your app or website is a no-brainer. Here we list some of the best options and practices.
When you’re in the process of planning, designing and developing your business’ website or application, you undoubtedly have many different elements and issues to think about. Indeed, it’s the symbiosis and seamless interaction of the different components of a web app that allow the creation of something that’s more than the sum of its parts: the final product.
If your business is attempting to generate revenue online, a key – some would say the most important – part of your web app, will be the payment process.
If your payment system is stressful or doesn’t work properly, it doesn’t matter how amazing the rest of your website or products are – you are going to lose out on potential revenue.
Luckily, there now exists a vibrant ecosystem of payment systems and practices that web apps can leverage in order to maximize checkouts and boost revenue.
In this article, we’re going to cover the three best to use and follow.
1. Less is More
When designing your payment and online checkout form, it really pays off (literally) if you have a simple and easy-to-understand process.
The design should be minimal, allowing your customers to have a clear picture of their position within the payment process. However, minimal should not be confused with generic – it’s better to have a custom design for your payment process that conveys your brand image and assures your customers of your authenticity and reliability.
A less-is-more approach also does not necessarily mean that you should try and cut down on the number of steps in your payment process – giving users a number of steps to pass through to make a payment is fine, as long as each step makes sense logically and the purpose is communicated rationally.
2. Don’t ask for what you don’t need
We’ve probably all been there: you find a product you like, add it to your shopping cart, and then proceed to checkout. But then, you’re asked to ‘log in to your account’, which you don’t have, and frankly don’t want. There is no option to ‘continue as a guest’, and because you do not want – or are simply not in the mood – to sign up for an account with said company, you close the window and move on.
As a business, you need to ask this question: is it really that important that your customers have an account with you before they make a purchase? Chances are, it is not.
Understanding what kind of information you require on your customers is essential if you are going to simplify the payment process from them. This component of a business is known as Know Your Customer (KYC) and should be clearly understood by any business, both from a marketing and a legal point of view.
3. Choose payment gateways that work for you
This part of the payment process is often just an afterthought for many businesses, but it shouldn’t be, as different gateways offer different benefits and downsides.
Some of the most prominent and successful gateways are Swift, Square, PayPal and Google Checkouts. They are all successful for their own reasons, and most offer robust and secure ways of processing payments, with competitive fees.
Choosing a well-known payment gateway has the added important benefit of reassuring your customers that the payment information they enter into your site will be securely processed and stored.
We strongly suggest understanding the different costs and strengths of the payment gateways that are available to you, and will be exploring some of what we consider to be the best in more detail in a future article.