Make Your Online Payments Process Easy
Friday, 2nd March 2012
When you are asking people to pay you money online, it is well known that you should make the process as easy as possible. I also think that it is fair to say that nobody has online payments implemented perfectly, but when asking people to pay online you should be aiming closer to that perfection rather than racing further away.
I am a reasonably patient person (queue canned laughter). At least if I'm not entirely patient, I am willing to give a website longer than my wife, who when shopping for vertical blinds closed some websites as soon as they loaded as the page design failed to gain enough of her trust to proceed with an online purchase. So I'm more patient than some online shoppers - but the following issues during a recent online transaction very nearly made me give up and go elsewhere. I fully accept that to some extent I am to blame - but any assumptions I made were largely caused by most other websites doing things right!
So here are a two things you should check right now if you have an online store.
Most card payment forms start with a field called "Card Number". This is where you type in the long number from the front of your debit or credit card. This is normally followed by "Issue Number" and "Expiry Date". Ignore this order at your peril and add in different fields at even greater peril. The website I was using inserted random other information amongst this order, despite the form being labelled "Payment Information".
It isn't possible to make a payment with a card that has expired. Giving people the option to put in an expiry date in 2010 is idiotic as you will just reject it. Even worse, defaulting the expiry date to a date in the past is ludicrous - especially so when you display the selection as a month and year drop-down box. It may be that only a portion of your visitors have a card expiring this year, but it will be a higher percentage than people trying to pay with a card that expired last year (or 2010, which is what the website I was using defaulted to).
Getting these two things right takes about 60 seconds, but getting them
wrong annoys your potential customers.