7 checks for your online payment system

The online travel sector has done much to improve the booking journey for customers but the payment journey is just as important for conversions. Mariam Sharp outlines the basics

Getting the basics right is certainly worth the effort, says Thomas Helldorff, VP of Travel at Worldpay. According to WorldPay research involving 25 large retailers and 250 shoppers across 14 countries, simply by improving the online payment journey, and moving beyond one-page payment processes, large travel companies saw, on average, an increase of ten paying customers per day. That boosted the bottom line by of £1m!

So let’s now take a look at the steps to a smoother payment process.

1. Build trust

Building trust is a key component of developing the customer relationship. According to WorldPay something as simple as displaying the payment security logos on the homepage increases conversions.

  • 48% of people felt more confident booking if there was a recognised security logo, and this percentage increased in emerging countries.

Payment methods are also important to show on the homepage. So make sure to show the kinds of credit cards or payment terms that are possible to use early on.

2. Keep the shopping basket in local currency

When customers reach for the shopping basket, they prefer to be able to assess the value in their local currency. The easiest way to do this is by offering a currency converter. This is so often overlooked even on travel websites attracting customers internationally. Worldpay found that nearly one in three customers would not complete a purchase if the prices were not available in their local currency. This is often the way that smaller local travel companies, such as European airline Transavia has done, themselves from can differentiate.

3. Offer users easy profile updates

Enable travellers to update their profiles and outline their payment preferences as this way it makes it easier for repeat purchases. As customers build their trust in online and mobile payment systems they will increasingly store their payment details. “This will also become increasingly important as travellers grow even more accustomed to Amazon 1-Click ordering, or in the future of payments via mobile or wearables (smart watches etc), says Helldorff.

4. Keep the payment page simple

The main way to optimise a page is by repeating the payment methods displayed on the home page. It is also important to make the payment process as easy as possible so pre-filling data whenever possible is a good idea as data entry can be tricky for customers on mobile devices.

Helldorff recommends only asking for the information that is necessary and reducing the fields as much as possible to make it quicker and easier for customers to complete the payment. This is important as currently it is estimated that 33% of customers abandon the payment page because too much data is requested. Also, it increases confidence if you show the customer that the data is validated as they enter it to show that the data is correct. Where it isn’t correct, give clear instructions on how to fill in the data. 

5. Deal with error messages

If there is an error message, help the customer as much as possible by giving them a good idea what they need to do to get through the payment process. If the card number or the expiry date is wrong, or they do not have enough funds on the account, find the clearest  (and nicest) way of letting them know. Also make it easy for them to correct or return to the basket by leaving data they have filled in where possible.

6. Provide payment confirmation

Send immediate payment confirmations, also include clear reference numbers and provide users with a record of the payment method they used. This can serve to make it easier if they need to make any enquiries. It will also help support teams quickly resolve problems.

7. Be supportive and helpful

Just knowing that there is a support function can increase customer trust and in turn increase conversions. Where support staff are used, it’s recommended that they are trained to answer payment related questions immediately; it’s crucial that they fully understand the payment support tools available to help customers with any queries. 

Worldpay appears here as part of EyeforTravel’s sponsored content programme

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