Pick Your Checkout Page

Checkout pages are critical to your business’ website. There are two choices. Marci Gagnon explains.

Marci Gagnon

When it comes to designing your website, it’s crucial that you make your checkout page as convenient, simple and easy to navigate as possible for your customers. After all, the checkout page is where your customers ultimately decide to place an order or pay an invoice. If you don’t how to translate that on the web, a web designer can always be contacted.

When designing the payment experience, there are two types of checkout pages to choose from—on-site or hosted.

An on-site payments page is one that is located directly on your web site. To put it another way, you are the host, and your customers never leave your website when making a payment. Consider it a “self-hosted” payments page.  While a self-hosted payment page may offer additional design control, it also puts most of the onus for security directly on your business and significantly increases the scope of your PCI compliance requirements. 

The other option is called a hosted payments page. A hosted payments page is a checkout page located on a third-party website. When a customer clicks on your site to make a payment, he or she is directed away from your website to a new site. In general, this new hosted checkout page is provided by your merchant payments provider or gateway.

With a hosted checkout page, all the information required to complete a sale is stored on the server of the provider rather than being stored on your web hosting provider’s server. This includes the customer information needed to make a payment happen, the actual processing of the payment itself, and finally the generation of payment confirmations and receipts.

Once your customer completes the payment process, he or she is redirected back to your website. But in all the time your customer is at the hosted checkout page, he or she might not even realize that they are at another web page.  In addition, if you utilize a hosted payment page that allows for customization you may be able to add your logo, business colors and sometimes your own design templates all with the added security of not storing or passing any sensitive customer data. This means that should your business be the victim of a hacking or fraud; you will not have to reimburse any customers affected. That obligation belongs to the hosted checkout page provider. With the cost of a hosted checkout page being just a small transaction fee, it is not a lot to pay for a whole lot of peace of mind for both you and your customers.

We all know how crucial it is for businesses to provide a safe and secure website for customers to make online payments. For the majority of Energy Marketers, the combination of enhanced PCI-compliance, decrease in liability, easy set-up, and customization, a hosted payments page is probably the right addition to your website. Marci Gagnon is the Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Qualpay and has been in the payments industry for over 15 years with a concentration on recurring billing and the Energy space. Qualpay provides processing solutions to fuel delivery and service businesses with tools designed to provide real-time reconciliation and cost reduction. For additional information contact Marci Gagnon at marci@qualpay.com or visit https://www.qualpay.com/industry/utility-and-energy

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