Telling customers upfront about their payment options

27Jan10

Most e-commerce websites make it a point to prominently display the logos of the credit cards they accept, along with alternate payment options, throughout their site. The rationale is obvious: there’s no point in convincing customers to add items to their cart and go through checkout if you don’t accept the payment methods they want to use.

However, transactional sites that aren’t quite as retail-oriented don’t seem to follow the same protocol. For instance, when I bought an insurance policy online a few weeks ago, I got to the very last step before I learned they don’t take Amex. I used a different credit card instead, so it was only a minor annoyance. But for someone who only has an Amex card, they would have to abandon the whole purchase, leading to frustration for them and lost revenues for the insurance company.

The takeaway here is simple: if you operate a website or web application that involves any sort of payment, follow the lead of online retailers and make sure your payment methods are prominently displayed. These should be shown on your homepage and other high-traffic pages, on the product detail pages, on the shopping cart page, and at the start of the checkout process. That way, customers will be properly informed about which credit cards you accept, and a higher percentage of people will complete the transactions they started, leading to increased sales for your site.



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