Show Me The Money: Why Payment Testing Is A Wise Investment

    By Amy Montague, Thursday 20 February 2020

    According to Worldpay research, revenue from e-commerce is expected to exceed $4.6 trillion globally by 2022, with a massive 140 online payment methods in use around the world.  Without comprehensive payment testing you might struggle to claim a slice of the action.

    As the high street descends into a spiral of seemingly permanent decline, more and more purchases are migrating online, increasingly to mobile and via an expanding array of payment methods (including debit and credit cards, digital wallets and even cryptocurrencies).  

    In fact, according to the European Payments Council while in 2018, 17% of e-tailers saw half of all their purchases being made on mobile - post 2020 this number is expected to almost double.

    Opportunity and risk in online retail

    Ecommerce remains a huge opportunity for retailers to drive revenue, open up new markets and find new customers with faster, more intuitive and personalised payment options on their websites and apps. But as the migration to frictionless online retail turns to a stampede and payment technology continues to innovate, the amount that can go wrong inevitably increases. And when it goes wrong it can go really wrong - with profound consequences for revenue and brand loyalty.   After all, securing payment from an online shopper is one of the trickiest things to do and prone to high amounts of disruption. Just consider the following:

    • On average, 70% of online baskets are abandoned before a purchase can be made
    • 25% of all e-commerce purchases are aborted because of technical problems on a site or app
    • 23% of all online purchases are abandoned because of usability issues
    • 17% of purchases are abandoned because of concerns over the security of card details
    • 66% of all mobile purchasers abandon transactions because of issues at payment

    Source Baynard

    And this:

    • 89% of customers stop doing business with a brand after a single, bad digital experience

    Why payment issues are often buried deep inside UX

    So the stakes are high, but against a background of almost continual change in the digital landscape it can be very difficult to see exactly where payment issues are arising. Conversion rates can go up and down mysteriously, with the source of problems concealed deep within a specific payment journey, perhaps related to a certain device type or even traffic at certain times of the day. Reasons can include:

    • APIs that fail following updates and upgrades 
    • Flakey and slow performance on 3G or 4G connections
    • Wallet integrations behaving oddly across different device/browser combos
    • Customers abandoning purchases because of peak time performance lags
    • Convoluted purchase paths driving customers away

    And that’s where testing comes in. But testing must comprehensive enough to cover the functional, usability, performance and security issues  which can all affect payment journeys in myriad ways.  You need a testing solution that can tell you immediately where you need to take action to prevent your basket abandons escalating and your conversion rates dwindling.

    When payment journeys are complicated 

    Take mobile -  with all those different screen sizes, operating systems, browsers, hard and soft key combinations to accommodate there’s a huge risk of customer error and lots of interactive technology that can fail.  For customers there can be long forms and tediously long number fields to complete.  For developers and designers multiple pages need to put in front of the consumer before an order process is complete - these can end up stretched and mangled across screens by different devices and OS.  All the convenience of a mobile device can  be lost by a terrible experience just at this crucial moment in a conversion path.

    And there’s so much that can fail both from a functional and usability perspective across the whole range of devices.  For example, the  European Payments Council remind us of the importance of flagging the right messages through design - a simple icon can give customers the confidence they need to complete their purchase:

    “In order to feel comfortable, consumers require a visible and simple indication of security. Ideally, this would be one that is familiar to them, no matter the country they are buying from. Trustmarks can provide this independent form of trust.” 

    Digital wallet testing adds continued complexity to payment testing

    All this is, of course, why options like digital wallets have become so popular. By enabling a payment experience that can be spread across multiple online stores.  Globally, eWallets like Alibaba are hugely significant players, although barely register on the consciousness of European brands and consumers.  But this has given rise to a whole new testing challenge of its own. We need the expertise and the right test equipment to ensure we can cover all these different and, often, novel payment methods.

    Fung Global Retail & Technology’s global snapshot of digital wallet us

    Internal test resource fails to deliver the necessary scope and scale for effective payment testing

    So, do you have the time, resource, hardware and the right variety of payment instruments (access to cards, digital wallets etc.) necessary for end to end transaction testing across all the territories you’re operating in? Can you accurately simulate the peak time pressure on your site or app and the experiences of those using mobile networks to connect?

    If your site or app needs to support payment methods like WeChat Pay, you’re going to need the facility to test them and the way their integrations function on your site. Ideally, you’re going to need someone on the ground to do so, too, to understand issues and corrective actions that are locally specific.

    Protecting and optimizing payment conversion should be a top priority for ecommerce brands - it is, after all, their reason for being and often their only avenue for continued growth. Testing is a key way of getting the data you need to fix and optimise the issues that are holding you back.  But it needs to be done at scale on real devices, with real payment instruments to capture and reflect all potential areas where revenue could be leaking or being lost altogether.  

    Ecommerce is a global opportunity but complex to administer, you need to be confident that all its moving parts are functioning effectively and you have the insight on hand to act when it fails.

    Comprehensive payment testing is the answer, finding the way to deliver it at scale and at speed is the challenge.Black friday guide yellow button cta


    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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