This is a guest article written by PayFast.
Payments are an integral part of the eCommerce experience and unfortunately they have played their part in the ongoing battle with cart abandonments. Whether it’s due to a lack of payment options, cumbersome payment processes or poor design, what is clear is that a good user experience is not only expected, it’s demanded.
At PayFast we understand this need and are consistently working to provide the most seamless payment experience possible.
One of the most crucial aspects of eCommerce is being able to provide the payment option that your customers use. Historically this has played a huge part in cart abandonment, with customers wanting to buy products but being forced to abandon their carts simply because they are unable to make payment.
Our experience has shown that there is also a balance that needs to be struck with offering a comprehensive list of payment choices, but at the same time not flooding the user with an excessive list of options that actually hinder UX more than they assist it.
At PayFast we currently offer six payment options that cover the needs of the South African market including credit cards, our patented Instant EFT and bitcoin. And perhaps more importantly we allow the merchant to offer only the options that they need.
A poorly designed UI can be devastating when it comes to checkout and payments in particular. The UI needs to be simple and as intuitive as possible so that even a first time user is able to complete the process unaided.
There is a widely accepted notion that “it needs to look right”, the appearance and performance of your UI goes a long way in gaining trust and this is especially important when it comes to processing payments.
For us, creating the right experience is important; and one of the big aspects of our design is to minimise error, as well as allow room for it. We make sure that we provide clear information on steps users can take should an error case be present and always give them the option to contact us directly for assistance.
The checkout process needs to be simple, smooth and quick. If the user has to fill out too many forms or perform too many difficult or repetitive actions the customer will become impatient, abandon the cart and leave.
As a third party aspect within the Checkout process, we understand that our process needs to “slot in” with a wide variety of websites and their respective needs. We are constantly working to make payment via the PayFast engine as fast and seamless as possible, this can be highlighted by the choice of saved credit card information and click-to-copy information when using Instant EFT.
Global studies show that over 50% of users are concerned with identity theft when shopping online and while most people have become comfortable shopping on large and popular eCommerce websites, they are afraid of phishing and other fraudulent activities when it comes to smaller, lesser known websites.
So much so that many users will abandon their online shopping session if they become unsure of the security features of an eCommerce store.
Security is huge for us here at PayFast, we are PCI Level 1 compliant, make use of 3D secure, never disclosed financial information and make use of banking level encryption. We recognise that our known and trusted brand is vital for both merchants and buyers when it comes to completing a transaction online.
Although the collection of registration information is very useful, websites that do not allow users to make a purchase as a guest or without registering see a very high rate of cart abandonment and even more so see those users almost never return to their website.
We did away with registration on PayFast back in 2014 as it was one of the most requested updates to the PayFast engine at that time to improve user experience. As a further UX measure we gave users the option to still create a PayFast account which allows for faster Future Payment.
Users have a need, a need for speed and poor loading times will lead to cart abandonment. Users are very impatient online and even more so when they are on mobile, so even a wait of just a couple of seconds could cost you a tonne of business.
Don’t believe us? Well, Amazon calculated that a page slowdown of just 1 second could cost them a staggering $1.6 billion in lost sales each year!
As our name suggests, we like speed at PayFast. Our servers are located locally in South Africa to keep response times as low as possible, we make use of load balancers to handle high volumes and our engine runs on the latest architecture with multiple connections, all to ensure that users don’t have to wait to make their payments.
We’ve also implemented services such as Instant EFT and saved card information to make the actual payment process as quick as possible for the user.
If you’re interested in getting started using PayFast as a Shopify merchant, go to www.payfast.co.za for more information and to register for a free account.