Payment Testing Pays Off: A Better UX Drives More Revenue

Zeb Winzenried
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Deliver the ease and flexibility consumers want

Digital payments are peppered throughout our days: You open an app to order a coffee for your drive to work. You use another app to pay for a train ticket or car ride. You pay bills online and order groceries, takeout, or basic household supplies without a second thought.

While consumers may take digital payments for granted, brands can’t afford to do the same. The digital payment ecosystem has many moving parts and connection points where things can go wrong. Thorough payment testing offers companies confidence that they’re not leaving revenue on the table.

Let’s explore the reasons behind this trend and explain why digital payment testing is a necessity.

More businesses than ever are accepting online payments

Once primarily the domain of ecommerce, digital payments have expanded into many different industries — and in many cases, COVID-19 drove rapid adoption. Many restaurants that offer takeout and delivery services saw a spike in online orders during the pandemic. People turned to streaming media services for new ways to entertain themselves. They invested in online fitness classes when their gyms were closed. Many transactions that would have traditionally taken place face to face moved online: payments included.

Consumers want convenience and choice

Digital payments allow companies to provide their customers greater flexibility. Offering a wider variety of payment options can help brands capture more sales. In addition, giving customers the ability to set up automatic payments and renewals:

  • improves recurring revenue;

  • reduces churn;

  • and saves time over manual payment processing.

There are more digital payment methods than ever before, with new ones being developed all the time. Customers expect companies to go beyond cash, debit or credit cards; they want the option to use their bank accounts, mobile wallets, or other payment methods to complete transactions. For example, online-only banks that provide virtual debit cards are easy to open, safe to use and more feature-rich than traditional banks. Microsoft now offers Bitcoin to be redeemed as credit to purchase services on Xbox. Options like buy now, pay later (BNPL), which let users spread payments over three to six months interest-free, are also growing in popularity and disrupting the marketplace in APAC. Consumers often expect these payment methods to be supported in both the digital and physical worlds.

Various technologies enable payment processing

Companies don’t have to figure out payment processing on their own: they can choose the software, hardware and services that best support them — and their customers. For ecommerce or in-app retailers/services, integrations with robust digital payment solutions, particularly providers and processors, help set up a successful ecosystem. Integrating payment APIs from providers like Stripe, PayPal or Square can aid in a seamless transition to accept more digital payments.

Brick and mortar retailers can take advantage of digital wallets, like Apple Pay or PayPal, by using POS terminals designed to support them. These terminals typically have near-field communication (NFC) technology enabled to accept a tap-and-pay contactless payment, which is particularly important in the view of the pandemic.

Testing payments is crucial

Fundamentally, testing ensures that technology successfully performs the tasks it was designed to perform: it lets product owners and developers know if something works. Different types of testing can answer variants of that question: does it work easily, intuitively, in the ways users expect? Does it integrate with other tools, work on different devices or networks? Answers to these questions are critical for brands who want to engage their customers. In the payment processing space, where many different technologies operate together, everything must work.

Everything from apps to hardware to APIs needs to function properly for the payment to go smoothly. As you add more variables and complexity, you increase the potential for things to go wrong, and testing becomes essential.

Companies tend to overlook problem areas with payment testing because they don’t know what they don’t know, especially when it comes to foreign markets. Something as simple as using the word “Checkout” instead of “Proceed” when localized in a payment flow can cause a user to potentially abandon a digital purchase. When entering new regions, companies must evaluate a number of local market complexities to ensure they deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Cart abandonment metrics are a major KPI for most retailers, as they want customers to go through from shopping to purchase. Testing can often reveal why customers abandon purchases.

Real-world payment problems revealed and resolved

Applause had a customer seeing high abandonment rates in Brazil and asked us to test to find out why. Payment testing revealed that every Brazilian debit card was being declined. As Brazil is a cash-based economy and doesn’t rely on credit, this customer was losing out on critical revenue. The customer was able to take this information to its processor, which had inadvertently blocked all debit bank identification number (BIN) ranges from purchasing.

Another Applause customer saw similarly high abandonment rates in India, particularly on mobile web browsers. Our community quickly identified that the 3DS pop-up for entering a one-time passcode was not scrollable or zoomable. This meant that on smaller phone screens, particularly entry-level Android phones — common in India — the user could not tap the Continue button, which was offscreen. The only option was to abandon the purchase or try on another browser.

Learn to overcome localized payment complexities in this recent webinar with Digital River.

Testing payment solutions is key to expansion. Payment testing supports verification of new and existing payment methods, along with user feedback. Companies that ignore trends in new methods and offerings because their core business works miss out on opportunities to grab new market share.

Applause can quickly create customized testing teams in local markets around the world to ensure payments work seamlessly across all channels and devices. Partner with us to deliver smooth payment transactions and capture more sales. Learn more about Applause’s payment testing.

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