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How to create a secure payment page

A fast, frictionless checkout experience is vital for boosting conversions and keeping your customers hooked. If your payment page takes too long to navigate or looks too complicated, they may get distracted or re-evaluate their decision to make a purchase. Cart abandonment is a real issue, with the average retail e-commerce business experiencing an 84.24% cart abandonment rate, according to data from SaleCycle. By producing a secure online payment page for your customers, you can make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you.

What is a payment page?

Secure online payment pages – also known as payment forms – allow your customers to make payments or pay invoices online. The number of fields that the customer needs to fill in will vary, depending on the simplicity of the page. In most cases, the fewer the better. Important fields include Name, Email Address, Address, Card Number, Card Expiration Date, and CVV.

There are two key aspects that your landing page with payment form needs to nail: simplicity and security. Without either of these two elements, your customers are more likely to abandon their cart, leaving your business out of pocket. So, how do you ensure that your payment page provides both of these elements to your customers? Check out our list of tips for a little more information.

Online payment pages – tips for simplicity

Here are some tips for producing a simple landing page with payment form for your business:

Avoid forced sign-up

Forcing your customers to make an account with your website can make the checkout process much longer and encourage the customer to give up the transaction. Similarly, SaaS companies shouldn’t force customers to add their payment details before they’ve started a free trial, as this adds friction and could drive potential customers into the arms of their competitors.

Optimise forms for conversion

Consider every additional field in your payment form a potential hurdle that your customers need to cross before they’re able to pay you. Ultimately, the fewer fields they need to fill in, the less likely they are to abandon their cart. After all, what’s more important, a completed purchase or more information for your database? Pre-populate as many fields as possible, provide real-time validation, and ensure that errors are communicated clearly with error messages.

Provide multiple payment options

Offering more payment options is a shortcut to more customers. Preferred payment options vary between different countries, so by offering a wide selection of payment methods – from Direct Debit to credit/debit card – you can make sure that you’re not accidentally turning away any potential customers.

Localise the payment page

If your payment page isn’t localised for international customers, you’re introducing an easily avoidable element of friction into the payment process. Ensure that you’re able to talk to customers in their native language by localising the payment form, and make sure you support multiple currencies, so your customers don’t have to do the maths for themselves.

Online payment pages – tips for security

Here are some tips for how to create a secure payment page for your business:

Get an SSL certificate

First, and most importantly, you should make sure that you have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your website. SSL is a standard piece of online payment security technology that establishes a link between the customer’s web browser and your website, encrypting all communications to ensure that sensitive information (like credit card data) is unreadable for any third parties.

Comply with PCI Security Standards Council regulations

PCI DSS requirements play a crucial role in safeguarding online payment security. These general practices help to ensure that all card data is stored, handled, and transmitted safely, so it’s a good idea to ensure they’re baked into your page design. Plus, PCI DSS compliance is mandatory for any business that takes card payments or financial information.

Only ask for relevant information

When you’re taking payment information from your customers, you should ensure that you’re only asking for information that’s necessary to complete the transaction. Aside from the fact that this will produce a simpler secure online payment page, it reduces the amount of information that could potentially be stolen and re-used.

Protect the login screen against hackers

While SSL will go some way to doing this, there are further steps that you can take. For example, you should include a CAPTCHA code verifier field and ensure that at minimum, you identify clients by asking them to enter an email and password.

Third-party or in-house?

Once you’ve decided that you need a secure online payment page, you’ll need to decide whether to create one in-house or outsource to a third-party. There are pros and cons to each approach. While third-party payment pages are simple, secure, and relatively inexpensive, producing your own page in-house gives you far more control and flexibility, ensuring that you’re providing your customers with the best payment page design for their needs.

Ultimately, it comes down to the state of your company. Are you a small business without an in-house development team? If so, it may be best to outsource. However, if you have technological resources in your team, then doing the work yourself could be a better way to solve the problem. Cost should also be a consideration, as setup fees, processing fees, and long-term hosting fees are likely to vary significantly, depending on whether you opt for a third-party provider or build your own in-house system.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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GoCardless (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services.