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Avoid customer frustration: tips to improve your online payment experience

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Last editedJun 20236 min read

Improving customer payment experience is key to increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Steps include offering diverse payment options, intuitive and quick processes, secure platforms, transparent pricing, mobile optimisation, accessible customer support, and personalisation for a tailored experience.

Don’t let your sale fall through at the final hurdle with a frustrating payment experience. Online customer satisfaction involves providing attractive products and services and extending this appeal through payment confirmation and shipping. To provide a seamless payment experience, you must know the most common customer frustrations.

Frustration 1: The checkout page is overwhelming

From pop-ups to banner ads, a cluttered checkout page can be a big turn-off for overstimulated shoppers. In a time when we’re all bombarded by information, customers want a clean, clear layout with simple fields to input their payment information.

The solution:

Minimise clutter and offer a smooth, streamlined checkout experience. This should be as frictionless as possible, ideally without redirecting to third-party payment pages or involving added pop-up screens. It’s also best to ensure your business branding is clearly visible on each page of the checkout process to enhance feelings of security in the purchase.

Frustration 2: The customer can only pay from one device

On-the-go shoppers don’t always have their laptops nearby – but they have their smartphones. An estimated 69% of UK buyers purchased their smartphone in 2022 alone, and mobile commerce is expected to surpass 100 billion GBP by 2024. When buyers encounter checkout pages that aren’t optimised for mobile use, conversion rates plummet as a result.

The solution:

Your point of sale should include a brick-and-mortar retail space and an online shop front, social media channels, and mobile apps. Customers want frictionless payments with easy-pay SMS links and mobile wallets. These are also more secure, with biometric authentication providing an added layer of safety.

Frustration 3: The preferred payment method is unavailable

Customer preferences involve more than simply the device used to make a payment; they involve the payment method itself. Payer preference is a key piece of the puzzle for businesses to solve. This often varies by demographic. For example, Generation Z are digital natives who are more comfortable with payments using a mobile app. If your business caters to a younger customer base and doesn’t include mobile wallet options, this could lead to an abandoned shopping cart.

Offering card payments exclusively, for example, will cost you a lot of sales due to lost, damaged or even expired cards. Imagine asking your customers for their new card details whenever they are issued a new one, which happens every two to three years – that is far from convenient. 

Additionally, having customers make manual payments, such as bank transfers for invoices, could be costly for businesses. In these cases, customers are responsible for manually transferring funds from their bank account to a designated account provided by the merchant. This process removes control and flexibility from merchants and is far from convenient for customers.

Pull-based payment methods, like Direct Debit, give control and flexibility back to businesses, as payments are initiated by merchants (once given a mandate by their customers), on a date that they set – with noticeable improvements in payment failure rates and cash flow.

The solution:

The easy solution is to offer a variety of payment methods, including traditional cash and credit card options, alongside alternative forms of payment. You can also brush up on the latest payment preferences with the GoCardless Payment Preference Report to formulate your strategy. For example, this report found that 78% of businesses and 46% of consumers worldwide prefer to pay with bank debit or bank transfer – something to consider at checkout.

How to collect Direct Debit payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

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Frustration 4: There are problems with delivery at checkout

Have you ever added products to your online shopping cart, only to find out that they’re out of stock once the time comes to make a payment? Or have you seen unexpected delivery fees added at the last minute? Fulfilment issues are some of the biggest customer frustrations to overcome. Stock is a key issue for e-commerce businesses, and when inventory isn’t joined up with your e-commerce platform, it can seriously impede online customer satisfaction.

The solution:

You can update your website to show customers when an item is out of stock as they browse, including filters to hide stock-outs before they are ready to purchase. Automatically suggest a replacement item to soothe frustrations and increase the conversion rate. It’s also important to make shipping fees transparent for a seamless payment experience. Free shipping is always best.

Frustration 5: The customer must repeatedly enter card details

When repeat customers must fill out a lengthy checkout page with their credit card details every occasion, they can become tired of visiting your website. While not everyone agrees to store card details, it’s frustrating when the option isn’t given. 

The solution:

Use security techniques like tokenisation to keep customer card details safely stored for the next purchase. Although it only saves a minute or so, this offers the customer a faster, more convenient payment processing experience. Pull-based Direct Debit is also a great option for businesses offering subscriptions or taking recurring payments.

With a service like GoCardless, the customer only needs to input their banking details the first time to authorise payment. It’s then pulled automatically from their account by the business for less frustration all around.

Automate your payment collection with GoCardless to reduce transaction fees, eliminate failed payments & save time on financial admin.

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Key takeaways

Many things can cause friction in the payment process, and it can be viewed as an extension of the sales process, so it’s crucial to make life easy for customers once they get to this point.

Adding bank payment options to your payment mix can help alleviate some of the customer frustrations listed above.

Problems such as lost and expired cards resulting in failed payments, customer churn, and lost sales due to a lack of payment options are solved by adopting bank payments.

Additionally, bank payments such as Direct Debit are more convenient for customers and provide enhanced security and customer protections with the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Automating payment collection with GoCardless is more affordable, more secure and more reliable than accepting credit and debit card payments.

Case Study: Plum

Plum, a money management and wealth creation app, relies on GoCardless for automated, reliable, and efficient payment collection. Using GoCardless, Plum has managed to reduce its payment failures from 3.6% to 0.48% and save more than £38,000 over nine months with GoCardless’ anti-fraud technology, Protect+. 

Investing made easy: Plum provides customers a jargon-free, intuitive savings and investment experience. Automation is crucial to Plum's offering, allowing customers to engage in repeat, healthy financial behaviours effortlessly.

Automated, repeatable, dependable: Plum uses GoCardless to create a billing system with low failure rates. Seventy per cent of Plum's customer payments now go through GoCardless, contributing to its rapid growth since 2016.

Success+ and Protect+: Plum has integrated Success+ and Protect+ from GoCardless. Success+ uses intelligent retries to reduce payment failures, and Protect+ helps identify, prevent, and monitor potential fraud.

Focusing on innovation: The efficiency of GoCardless allows Plum to focus its resources on product improvement and expansion. Plum is working on expansion plans in mainland Europe and planning to use GoCardless for Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs), which will allow instantaneous processing of payments and adjustments based on a customer's financial situation.

Long-term partnership: Plum appreciates the stability and innovation that GoCardless provides, making it a suitable partner in the fast-evolving fintech landscape.

Plum CEO and Founder Victor Trokoudes noted,

Instead of system maintenance and chasing payments, we can focus on delivering new product features and enhancing the Plum interface.

Elise Nunn, Plum’s Head of Operations, agrees,

“GoCardless has provided an extremely stable product, and I can't remember a single occasion where we had to intervene on a broad, sweeping technical problem." 

Get paid on time every time. Reduce transaction fees, late and failed payments and tiresome manual admin by automating payment collection with GoCardless.

We can help

GoCardless makes it quick and easy to get started, and with no contracts or long-term commitment required, there’s no risk. You can set up instant, one-off, or recurring payments in the merchant dashboard in just a few clicks, and GoCardless automatically creates and sends all the necessary forms, doing all the heavy lifting for you. You can also connect to GoCardless via over  350 partner apps, such as Xero and Quickbooks.

Cost-effective, secure and reliable recurring payment collection for small businesses.

"For ongoing monthly payments it’s perfect. You can easily adjust the subscription amounts and don’t suffer from the problem of expired cards." - Charles Cridland, Technical Director, YourParkingSpace


What are the 10 steps to improve customer experience?

Improving customer experience involves ten strategic steps. Firstly, it is crucial to understand your customers by conducting market research and gathering customer feedback. This will provide valuable insights into their needs and expectations. Secondly, creating a customer-centric culture is essential. Train your team to prioritise customer satisfaction in all interactions.

Additionally, personalising the experience based on customer data, continuously improving your product or service through feedback, and providing excellent customer service are key factors. Optimising the sales process, enhancing the payment experience with secure and versatile solutions, and improving after-sales support also contribute to a positive customer experience. Seeking regular customer feedback and measuring customer satisfaction through metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) is important for continuous improvement.

By following these steps, businesses can enhance their customer experience, fostering loyalty and driving growth.

What are the 3 main components of customer experience?

Customer Service: This refers to the direct interactions customers have with your business, including all contact with customer service representatives, technical support, and any other personal interactions. High-quality customer service is characterised by professionalism, responsiveness, and the ability to effectively solve customer problems.

Brand Touchpoints: These are all the points of contact between the customer and your business. This includes advertising, product packaging, website, social media platforms, and any other medium through which the customer interacts with your brand. Effective touchpoints deliver a consistent, positive brand message and identity.

Customer Journey: This encompasses the entire process that customers go through when interacting with your business, from initial awareness or discovery, through the decision-making process to post-purchase interactions. A positive customer journey is seamless, easy to navigate, and leaves the customer feeling satisfied and valued.

Each of these components is critical in shaping the overall customer experience and requires careful planning and ongoing management to ensure a positive outcome.

How do you encourage customers to pay?

Encouraging prompt and reliable customer payments requires diverse payment methods, streamlined processes, clear communication, and incentives. Offer UK-based solutions like Direct Debit for recurring payments and card payments for single transactions, simplify the payment process, and maintain consistent billing communication. Incentivise timely payments and build trust through transparent pricing and excellent service. These strategies improve cash flow and overall customer satisfaction.

Get paid on time every time. Reduce transaction fees, late and failed payments and tiresome manual admin by automating payment collection with GoCardless.

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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