A woman checking out at a retail store talking to an employee at the register.

What is a hosted payment page?

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Making the right choice for your business

Online transactions are happening at a frequency like never before. While that can be really great for your small business, one of the most common concerns consumers have centers around data security, and especially payment data security. As a small business owner, there are a variety of ways you can begin taking steps to help protect your customers’ data. One way is a hosted payments page (HPP), sometimes also known as a hosted checkout page. In this article, we’ll look at hosted payment pages: what they are, how they work, and the biggest considerations when choosing one. To start, let’s discuss hosted payment pages.

What is a hosted payment page and how does it work?

When a cardholder goes to a website to make a purchase, often they encounter one of the following two payment options: (1) they enter payment information directly on the website itself, or (2) they click the payment button and get redirected to an external website. This third-party web page is a hosted payment page, and it allows customers to securely pay for their purchases. Hosted payment pages are typically hosted by your merchant services provider and not stored on your web hosting provider’s server. Your business will set this up through a payment gateway to redirect customers to the secure payment page.

So how does a hosted payment page work? Let’s take a look.

  1. Your customer adds items to their shopping cart. When they’re ready, they click the checkout or buy now button.
  2. They are then redirected from your store to the hosted payment page.
  3. Finally, the customer inputs all of their payment data, including credit card or debit card numbers. Real-time payment authentication then happens and the payment process is complete!

While this process may seem simple and straightforward, there are many reasons your business may choose to utilize this approach. In the next section, we’ll look at some of the biggest advantages of using a hosted payment page.

Why should my business consider a hosted payment page?

As you can see, hosted checkout pages can help your business process online payments securely. But there are a number of reasons to consider using them at your business, including:

Easy setup process: Getting started with a hosted payment page is fairly quick and simple, as many merchant service providers offer it as an optional feature of payment gateways.

Reduced PCI compliance requirements: If you accept payments directly from your website, you’ll be responsible for adhering to Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards and compliance. However, with a hosted payment page, customer information goes through your merchant services provider, making it their responsibility to meet many PCI compliance standards. While you won’t be able to rid yourself of PCI compliance fees, a hosted payment page can help lower your business’s compliance requirements.

Enhanced safety and security: As one of the most secure ways for customers to pay, hosted payment pages help keep your customers’ data safe and secure, thanks to security technology like tokenization and 3d secure. That can give them the confidence to order from your business knowing that you’re protecting their personal information.

Simple checkout process: Utilizing an HPP allows your business to simplify the checkout process, including the ability to store payment details. The more streamlined your checkout experience is for your customers, the less cart abandonment you’ll encounter. 

Recurring billing support: If you offer a subscription-based service or product, consider an HPP to help with billing. Many HPPs offer recurring billing features so that you can keep your payments coming in on time while making it easy for your customers to pay.

Additional payment options: While many customers will choose to pay with credit or debit cards, an HPP can allow you to accept many different payment methods, ranging from echecks and ACH to smartphone payments like Apple Pay™ and Google Pay™, among others.

Account auto-update support: Credit card information changes all the time. If your hosted payment page has an account auto-updater feature, you can automatically detect when a payment card expires or is replaced following a fraudulent transaction.

Now that you’ve seen some of the biggest reasons to use an HPP, let’s look at some of the key questions to ask when selecting a hosted payment page:

  • How easy is it to integrate into your current website? The easier the integration, the quicker you can get the HPP up and running for your business. Plus, the more intensive the integration, the higher the chance you need to hire a development help.
  • Does it allow for customization? When you’re evaluating HPP options, it may be important to you to change the basic design and/or layout of the checkout page. While these pages often aren’t fully customizable, you should be able to make small tweaks to ensure your brand is prominently displayed. This could be as simple as changing some of the accent colors to your company colors and adding your company name and logo to the page.
  • Does it support multiple payment methods? Depending on your business, the ability to accept multiple payments may be more or less important to you. For those that need multiple payment methods, you’ll want to examine which payment methods you can accept. As you saw in the last section, these can include ACH payments, echecks, credit card payments, debit card payments, PayPal and digital wallet payments.
  • Does it support global payment options? Again, this will be business dependent, but if you’re looking to accept global payment methods, you’ll want to make sure that your hosted payment page can accept these types of payments. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the HPP can display multiple languages, so that customers can fully understand the checkout process in their native language.

As you can see, a hosted payment page has some really great advantages for small business owners like you. By incorporating an HPP on your business’s ecommerce website, you’ll be able to ensure that your customers complete purchases securely, giving them confidence in your business. Plus, your business will be able to bypass some of the more stringent PCI compliance requirements than if you were to self-host a checkout page. Although it may not offer as many customizable features or functionality as a self-hosted payments page, a payment solution like an HPP can help your business get up and running with the added trust of safe and secure transactions.

Ready to work with a payment processor who can help you get started with hosted payment pages?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.