Getting paid online – the gateway do affect your conversion rate

In view of the marketing team, the payment gateway is straightforward and easy. Channels bring customers in, they pay, simple as that, I had made numerous purchases already, right?

But payment gateway matters as they is part of the funnel. A bad payment gateway flow may confuse customers during checkout, so the drop off rate might be high. Common payment gateway in Hong Kong, like PayDollar/AsiaPay, Stripe, PayPal, their payment flow and UI are fair, but their flow are a little bit different:

Some common gateways

PayDollar/AsiaPay are actually the same company, they accept Visa, Master, Alipay, Wechat Pay payments. They use “redirection”, the browser will be send to paydollar site, and customer will input their credit card number on their website. After the transaction is finished, the customer can be sent back to your website. But this redirection is not guaranteed. PayDollar have office in HK and can provide some degree of customer service.

Stripe, in contrast, does not have a CS team in Hong Kong. The checkout flow does not involve redirection, customers will stay on your website with a popup to enter their credit card information. Customers will stay within your site throughout the transaction. Stripe also provides an easier setup for subscription based transactions, which a certain amount will be charged against the customers.

Paypal is similar to PayDollar, their flow involves redirection. They also provide more complex transactions that can use other checkout flows and subscriptions payments. Paypal’ transaction fees are probably highest.

Hong Kong specific

There are other Hong Kong only payment methods available, mostly suitable for small middle business: Payme and FPS.

Payme is founded by HSBC and started with C2C transactions. They had started with business accounts that aim to provide digital transaction services for offline business. So they do not yet to provide any support to online merchants. Websites that want to provide Payme as a valid payment method need to manually confirm the payment via the business Payme APP.

FPS (fast payment system) is founded by HKMA and aims to provide an inter Hong Kong payment system. FPS is similar to Payme but almost all customers having a online banking account can use FPS. FPS also provides a QR code for customers to scan. But scanning the QRcode on mobile screens means customers might need a screenshot taken, which is not the smoothest way of payment. But FPS transaction fees are zero or very low, which may be more favourable to small business.

These are the most common gateways in Hong Kong, effective 2020-Aug.

In theory you can accept all gateways above, but if they overlaps, there is no need to confuse customers with too much options.

They also have slightly different transaction fees, which may made a big difference if the profit margin is small.

p.s. for operation team

Sometimes ops team found they are in a bad situation, during the eshop buildup, they did not realise warehouse had that much more work to do. Similar cases when handling payment gateways.

Some gateways above are not fully automated, manual order confirmation is needed (PayMe, FPS). But even if they are automated, provided an API, they still involve some problematic transactions sometimes, on average around once every 100 transactions. So take that in mind as well. Payments are easy, but not that easy.

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