What Is Click To Pay & Is It Safe For Online Payments?
This guide explains how to get started with Click to Pay and why you should add this service to your eCommerce business.
One of the major impediments to broader acceptance of online shopping (at least for some people) is the need to enter your credit card information manually every time you shop on a new site. Being asked to create yet another account (with yet another password that you’ll never remember) when you just want to check out and complete a purchase often results in abandoned shopping carts and customers looking elsewhere to buy the things they want.
Enter Click to Pay, a new service that aims to make it easier for customers to pay online with credit cards. Click to Pay is offered by a consortium of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. With a single Click to Pay account, a customer can store payment information for all of their credit and debit cards that were issued by these four card brands.
Table of Contents
- What Is Click To Pay?
- Click To Pay Solves A Major Problem With Online Payments
- Is Click To Pay Safe?
- How Does Click To Pay Work For Consumers?
- How Does Click To Pay Work For Merchants?
- 8 Reasons Click To Pay Makes Payments Simpler For Everyone
- Is Click To Pay The Future Of eCommerce?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Click To Pay
What Is Click To Pay?
Click to Pay is an online checkout that allows customers to pay with a single click of a button. Customers can choose which card to use from their stored payment methods and then complete the transaction quickly and securely.
How Does Click To Pay Work?
Click To Pay checkout supports Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, debit cards, and prepaid cards. It works on any website or mobile app. Ultimately, Click to Pay replaces similar programs offered by the major card brands, including Amex Checkout, MasterPass, and Visa Checkout.
The major disadvantage of these previous programs was that they each only worked with one card brand, potentially requiring customers to sign up for three separate accounts (depending on how many cards they owned).
Click to Pay uses tokenization, a popular security method for protecting online transactions. The service also integrates 3D Secure, a fraud prevention service owned by Visa that provides an additional layer of security for online transactions before final authorization.
Click To Pay Solves A Major Problem With Online Payments
Lowering the rate of shopping cart abandonment is the real goal of Click to Pay. By offering a single sign-in account that works with multiple payment cards across a wide variety of online retail websites and can be used with just about every computing device that consumers own, Click to Pay offers a convenient and secure way to make online purchases. It also allows payment processors to directly compete with one-click services offered by tech companies, such as Apple Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay.
At the end of the day, Click to Pay is banking on convenience. Previous attempts at a one-click payment option (such as Visa Checkout) required users to create multiple accounts — one for each brand of credit card they owned. When customers used these payment services, they were required to enter their credit card data in a pop-up screen before completing a purchase. Unfortunately, pop-ups asking for your credit card information looked suspiciously like phishing attempts, causing customers who were already leery of handing over their credit card information to abandon their shopping carts and cancel their purchases.
Where Is Click To Pay Available?
According to Visa, over 500,000 stores now accept Click to Pay. Click to Pay is currently available in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Major retailers that have already signed up for the program include Crate & Barrel, Expedia, Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts, Lowe’s, Marriott, Papa John’s, Rakuten, Saks Fifth Avenue, 1-800-Flowers, and many more.
Who “Owns” Click To Pay?
Since Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc., are all separate companies, you may be wondering who owns the service.
The consortium of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover originally folded their respective payment services into a combined program called Secure Remote Commerce in October 2019. However, they don’t actually administer the service or provide support for it. Instead, they’ve subcontracted this responsibility to a company called EMVCo. EMVCo is a major behind-the-scenes player in the payments industry and is also responsible for maintaining the EMV (Eurocard, Mastercard, Visa) security standard for EMV chip cards.
Is Click To Pay Safe?
Click to Pay offers a level of security about on par with what’s offered by EMV credit card chips and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay. And, as we touched on earlier, the security standards for Click to Pay are maintained by the same organization that maintains EMV security standards. The primary security features include:
- Tokenization: Tokenization replaces credit card information with random letters and numbers when transmitting that data between systems. The token is ultimately worthless outside of the context of that transaction.
- 3DSecure: 3D Secure is a fraud prevention service owned by Visa that provides an additional layer of security for online transactions before final authorization.
- Security Code: When you sign up for Click to Pay, you’ll receive a six-digit security code. To make a payment from your account, you’ll enter that number.
How Does Click To Pay Work For Consumers?
If you’d like to use Click to Pay for your online purchases, it’s very easy to do. Mastercard and Visa allow you to create a Click to Pay profile ahead of time directly from their websites. Your issuing bank might also offer a sign-up process from the website you use to manage your credit card. American Express and Discover don’t have dedicated sign-up pages at this time. Instead, you can complete your Click to Pay profile when you make your first purchase using the service.
When you check out with a participating merchant, simply click on the Click to Pay icon (see above). If you already have a profile set up, you just have to choose which of your credit cards you’d like to use.
If you don’t already have a profile set up, the steps to do so are pretty straightforward:
- Type in your email address when prompted. This will be your Click to Pay User ID.
- Enter your mobile phone number.
- Enter your credit card information for each card (card number, expiration date, and security code).
- Enter your current billing address.
- Once this information is submitted, you’ll receive a six-digit verification code via email. Enter this code to complete your profile setup. That’s it!
Note that if you already had set up an account with one of the older services that Click to Pay replaced (e.g., Visa Checkout), this information should have been automatically transferred to your new Click to Pay profile. You should confirm that all information is correct, especially if you haven’t used the old service in a while.
How Does Click To Pay Work For Merchants?
If you’re an eCommerce merchant, you might like to know how to sign up for Click to Pay and incorporate it into your business. The process isn’t nearly as simple and intuitive as it is for consumers — at least for now. Generally, you’ll need to add a Click to Pay API to your website so that your customers will see the Click to Pay icon as one of their payment options at checkout. In most cases, you can obtain the necessary code from your current merchant account provider. Both Stripe Payments and Braintree provide some information about Click to Pay in their developer documentation. Braintree also mentions that the program is currently on a limited release, so small businesses might have to wait a while longer before it becomes available to them.
Transactions processed using Click to Pay will incur the same interchange fees and processing costs as a credit card transaction of its type normally would. You’ll also have to be concerned about chargebacks and PCI compliance requirements, just like you would with any other payment method. The bottom line is that adding Click to Pay will almost certainly increase your sales while costing you nothing to implement. It’s a rare win-win situation where both you and your provider should make more money by using the service.
8 Reasons Click To Pay Makes Payments Simpler For Everyone
We’ve already covered most of these points above, but let’s do a quick review. Here are the advantages and benefits of using Click to Pay, both as a consumer and as a merchant:
- Customers don’t need to set up a new account with every online merchant they do business with (having to do so often leads to frustration and abandoned shopping carts). Instead, they keep their card information in a single Click to Pay profile that they can use on any website that supports it.
- Tokenization features enhance security, protect your customers from having their identity and card information stolen, and protect you from the possibility of an expensive data breach.
- Once a customer has set up a Click to Pay profile, check out is greatly simplified, saving them time and lowering the chance that they’ll become frustrated and move on to a competing website.
- Click to Pay doesn’t cost you or your customers anything to use or implement (in most cases).
- The potential for significantly increased sales means that both you and your merchant account provider can make more money.
- Click to Pay’s advanced security features greatly simplify the work you’ll have to do to keep your website PCI compliant.
- The 3D Secure feature built into Click to Pay lowers your risk of fraud at no additional expense to you.
- As the Click to Pay icon becomes increasingly ubiquitous on retail websites, customers will feel more comfortable relying on the service as a convenient and safe way to make online purchases.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Click To Pay?
While Click to Pay is a low-risk, high-reward prospect, there are some minor disadvantages.
- It requires some extra work to implement. This may change as payment processors streamline implementation in the future.
- Customer utilization may be low until it catches on.
- If your customer base tends to be older, adoption may be slow.
Is Click To Pay The Future Of eCommerce?
As eCommerce surges and traditional retail struggles in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many experts believe that this accelerated trend toward online sales will continue long after the current pandemic has receded to a distant memory. Click to Pay is, therefore, the right product at the right time. By bringing the four most common credit card brands together into a single, unified service, Click to Pay eliminates the need for your customers to sign up for a different payment service for each credit card in their wallet.
The service is still fairly new, but adoption seems to be growing quickly among retailers.
Should you be one of them? We would definitely say yes. There’s little downside beyond a small amount of work upfront. It also offers a clear advantage over proprietary payment methods (such as Shop Pay or Square Online Checkout) in that Click to Pay isn’t restricted to just merchants who are using the Shopify platform. To learn more about this payment button, however, see What Is Shopify Pay & How It Can Bring Your Shop More Sales.
At the same time, don’t expect Click to Pay to become a universally accepted payment method anytime soon. Amazon, in particular, has had several decades to sign up millions of customers with Amazon accounts, and it’s unlikely that the company will have any reason to add Click to Pay as one of its payment options. For most other online merchants, however, the advantages of the service are quite compelling.