What Is Click To Pay? Everything You Need To Know About The New Online Checkout Option
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.
In recent years, the major credit card brands have attempted to solve this problem by offering special programs that allowed a card user to store their card information for later use with a wider variety of online shopping websites. The problem with this approach was that each card brand had its own proprietary service that only worked with its cards. Visa had Visa Checkout, Mastercard had MasterPass, and American Express had Amex Express Checkout. To make matters worse, not many online retailers supported these services, so the increased convenience to consumers failed to materialize.
Enter Click To Pay, a new service that aims to address many of the old proprietary services’ problems. 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. While it’s still a relatively new program that isn’t yet accepted by every major retailer, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
In this article, we’ll explain what Click To Pay is and how it works. We’ll tell you how to start using Click To Pay, whether you’re a consumer or a merchant. If you’re running an online business, we’ll explain how to get started with Click To Pay and why you should add this service to your eCommerce business. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
What Is Click To Pay?
Click To Pay is an online shopping service that allows customers to pay with a single click using stored payment information for all of their credit cards. The service supports Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, debit cards, and prepaid cards. It works on any website or mobile app.
The Click To Pay service 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.
Why Click To Pay Solves A Major Problem With Online Payments
If we could distill the functional essence of Click To Pay down to a single word, it would be “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 purchase.
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. Naturally, this translates to increased sales for eCommerce merchants. Of course, for consumers, added convenience and ease of use make it much easier to spend more on impulse purchases.
Who Controls The Click To Pay Name & Standards?
If one-click shopping using stored payment card information sounds like something you’ve seen before, you’re right. Major online retailers (such as Amazon and Walmart) have had a similar feature for many years. Likewise, PayPal has been around since the 1990s and is a familiar payment option on many eCommerce websites. Even new services (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay) that are primarily designed for contactless in-person payments are available online. While most online shoppers today usually already have an account with Amazon or PayPal, they probably don’t have one with many of the other major online retailers on the market. Click To Pay solves this problem by allowing consumers to create a single account to store their credit card information, rather than being prompted to create a separate account with every business they want to buy something from.
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) standard for EMV chip cards.
While EMVCo still uses the term Secure Remote Commerce to describe its service, it was rebranded for consumers and merchants as Click To Pay in July 2020.
Where Is Click To Pay Available?
When Click To Pay initially launched last year, it was only available in the United States. However, it’s rapidly expanded internationally and is now available in 15 additional countries (including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and others). EMVCo is currently hard at work bringing Click To Pay to even more countries around the world.
Of course, consumers can only use Click To Pay if their chosen retailer has integrated the program into their website. To date, over 10,000 major online merchants have signed up, and acceptance of the service continues to grow at a rapid pace. 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.
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.
Using Click To Pay couldn’t be any easier. 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. 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 API 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.
How much will it cost you to add Click To Pay? Providers haven’t been very forthcoming about this subject so far. However, Braintree advertises that the API is free for its merchants. We suspect that most providers will follow the same policy and give you access to the API at no cost. After all, using Click To Pay results in increased sales, and they make their money off processing those sales. The only cost you might be faced with is hiring a developer to set up the API for you if you can’t perform that task on your own.
How Much Does Click To Pay Cost For Processing Payments?
Transactions processed using Click To Pay will incur the same interchange fees and processing costs as any other type of transaction. Naturally, you’ll be paying card-not-present rates, but there’s no avoiding that in eCommerce anyway. 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.
Is It Time To Adopt Click To Pay?
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 currently only a little over a year old, so many consumers won’t be familiar with it yet. We expect this situation to change very quickly in the next few years as more and more online retailers adopt Click To Pay.
Should you be one of them? We would definitely say yes. Click To Pay offers clear advantages over many of the currently-existing online payment methods. For one, it makes it much easier for your customers to complete their purchases quickly and without the added hassle of having to re-enter their payment card information every time they go to a new website. Click To Pay also offers a clear advantage over proprietary payment methods (such as Shopify Pay) in that it isn’t restricted to just merchants who are using the Shopify platform.
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. While Click To Pay is still in limited release, we encourage you to contact your merchant account provider and find out how (and when) you can add this service to your business.