I'd love to have some opinions on how to best label a the payment option "PayPal" to ensure it is clear that you can pay using your debit/credit card without having a PayPal account.

For background: Our customers come from an older demographics who I suspect may not want/have a PayPal account. Indeed they may not even know what PayPal is.

During our checkout process the customer needs to make a choice of payment methods which looks somewhat like this:

Payment Information

  • PayPal
  • Advance Payment

Now, if I just leave "PayPal" I'm afraid to loose those customers who have no idea who/what PayPal is. On the other hand there may be those who love to know we do accept PayPal as they may know and trust it.

I have thought of a few versions, but none really excite me:

  • PayPal, including Debit/Credit cards
  • Debit/Credit cards via PayPal
  • PayPal, debit, or credit card

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Any research? Any hints how others handle this?

  • Why do they have to be merged into one option? The whole user-journey of making a payment with Paypal is very different to that where you make a payment with your credit card. Can't you split them out? a) PayPal b) Credit Card...
    – JonW
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 13:09
  • It would be my preferred option. But for various reasons we want to accept card payments through PayPal only, so have no secondary card processor.
    – nanos
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 13:30
  • Ah OK, so really you want a way to communicate 'we only accept PayPal' but without discouraging people who don't (yet) have a PP account? There's probably lots of companies in your position, so some competitor analysis would be a good option too I think.
    – JonW
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 13:34
  • yes, that's it. As you may know you can use PayPal to pay by card without having an account (depending on where you live). I would've also thought this to be a frequent issue, but couldn't find any information online. The few options I did see simply offered "PayPal" but I feel that may not be a good choice, especially given our customer demographics (see original question).
    – nanos
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 13:56
  • You might have to outline it in such a way that will allow users to move forward without scaring them. If paypal is your only method of payment excluding advanced payment, you might want to just have a button that says "pay now." And when they move forward, it will take them to the paypal page where they can input their details. I'm not too sure what the design for paypal is now (im hoping it will allow them to input payment information the beginning screen).
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


Try visually grouping the PayPal logo along with logos for the payment methods you accept via paypal


Example 1
(source: bodegastierrasdeorgaz.com)

Example 2 http://www.mfa.am/images/howtopay/paypal.png Example 3 http://www.rightchoicesinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/logo_paypal_here-cards.jpg Example 4

Other Examples via Google Image Search

  • 1
    I would check if PayPal has guidelines on using their logo first, a lot of these companies require their logos be displayed in certain sizes, formats, and distance from others.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 20:26
  • I like that idea. Thanks for the suggestion! (yes, I will check PayPal guidelines before I put this into practise.)
    – nanos
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 9:34

You could present three options:

1) Paypal 2) Credit or Debit Card 3) Advance Payment

If the user selects option 1, take them to sign into Paypal or create an account. If the user selects option 2, take them to the credit card/debit card processing flow within PayPal. The assumption here is that people won't care they are paying through PayPal — they just want to pay with their card. This solution also assumes you can deep link into a separate credit/debit payment screen on PayPal without logging in.

In any case, you should test your solution with your target users to validate that it is a good approach. You may find that you audience is more familiar with PayPal than you think.

  • This doesn't work, as you can see the OP had amended (in the comments) that paypal is the only means of credit/debit card payment.
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 14:11
  • The OP said in the original post that you can pay using credit/debit through PayPayl without having a PayPal account. One flow asks you to sign in/create an account, the other does not. This is a key distinction.
    – JD Jones
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 14:15
  • Yes, that would be an option, if I had the time to code this up properly. As we are going to upgrade the entire shop software in the next year or so I'm not really in a position to do any serious effort on it: The software comes with pre-baked paypal integration and I sort of need to use that "as is" - except for adjusting labels etc. I also don't know if PayPal actually allows you to "take [the customer straight] to the credit card/debit card processing flow within PayPal". I don't think that's possible.
    – nanos
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 14:19
  • @JDJones very true, but if you do select credit card and it still lands you on paypal, the users will definitely be confused.
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 15:18

I don't have enough of a reputation to comment, so I'll post that I've done what jColeson recommends on a couple of my websites.

This gives a visual indication to users that not only can they pay with PayPal, but also with the listed credit cards.

I liken this to walking into a store or restaurant and seeing a large AMEX sticker on the door or window that's on top of other (smaller) stickers listing which other credit cards are accepted. The larger size of the AMEX sticker merely indicates that it's the preferred credit card, but that others can be used.

  • Yes, I think that sounds like a good plan. (Although I must admit I barely even notice those stickers on the door or window ...)
    – nanos
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 9:35

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