I have a site that is translated into 4 languages.

We accept credit card information via an iframe (because we don't want to deal with PCI compliance, so we're letting a 3rd party receive and store the data).

The iframe is styled to look pretty similar to our site (same colors, etc).

Unfortunately, it doesn't support anything other than English.

If a non-English user is looking at our credit card form, he just sees this mess of confusing English. And he'll probably be nervous about providing his payment information when he can't even understand the fields.

I've thought of a few options:

  1. Use relative positioning to overlay translated text on top of the English
  2. A popup that has a screenshot of the English iframe but then has relatively positioned translations overlaid on top... and this example will tell the user how to use the form even though the real form is in English.
  3. Same as #2 but just show it below the real form instead of in a popup
  4. Same as #2 but in a large tooltip that follows the mouse whenever it's hovering anywhere over the iframe.

Option 1 didn't work because different browser/OS/language permutations were unpredictable with how positioning worked.

Recommendations and other thoughts?

There is very little room to the left or right of the iframe (for a typical user's window size).

1 Answer 1


I am certainly not judging the fact you do not want to deal with PCI compliance but I am afraid you want to use a fig-leaf to hide your decision to choose a third party that does not support any language but English. For starters that is the first mistake.

Is there any chance you can reconsider this option ? I am pretty sure there are plenty of payment solutions to help you overcome this language issue, I know Paypal can deal with it.

For the time being I propose you to be honest and say to the user that the payment is only available in English before she takes the decision to pay, so she is going to click in conscience. Make it obvious and not in the middle of the paying process, you do not want to confuse her.

Is there any chance you can display tool-tips (discreet and only available on mouse hover) to give helpful translation ? That might help some people that are not confident of their English but do not want to be reminded so.

When the current language is in English, of course the user does not need this type of information, the availability nor the tool-tips.

  • Thanks. Unfortunately the type of credit card transaction we're doing (a cash reward bonus) is apparently only available via Moneris (the 3rd party who hosts the iframe), which only supports English. So it seems like it is fig-leaf time. And I agree that if the user's lang is English, I shouldn't show anything special. Unfortunately I can't detect location of focus or hover over a 3rd-party iframe, I don't think. So that idea unfortunately seems impossible.
    – Ryan
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 21:10
  • So at least be honest with the buyer, so you do not cheese him off. Commented May 1, 2013 at 21:17

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