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I am designing a series of multi-step transactional forms which appear in the context of a web page with a progress bar, site header, footer, nav etc. Each form contains a payment step. There are two approaches for displaying the payment step:

  • take the user to the bank's payment page to fill out credit card details. The page doesn't retain the progress bar, header, footer, logo etc but may display the bank's logo
  • make the payment screen appear in the context of the website with progress bar, site header, logo etc all retained. The bank handles the payment securely.

What are the pros and cons of each approach from a usability perspective? Important factors include user orientation and the user's sense of trust in the payment mechanism.

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Of couse integrated payment form is better once you handled all possible cases like user payed, navigated back to enter more info on prevoius step and then navigated forward etc.

It is not only about UX. Its about security, trust and technical problems.

To accept payments inside your webside some security procedures have to be applied. For example PCI DSS complience which tell user you are not "a random website asking for credit card number".

Once you managed to make payments on your site you may face another problem: 3D Secure system. According to 3D secure, when user enter his CC he has to be redirected to the bank special page where 3D password must be filled. This means your multi-step process have to be interruptible (what a word :) so the user can continue wizard after returning back from bank's page – its a huge technical overhead.

There are cases when it can be skipped, but you have to be big like Amazon to do that.

So what to do?

Regular approach is to make payment step to be last step and when payment process is initiated user is redirected to a payment processor system like PayPal. when you business grows, you can applt for security sertification and process payments inside your website using your native UI.

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