I'm working on a sort of CMS with a built in payment system. We plan on having it support multiple payment processors like Paypal, Amazon, and Google Checkout, but I'm wondering if we need to present all of those options to end users or just have the person setting up the server pick one. Are there any studies of the effect of having multiple payment providers on conversion rates? Do buyers appreciate the flexibility of multiple payment options, or is it just one more thing to have to understand?

  • 1
    Found a couple related unanswered questions on Quora, too: quora.com/… quora.com/Do-multiple-payment-options-help-conversion-rate
    – Pam G
    May 6, 2011 at 16:44
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    "Do users care ..." seems like quite a broad question. More importantly you should want to discover whether your users care.
    – Rahul
    Sep 27, 2011 at 11:30
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    Sure it is, as are most of the questions on this site. Gathering the general experiences of others is a great way to get a starting point that can be elaborated on, improved, or scrapped depending on the needs and preferences of the people actually using the system. We don't need to always start with a blank slate.
    – Pam G
    Sep 27, 2011 at 17:27
  • People want the best way to pay for stuff. that include their lovely payment providers, those they use every day, also there is a country target where paypal or google checkout does not work
    – yeradis
    Sep 28, 2011 at 11:36

5 Answers 5


I work at an eCommerce website and adding PayPal (though buggy) helped out conversion rates. However, adding a bunch did not.

If you are building a CMS I believe it is best that you allow who ever is setting it up to choose which they want presented to users and to use. They might not want their money split up.

  • Do you have any numbers you'd be willing to share?
    – Pam G
    May 4, 2011 at 20:54
  • They didnt share with me the numbers. Only that there was an enough of a lift for us to keep paypal and go through the trouble of it going down every other month. (If it wasnt worth it, the would have kicked it to the curb quick like many things here) We only have payal and CC for payment now
    – jonshariat
    May 4, 2011 at 20:56
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    Love the suggestion on building the CMS so that they can choose which payment methods to use.
    – jessegavin
    May 9, 2011 at 17:33

The answer is going to be fairly region specific. For example, if you were setting up PayPal for a site targeted at a country that doesn't have a high penetration of credit cards, you would likely not see much benefit, and you should look at more regional payment solutions.

Most people only care that their preferred method of payment is available, so you need to know who your audience is and what they prefer before you can know if it's worth doing or not. Ask a sample of your customers and see what they prefer using.


I remember reading a paper on e-commerce and payment methods a while back - i think it was from econsultancy. The outcome of which was that the options that should be offered varied greatly dependant upon the country the website operates and sells in.

In the UK credit cards are a very popular online payment method, however for example in Germany credit cards prove a far less popular payment method so ideally you need to ensure that you offer payment methods that allow customers to pay by whatever means they feel comfortable with or have at their disposal.


It is very much dependent on the people liable to use your sites. The expectations of the user are paramount - as @JohnGB points out, people only care that their preferred method is there - the end users do not want a choice, they only want the one option that they want to use.

Providing the clients with the ability to select - and select choices based on country or community - is probably the way to go. This means that choices can be made early on, and the end users are not being asked to make choices.


Sure, you have to allow users to choose. US-located users may prefer to use credit card, but non-US users may prefer to use PayPal as not all the countries have convenient credit card environment/services. Also note that pricing shouldn't vary from payment method to payment method (even if you have to pay some fee as a merchant if user select, for example, credit card as a payment option). You may read more about usability issues during checkout process here.

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