Payment Processing Data

What is a Hosted Payment Page?

An overview of what hosted payments pages are and why they are beneficial

Written by
Jordan Chavis & Deborah Boyland
Publication Date
October 20, 2023
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Navigating the e-commerce space requires a keen understanding of payment systems and their implications.Although you may have not noticed it, you've likely used multiple hosted payments pages this week. We’ll take a closer look into hosted payment pages and dissect their various implementations such as iFrames and pop-ups, to show the intrinsic advantages they bring to online security and user experience.

What Is A Hosted Payment Page?

A hosted payment page refers to a webpage, popup, or embedded section where the customer is directed when they are ready to checkout and pay for their purchase. A hosted payment page is sometimes referred to as a hosted payment gateway and is typically enabled through a third-party service — hence why it is “hosted.”

The Different Types of Hosted Payment Pages

There are a few different types of hosted payment pages, including:

  • iFrames: An iFrame is an HTML element that is embedded naturally into your website or online shop. Using an iFrame is a great option for a hosted payment page, as it reduces the amount of redirection the customer must go through, making the overall checkout process much smoother and more seamless.
  • Webpages: Many hosted payment pages redirect customers to a separate secure webpage that appears in a different tab on their desktop or mobile web browser. These types of hosted pages are typically not seen when using a mobile app, as mobile apps need an embedded or pop-up page to carry out the checkout process.
  • Pop-Ups: A pop-up is a type of hosted payment page that pops up — as the name suggests — directly on the webpage or app the customer is using. This involves less redirection, though it is not quite as convenient as an iFrame.

Though there are many benefits to using a hosted payment page for your online store or merchant business (which we discuss in greater detail momentarily), one of the most important benefits is the ability to maintain PCI compliance with ease.

Since hosted payment pages are supported by third-party payment service providers, the provider is often responsible for ensuring the checkout process meets all compliance requirements. 

In turn, merchants are less burdened by costly and time-consuming compliance activities while still providing an excellent customer experience to shoppers.

How Do Hosted Payment Pages Work?

Picture the last time you made a payment online as part of the $5.3tn annual eCommerce market. Whether you were shopping for goods, purchasing a service, or paying a bill online, you likely encountered a hosted payment page.

To illustrate how and when hosted payment pages come into play, let’s examine four key steps in the process:

1. The Initiation: Once a customer has selected the products, services, or bills they would like to pay for, they must then navigate to the checkout screen. This is often initiated by a button that reads “Checkout”, “Buy Now”, or a similar phrase. Placing this button in an easy-to-find location on your website is crucial, as this is how a customer arrives at a hosted payment page.

2. The Redirection: After clicking the checkout button, a customer is then redirected to a new webpage — this webpage is often a separate tab on their web browser that opens automatically. It can also, sometimes, be a pop-up screen or form that appears on the original web page where the checkout button resides. If you are using an iFrame for your hosted payment page, you can eliminate this step entirely.

3. The Checkout Form: With the redirection or embedded iFrame complete and the new section loaded, the customer will then see a checkout form with payment options and spaces to enter their payment information. Depending on how many payment methods you have enabled in your merchant system, the customer can then select their preferred payment method and enter the necessary authentication information to initiate the transaction.

4. The Confirmation: In most cases, the hosted payment page will offer a confirmation that the transaction has been processed and approved. This is an important step in the process, as it adds clarity and transparency for the customer regarding the transaction, letting them know immediately whether or not their payment has been approved in the system.

The Benefits of a Hosted Payment Page

Merchants and other online businesses who deal with digital transactions and payment processing can greatly benefit from hosted payment pages. Understanding what advantages there are to gain is essential when deciding which payment service provider to partner with to set up a hosted payment page.

Here are four  key benefits of hosted payment pages:

  • Enhanced Security: When a customer enters their payment information through a hosted payment page, the customer’s data does not pass through the merchant’s or business’s website directly. As a result, the entire transaction is processed by a third-party provider and the merchant is not responsible for securely storing customer payment information. Overall, this is a much more secure system that helps to protect the customer from fraud, identity theft, and more.
  • Seamless Checkouts: Hosted payment pages make the checkout process more seamless and simple for customers. One of the key reasons for this is that customers can easily select their preferred payment method and enter their information quickly and securely. A seamless experience is vital, as it ensures the customer completes the transaction and does not abandon their cart due to a confusing or time-consuming checkout process.
  • More Payment Options: Hosted payment pages are essential for any merchant or business that plans to activate alternative payment methods (PayPal, Apple Pay, SEPA payments, Zelle, Klarna, etc.). Every payment service provider is different, so it is important to be diligent when researching different providers and look for one that offers the payment integrations your merchant system needs.
  • Ease of Integration: Integrating a hosted payment page into an online store or platform is often more straightforward than building a bespoke payment system from scratch. Most third-party providers offer easy-to-use tools and APIs that can be seamlessly woven into a website's existing structure, irrespective of the platform or coding language it's built on. This means merchants can expedite their go-to-market strategy, focusing on refining their products or services instead of grappling with complex payment integrations.

When Should You Use a Hosted Payment Page?

To put it simply, a hosted payment page should be used anytime a customer is expected to enter their payment information. 

As mentioned above, hosted payment pages add an extra layer of security that alleviates the merchant of some of the burdens of compliance and protects the customer against fraudulent activity. 

Moreover, hosted payment pages make it incredibly simple for merchants to integrate and offer various payment methods. In turn, the merchant can better serve their customers and expand into new regions around the world where payment accessibility may be limited.

Types of Hosted Payment Methods?

Hosted payment pages offer flexibility and cater to a wide range of payment preferences, ensuring that businesses can meet the varied needs of their customer base. Here's a glimpse into the diverse payment methods these pages can enable:

  • Credit and Debit Cards: Universally accepted, credit and debit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover remain a staple in online transactions.
  • Mobile Wallets: Mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, offer a touchless and speedy payment option, especially favored by mobile users.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Solutions like Klarna and Afterpay enable customers to purchase immediately but defer payments, often without interest if paid within a set timeframe.

Local and Alternative Payment Methods: In different regions, local payment methods, such as Alipay in China or Pix in Brazil, can be prevalent. Hosted payment pages can integrate these, allowing businesses to cater to regional preferences and expand their reach.

Are Hosted Payment Pages PCI Compliant?

Hosted payment pages play a crucial role in assisting merchants to align with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This set of standards is necessary in ensuring a secure environment for companies dealing with credit card transactions. Here's a breakdown of how these pages bolster PCI compliance:

  • Data Handling: By integrating hosted payment pages, merchants are relieved from directly processing or storing sensitive cardholder data. Instead, this information is managed directly in the third-party provider's system, greatly diminishing the PCI compliance spectrum for the merchant.
  • Infrastructure Security: The task of establishing and maintaining robust security measures, such as encryption and firewalls essential for PCI compliance, falls upon the third-party provider hosting the payment page.
  • Offloading Responsibility: Selecting a PCI DSS compliant hosted payment page provider enables merchants to transfer a significant chunk of PCI compliance responsibility, mitigating potential liabilities.
  • Consistent Updates: Top-tier hosted payment page providers are proactive in regularly refining their systems, ensuring adherence to the most recent PCI standards and security protocols.

While the integration of hosted payment pages eases the path towards PCI compliance, merchants must remain vigilant. There remain inherent responsibilities, such as guaranteeing their collaboration with PCI DSS compliant providers like Spreedly, sustaining a secure website, and following prescribed best practices.

Connect to a Vast Payment Ecosystem with Spreedly

At Spreedly, our powerful API allows our clients to connect to a range of different payment methods and payment service providers. Plus, we offer an iFrame form that you can embed directly into your site’s HTML to make the checkout process as smooth and seamless as possible for your customers.

With specialized knowledge in how to support merchants, aggregators, and fintechs, Spreedly has both the technology and expertise your business needs to enable a speedier and more secure payment system. 

By partnering with Spreedly, you can access more than 200 partner services, allowing you to orchestrate payments with hundreds of different payment gateways, payment service providers, fraud tools, and more. Spreedly’s solutions are available in more than 100 currencies, making it easy to expand and conduct business across the globe. 

Get in touch with Spreedly today to see how we can help setup or optimize your hosted payment page today!

Download the Payments Orchestration eBook Below

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