Hosted payment forms are pages "hosted" on external, third-party sites to process electronic transactions (i.e. payments made with credit or debit cards). In order to successfully complete each transaction, online shoppers temporarily leave your site, key in their credit card information, and then return to your e-commerce store.
But why make customers go through this extra step? Don't hosted payment forms break the continuity of the shopping experience?
In a way, yes. After all, you're redirecting traffic away from your online property before bringing the customer back.
When you watch American credit card commercials, "universal coverage" is a common theme. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have your back under any and all circumstances. Visa even has a catchy tagline — "Everywhere you want to be."
It's clever marketing. But the reality is very different. The majority of tourist destinations around the world no longer accept traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards (i.e. the ones with magnetic strips on the back).
Hosted payment pages allow merchants to securely accept credit and debit cards for online purchases. The actual payment page has the look and feel of the merchant's site, but the entire transaction happens on a hosted, third-party server.
If you walk into most retail stores around the globe, you'll likely find EMV credit card readers at point-of-sale (POS) cash registers. Short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, these EMV credit card machines aren’t simply optional — they’re increasingly becoming mandatory across Asia, Europe and even nearby Canada.