How to Reduce Payment Friction and Boost Sales

Payment friction can kill sales and destroy businesses – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Learn exactly what it is and how to avoid it in this article.

Cart abandonment rates are high across the board – in fact, research from the Baymard Institute shows that people abandon close to 70% of all purchases after adding items to their bag. While it’s true that this is a natural part of shopping online – some people are simply window shopping with no intent to buy – a high cart abandonment rate could be a sign of bigger problems.

You may be losing sales due to payment friction. In fact, some of the top reasons people report abandoning their carts relate to this issue, including complicated checkout processes, website errors, and more. Luckily, you can easily resolve many problems that lead to payment friction. Read on to learn how.


What Is Payment Friction?

Friction is any barrier that a customer may encounter while shopping with your brand. When it comes to payment friction, we’re specifically talking about issues that can slow down the purchasing process or even prevent a customer from completing a purchase.

Payment friction can negatively impact your business in a few ways. Too much friction can cause a customer to abandon their shopping cart entirely, meaning you lose out on a sale. If this is a recurring issue, you could lose out on thousands of sales until you find a solution. 

Sales aside, payment friction can damage your reputation. Customers have endless options when deciding where to shop. If they experience any issues with your payment process, they might decide that shopping with your company isn’t worthwhile and look elsewhere. People are also far more likely to share bad experiences with friends, which could affect your ability to gain new customers.

Examples of Payment Friction

Payment friction comes in many forms as there are numerous elements involved in the checkout process. Put simply, payment friction is any obstacle that may cause a customer to feel uncomfortable or distrustful of your brand.

Here are a few examples to consider:

  • Requiring customers to create an account to check out.
  • Supporting just one or two payment methods.
  • Redirecting the customer to another website or window.
  • Being unclear about the next steps in the checkout process.
  • Putting each transaction through extensive authentication procedures.
  • Providing poor customer service.

5 Expert Tips to Reduce Payment Friction 

1. Simplify Your Checkout Process

According to research from the Baymard Institute, 17% of people who report abandoning their cart did so because the checkout process was too long or too complicated. If there are too many hurdles between a customer and their purchase, they may decide that the value they’re getting from your product isn’t worth the effort. 

You can avoid this issue by simplifying the checkout process and asking customers to enter only the necessary information to complete the transaction. That typically includes:

  • Name
  • Credit card number
  • Security code
  • Expiration date
  • Address
  • Email address

It’s also important to allow guest checkout. If your checkout process requires customers to create an account, they’re far more likely to abandon the purchase. In fact, Baymard Institute research shows that 24% of cart abandonments are due to this issue. So, keep it simple and allow customers to checkout without an account if they prefer. 

2. Accept More Payment Methods

Credit and debit cards are still the favored payment method in most areas – but not by much. One report found that just over half of all payments (57%) come from payment cards. Meanwhile, people are leaning more toward contactless payment and APMs (alternative payment methods), like PayPal and Apple Pay, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital wallets and bank transfers allow customers to pay quickly and easily – often with a tap of a button. Plus, these payment methods are extremely secure, which makes them even more enticing for customers. People are now seeking out businesses that accept their preferred payment method – and even ditching purchases when they can’t use it.

3. Make Security Seamless

Security is an increasing concern for shoppers and merchants alike. You need to have security measures in place to protect customer payment information and avoid theft. Unfortunately, some security measures can seem clunky and actually deter shoppers. For example, customers may think your website seems untrustworthy if your security protocols redirect them to another site. 

Avoid this issue by using the 3DS2 (3D Secure 2.0) protocol. 3DS2 allows your payment system to send information about the customer and the transaction to the customer’s bank. Then, the bank can decide whether the transaction is legitimate. Since the bank is getting a variety of information, it flags fewer transactions as potentially fraudulent. 

If it does flag a transaction, the customer can authenticate themselves with additional input, like a password or biometric. The process flows within web and mobile checkout processes so that there’s no full-page redirect. In other words, 3DS2 ensures that there’s very little friction even when customers do face a security challenge.

4. Build Trust with a Branded Checkout Page

According to Baymard, 18% of people who recently abandoned their shopping carts said they did so because the site looked untrustworthy. Put simply, people won’t give their credit cards to any website that doesn’t seem legitimate. A checkout page that appears different from the rest of your website is a major red flag for customers.

Be sure to choose a payment service provider that allows you to completely customize your checkout page. The branding – colors, font, copy, and images – should match the rest of your website. If possible, it’s best to choose a service provider with a developer-friendly API, like, which allows you to embed hosted payment fields into your own website or app.

5. Go Mobile Friendly

Mobile commerce is a growing trend in the already booming ecommerce industry. People are depending on their mobile phones more than ever to do everything they once did on a laptop. In fact, experts estimate that people will make 42.9% of all ecommerce sales from a mobile device by 2024. 

Still, many businesses are still designing their websites and checkout pages primarily for desktop use. These sites don’t format properly on the smaller screens of phones, making it hard to enter payment information and complete a purchase. This kind of friction drives customers to abandon their purchases.

In order to capture mobile sales, you need to have a mobile-friendly website. Your website development team must design a site that works on both desktop and mobile phones to ensure that customers can shop easily, no matter where they are.

The Benefits of Working with as Your Payment Service Provider provides an effective solution, taking care of all payment-related backend tasks while your customers experience a smooth checkout experience via your website or app. Our checkout pages easily blend with your website, whether you choose to integrate with the API or simply add your branding to a premade page. 

You can also give your customers the freedom of choice they desire with a variety of payment methods. Options include credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets, and more. also supports advanced security methods, including Level 1 PCI DSS compliance and 3DS2. Our protocols identify suspicious transactions without adding friction to the checkout process. 

Plus, we’ve built with business owners in mind. The Pay Dashboard is incredibly intuitive, allowing you to easily adjust checkout pages, add payment methods, and manage sales. You can even review in-depth analytics to help inform your business decisions. Or, track’s straightforward, per-transaction fees so that you’re always in the know.

Click here to get started with now!

The Bottom Line: Your Business Can Avoid Payment Friction

You’ve likely experienced payment friction at one time or another, so you know how much it can impact a customer’s purchase decision. As a business owner, you never want to make your customers feel frustrated or unhappy while they’re shopping with you. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to avoid issues during checkout.

By cleaning up your checkout process, updating your website’s mobile capabilities, and adding more payment methods, you can lower friction, improve customer experience, and boost sales. 

There’s no need to lose sales due to payment friction. Make the switch to to provide your customers with a smooth checkout experience.

Click here to create your account now!


What's the best way for a business to accept online payments? makes it easy for your ecommerce business to accept bank transfers, mobile wallets, credit cards, and more. We have the highest level of PCI DSS compliance to prevent fraud while offering a seamless checkout process for your customers.

Click here to find out how you can get started.

How can an ecommerce business reduce friction at checkout?

You can reduce friction at checkout by simplifying the process – ask for only critical information and don’t require customers to register. You can also optimize your website for mobile use, accept more payment methods, and use 3DS2 to prevent fraudulent transactions.

What is an example of checkout friction?

One example of checkout friction is when the system redirects the customer to another website. Another example is when a website isn’t transparent about costs and fees.

How can payment friction harm a business?

Payment friction causes customers to feel frustrated or uncomfortable during checkout, which may make them abandon their purchase. If a business loses too many sales this way, it could lose customers and ultimately go out of business.

Meet the author
Ginny Dorn
Ginny Dorn is a finance and business copywriter specializing in credit card processing and fintech. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences.
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