Key criteria for choosing a payment service provider

Choosing a payment service provider can be a real headache. However, it is a major asset in your company’s strategy that should not be neglected!

blog centralpay
payment service provider

Le 15 June 2021

Payment is the last step in the buying tunnel. It is at this stage that the visitor will decide whether to commit or abandon the shopping cart. Improving the customer experience is therefore the guarantee of an increased conversion rate.

A lack of diversity in the means of payment offered, an ordering process that is too long and complicated or a feeling of insecurity during payment (reassurance problem) are among the main reasons for visitors to withdraw.

France is the European country with the highest rate of shopping basket abandonment, 93% (source Fevad).

The choice of your payment provider should therefore not be left to chance. To help you find your way around, we have identified 6 key criteria to take into account when making your decision.


Payment is a sensitive issue as it is subject to numerous regulations. It is therefore essential that your PSP (payment service provider) offers complete security for your customers’ banking and personal data in a “PCI-DSS” standard environment. This reassurance will allow your customers to fill in their data with confidence in secure forms and relieve you of the legal constraints linked to the management of this data.

To be better protected against the risk of card disputes due to fraud, make sure that your PSP offers a strong authentication system (3D Secure 2.0) and a risk scoring service. 3D Secure is a protocol that secures payments on the Internet and limits the risk of fraud by authenticating the cardholder using an SMS code or a dedicated banking application. Add to this a risk scoring service that allows you to cross-reference several data specific to the buyer (geolocation of the visitor, amount of the basket, successive payments, declaration of stolen card, etc.), your partner can thus judge the potentially fraudulent aspect of the payment, and reduce your risks of dispute.


When you created your e-commerce site, you probably chose to use an open source CMS (Magento, Woocommerce, Prestashop) like more than 80% of e-commerce sites. However, it is quite possible that you have decided to develop your online shop without using these, but by a freelance developer or an agency.

Whatever your method of creation, remember to check that your payment solution offers the appropriate modules. Generally, providers offer either plugins for CMSs that are very simple to integrate and require little or no technical skills, or APIs that are a little more complex to implement but offer more advanced customisation.


The various personalisation options are a real added value, both in terms of trust and consistency in the purchasing process.

Not all payment service providers offer the same level of personalisation. It is therefore up to you to define your needs before choosing a provider. However, we can mention two types of personalisation that are important for the customer experience and loyalty:

  • Customisation of your bank label (called “descriptor”): this allows you to use your merchant site name in the bank label and avoid any misunderstanding for the buyer. It also creates a sense of trust between you and your customers.
  • Customisation of the payment page/form: customise your payment page with your logo, colour, establish a real identity. Keeping this visual identity throughout the purchase process creates a real consistency, the customer feels reassured and will move more easily to the order validation stage.

It is therefore preferable to choose a payment service provider that offers at least these two possibilities.

In addition, remember to check that your payment page is responsive. This means that it must adapt to all media (computer, tablet, telephone). A poor display can cause you to lose sales.

Methods and means of payment

Whether your company sells nationally, Europe-wide or internationally, the preferred payment methods differ from country to country and from customer to customer (bank transfer, direct debit, wallet, bank card). Choose a payment service provider that offers the widest possible range of payment methods. This will enable you to offer the most appropriate payment method for each of your customers, and to adapt to each culture, regardless of your catchment area. This will significantly increase your conversion rate.

Choose a payment provider that allows you to use multiple payment methods (multi-participant, X times, by subscription, multi-support, 1 click, etc). Offering different payment methods allows you to adapt to each customer’s needs and also ensures higher conversion rates and potentially higher average shopping baskets (for example, by offering payment in 3 instalments or an additional purchase in 1 click).

The distance selling contract

The distance selling contract is the contract between you and your bank that allows you to collect online transactions as part of an e-commerce activity.

Very often the implementation of a distance selling contract with your bank is complex. It is not uncommon for banks to require you to have all your accounts with them, which adds extra administrative procedures. You should also be aware that even if you sign a VAD contract with your bank, you will also have to sign up with a payment service provider to integrate the solution on your merchant site.

In order to reduce and simplify the administrative procedures, choose a payment service provider that manages both the technical implementation (i.e. integration on your merchant site) and the VAD contracts. You only have one contact person, you control the entire payment chain and you benefit from a simpler and faster implementation.

The dashboard & bank reconciliation

You should also choose a payment service provider that offers a complete back office. The more complete its functionalities, the easier it will be to manage your daily transactions.

Among the indispensable tools in your back-office functionalities, those related to reconciliation. Bank reconciliation is a repetitive, tedious task with no real added value for your company. Choose a payment service provider that offers statistical, reporting and export tools to make your accounting easier to manage.

This will give you more time to focus on your strategic priorities and business development.

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