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HPP vs. API: Finding your perfect fit

HPP vs. API: Finding your perfect fit
Business Development Specialist
Yuliia Mamonova

Once a business owner decides to get his feet wet and launch his business, he has to start looking for a payment gateway. There is no way around it. Payment processing requires a professional payment processing solution. But with the choice of a PSP comes the necessity to choose between a Hosted Payment Page (HPP) and an API (server to server) for the checkout. To help you decide which option works best for you, let’s look into details of each of these options. So, let’s analyze which is best for you – HPP vs. API.

Types of integration: HPP vs. API

There are always two sides to one coin. Therefore, we’ll look both at the pros and cons of both integration types. Besides, we’ll help PSPs see what features both integration types must have to meet the needs of even the most demanding user.

HPP vs. API

HPP vs. API: Advantages  

1. Hosted Payment Page (HPP)

An HPP has an extensive list of advantages:

  • Simple integration.
    First and foremost, this integration type is extremely easy to set up. The merchant doesn’t have to worry about it since it is a PSP who takes care of this task.
  • Security.
    The security is guaranteed by the PSP. Therefore, when choosing the latter make sure they have all the necessary certificates including PCI DSS. This is great news for merchants who have no reasons to worry about the safety of data that flows through their website whatsoever.
  • Fraud and chargeback prevention.
    With payments comes the risk of fraudulent activities and an increased level of chargebacks. Since neither of those is your friends, it’s in your best interest to opt for an HPP as it typically has cutting-edge fraud and chargeback prevention systems.
  • Higher conversion rates.
    Truth be told, an HPP is developed by real professionals with years of experience. They develop and constantly test this technology. As a result, they know how to get the most out of it for a merchant and a cardholder. For it, they experiment with colors, designs, and messages. All to motivate the cardholder to spend his money on the merchant’s products.
  • Best selling practices.
    The developers behind an HPP have been in the business for years. Therefore, they know best how to nudge an unsure client to buy from you. The right message, local currencies, convenient payment methods are just a few of their techniques that’ll bring your revenues on a brand-new level.
  • High-end technologies.
    An HPP is the “brand ambassador” of a payment processor. Therefore, they will do their best to keep it up-to-date as secure as possible. There is no doubt about it.
  • 24/7 support.
    Reliable PSPs will support the merchant along his business journey. They can analyze the customers’ behavior and suggest design improvements or upsell ideas on the checkout page. All thanks to their great experience in the area.

Now, let’s look at the advantages of API integration.

2. API.

  • Full control.
    The merchant has full control over the payment process. From the beginning of the development process to the updates and implementation of the new features, it is all merchant’s responsibility. So, he can pick what best fits his needs.
  • Analytics.
    API integration allows for full access to advanced analytics. This is extremely useful in terms of a business as it opens a door to adjusting the strategies and effective planning. Besides, it results in more marketing and upselling opportunities, and that’s great news!
  • Customization.
    This is arguably the biggest advantage of this integration type. A merchant can customize the payment page to his taste. We’re talking branding and design.
  • Security.
    Choosing API is a smart move, as it guarantees security. Of course, API doesn’t automatically equal security because one has to choose a good payment processor to protect his data. But once a reliable PSP is chosen, be sure: your payment data is safe!
  • Suitable for high turnovers.
    The owners of small and medium businesses typically opt for an HPP because it simply makes no sense to them to pay that much money and invest all that time to develop their own checkout page. But, on the contrary, it’s a perfect solution for enterprises with high turnovers.

As you see both options have tons of advantages. But to see a big picture, presentation of disadvantages is in order. So, let’s look at them too.

HPP vs. API: Disadvantages

1. HPP.

– PSP in charge of the checkout page.
Even though this might be a brilliant advantage, some merchants want more freedom and control over the end-to-end experience. Therefore, think twice whether it’ll work for you.

 Fewer marketing opportunities.
When compared to an API, HPP truly offers fewer marketing opportunities. However, it all depends on the PSP: some not only keep their HPP on the high end of the modern technologies but also offer marketing and upselling tips inside their payment system.

– Lack of analytics.
Some hosted payment pages lack access to full analytics at different stages. Sure, there are some insights into the customer journey and understanding of what prevents the client to go on and buy. But it’s not as exhaustive as with an API.

2. API.

  • Merchant is a decision-maker.
    With full control over the end-to-end experience comes full responsibility over the payment process. It might be good for some merchants. But those willing to unload this side of running a business would rather not be the decision-makers at this stage.
  • PCI DSS certificate.
    Merchants that opted for API option have to obtain a PCI DSS certificate on their own. In case you did not know, it takes time and money. And there are so many pitfalls that some merchants don’t consider this news good.
  • Time-consuming process.
    Building a payment page from scratch can be daunting given how much time and efforts it requires. While an HPP setup is fast and simple, building your own checkout page will take some time.
  • Stiff cost.
    Hiring a team of developers specializing in payment processing software development is a costly affair. So, estimate your budget to decide whether you can afford this integration type without robbing the bank.

We believe that now you have a big picture. Remember to look at both sides of an argument and choose which integration type works best for you.

Before we wrap it up, we’d like to have a word with PSPs and their customers. Do you know what a payment page consists of? What features are a must for them? If no, then we strongly recommend you reading the next chapter.

Features of a perfect payment page

It’s a no-brainer that in the world where people will soon shop mostly online having an online payment checkout is a must. But not every merchant and PSP realize what to expect from a good checkout page. So, here is our expert opinion on it.

  1. Multilanguage interface.
    Unless you’re running a business focused on the needs of your local group, it’s smart to have a multilanguage interface. This way more users will be able to read and understand the checkout page. And that means higher conversion rates.
  2. An exhaustive list of currencies.
    It’s a well-known fact that the easier it is for a user to pay, the more likely he is to make a purchase. And by “easier” we mean local currencies. High currency exchange rates might scare off potential clients. So, let them pay in their currency – and they’ll stay.
  3. A variety of payment methods.
    To appeal to a wider range of customers, a merchant must offer more payment methods. It’s not a secret that payment methods popular among European clients differ from those popular among Asian ones. Therefore, analyze your target audience and their preferences and offer relevant to them payment methods.  
  4. Fast load.
    Here is the harsh truth: 79% of online buyers state that if the site takes too long to load, they’re not likely to buy on that site again. And we’re talking – never coming back! If you don’t want to see your customers leave, keep your load fast.
  5. Smooth customer journey.
    The design of the payment page must be simple but brilliant. Make sure it is visually self-explanatory. Try to avoid any unnecessary information that only distracts the customer from making a fast and smooth purchase.
  6. Compatibility with different browsers.
    With the variety of browsers available today, the merchant can’t ignore the necessity for his payment page to work with all of them.
  7. Contents of the page.
    Sure, it might seem a little too simple. But there are mandatory points that must appear on a checkout page. These items include but are not limited to the item image, company name, total amount, taxes description, etc.
  8. Security certificates.
    For payment data protection, make sure that a payment checkout page has all the necessary certificates (e.g. PCI DSS). You can check this information by looking at the bottom of the page. That’s where security badges are typically located.
  9. Mobile-friendliness.
    With more than a trillion-dollars revenue on mobile payments, merchants should be willing to offer this payment method more than ever.
  10. In-app payments.
    Make in-app payments simple for your target audience by allowing them to pay for each purchase without leaving the app.

All in all, these are the key characteristics of a payment page both merchants and PSPs should know about.

So, we hope this article helped you decide which fits your needs better – an HPP or API integration. Besides, we identified the criteria you should bear in mind when choosing a payment page prototype. Feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues. And let us know your thoughts on it in the comments!

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