Abandoned Payments

Most providers of credit card processing work of a '3rd party payment page', where we have to direct the customer to their highly secure payment page, with the customer being redirected back to our website once the payment process has been completed. This is largely due to very tight rules imposed by the banks & credit card companies as to how credit card payments are made, in order to minimise the chance of credit card fraud.

3rd party payment pages are great in that they remove a lot of your risk of credit card fraud associated with accepting credit card payments through your website - as your website now never comes into contact with client credit card details. The 3rd party (e.g. DPS) will process the credit card transaction & inform your website if the payment was accepted or declined.

We provide very tight integration into a number of the most popular credit card providers. Some of the more advanced providers like DPS inform us instantly "behind the scenes" with a "push request" to inform our server of the outcome of the payment. However other less sophisticated providers require on the client redirecting back to your website - which can cause problems with people completing payment, ignoring the message asking them to wait to return to your website, and instead closing the browser before they ever inform your website that the payment was successfully made.

Because this process takes place completely off your website, the ZEST website software has no control of what takes place during this time. If the client closes their browser and never comes back, depending on the payment provider, it may be technically impossible for us to determine what happened. The same situation occurs if the client clicks 'Place Order' on your website, and then closes their browser without completing the next stage of payment on the payment provider's website.

Unfortunately with a 3rd party payment page, there is nothing techincally that can be done about this. Because we lose control of the situation once the visitor navigates away from your site, we are completely limited to whatever your chosen payment provider provides.

To mitigate this situation, we store a complete copy of every order the moment someone clicks 'Place Order'. You can essentially view this as an order that has been placed, and is now 'Waiting for Payment' - waiting for the credit card payment to complete. We allow a period of time for the order to naturally complete - any that do are moved into the 'Orders' tab in the adminstration of your website. However any that remain unprocessed after a period of time, we display in the 'Abandoned Payments' tab.

This section of your administration allows you to reconcile which of the following situations occured with each of these orders:
  • The payment was successfully completed, and for some reason your website software was never informed. In this situation you can select the order and select 'Manually complete the selected order'. This will place complete the order processing as if the customer came back to the website as they were meant to - an email receipt will be sent to the customer, order notification to yourself, and the order will process through to as a pending order.
  • The payment was abandoned - in this situation you now have two options:
    • You could call the website visitor up, inform them you received the order and ask them how they would like to complete payment. This gives you another go at manually converting this order.
    • Delete the order.
  • The order processing for some other reason failed. If the order processing failed, then a full copy of the order is stored here for your to be able to easily recover it.
Because some of these orders may be legitimate orders, it is important that you regularly reconcile this list against your actual payment provider statements. The orders provide a reference number which should line up with your payment provider statements to make this easier. You will need to manually determine with each order if it is relevant or not. This is a part of running an ecommerce website with a 3rd party payment page.

What if I really don't like this - what options do I have?

If you really can't stomach having to do this process, your only real option is to move to a payment provider / service that allows you to take the credit card payment directly in your checkout page. This allows our software to control the whole process, and removes the possiblity of 'abandoned payments'. One such service is DPS Fusion. Please talk to a member of the Zeald team if you would like more information about this option.

A few additional FAQ's & notes:

Please note that it is not an error for an order to appear under this tab. Any website using a 3rd party payment page (which is most ecommerce websites) will have orders appearing here regularly as part of running their website. It is important that you regularly reconcile these orders to determine if they are valid or invalid - especially if you are using one of the less sophisticated payment providers.

Paypal payments often fall into the Abandoned Payments tab - this is simply because many customers close the Paypal window once the transaction is complete, rather than waiting for Paypal to redirect them, or manually clicking, back to your website.

Abandoned payments only appear in this list 30 minutes after the customer tried to make the order.

It is essential that you confirm that you have actually received payment before you manually complete an order from this list.

You can access the Abandoned payments tab under the Orders tab