The Ins-and-Outs: What is a Hosted Pay Page?

April 13, 2016


An ecommerce business comes with lots of new technology and terminology.  Even if you’ve outsourced much of the technical work to experts (like web developers), it’s helpful to know what’s going on behind the scenes and understand the different elements of your ecommerce business.

Payment processing is most often managed by the solution provider, especially for small businesses that don’t have the time or resources to fully attend to this aspect of checkout, but there are some differences and options when it comes to how your customers pay. 

Let’s take a look at the hosted pay page and find out what it is, how it works for your business (and customers), as well as the different options you have.

What Is a Hosted Pay Page?

A hosted pay page is a payment page located outside the merchant website that allows customers to pay for goods or services during the checkout process. By clicking a "Buy Now" button or link on the merchant website, a shopper is re-directed to this secure payment page where they enter the necessary payment information.  


How Does it Work for the Shopper?

The process is seamless for the customer (they think they're still on your website):

  1. Customer adds items to their shopping cart from the merchant website and proceeds to checkout.
  2. When they’re ready to pay, customers are redirected to the hosted pay page where they enter their credit card information.
  3. Once the transaction is complete, the system will generate a transaction receipt (or the hosted pay page can generate one on the business’s behalf).

As with most solutions, there are a number of options for how the hosted pay page integrates with the merchant site.  We can understand the options by the way that they appear to the customer: 

On-Page Hosting

A more enhanced model involves setting up a hosted pay page directly on the merchant site via an “iFrame.”  This pay page is still managed by the payment solution provider, but has a more seamless feel to the customer.  They are not formally redirected off the merchant site and enter their details via the merchant site, but all information is processed through the payment provider.  


Re-Direct Option

The basic model involves a clear re-direct.  When the customer clicks a “Buy Now” or “Checkout Now” button, they are notified that they are being sent to a secure payment site for entering payment details.   After providing the necessary information, the user completes checkout and is redirected back to the merchant site for confirmation details. 


Hosted Tokenization

Hosted tokenization involves integrating the required payment fields directly on the merchant site to process the transaction.  This model gives the merchant the most control over how the pay page appears, but also requires more security certification to protect user-entered data.  The payment sensitive data (CVV, CC number, etc.) is still handled by the payment solution provider, but there is no re-direct and since payment card information is not processed, stored or transmitted by the merchant site, PCI/PA-DSS compliance requirements are reduced.

What Are the Benefits of a Hosted Pay Page?

There are a number of merchant and customer advantages:

  • Compatibility – Can be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of merchant websites and payment solutions.
  • Reduced merchant investment - In order to accept payments directly on their website, merchants need to be PCI certified, which typically costs $50,000 – 100,000.
  • Enhanced cardholder security – Customers’ credit card information is submitted and processed securely through the hosted pay page.
  • Reduced merchant liability – Security standards and liability for processing resides with the solution provider.
  • Limited technical expertise – Setup requires minimal web development and maintenance is managed by the payment provider.
  • Easy access to transaction reporting – Providers offer various forms of reporting and accessibility.
  • Instant order notification – When a customer places an order, the merchant can automatically receive an email to fulfill the order quickly.
  • Multiple payment options - Merchants can offer any of the payment methods, and/or currencies, that the hosted pay page provider supports.
  • Customization – The page can be customized to have a similar look and feel to the merchant website.

What’s Next

So why do you need to know how a hosted pay page works?  And if you have already decided to let your solution provider fully host the pay page, what should you keep in mind? Payment processing providers like Moneris support merchants by delivering a secure and reliable pay page for each and every purchase.  Click here to learn more about Moneris Hosted pay Pages.

Looking to learn more about online payment methods? Take a look at our recent blog 
The Best Online Payment Methods For Your Business!

The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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