As we mentioned in an earlier post, micropayments are about way more than just processing small transactions. It’s primarily a user experience challenge, and traditional payment methods don’t work well for that. Something may be worth a nickel to a user, but may not be worth two minutes of their time to go through an onerous purchase process. User experience is something that we are obsessed with here at MuCash, and not a day that goes by when we don’t think and talk about how to make our integration into our partners’ sites smoother and more seamless.
For example, consider a user buying an article from a site with MuCash. After the excerpt or intro, there would typically be a link to read the rest of the article. On premium articles with MuCash enabled, that link is simply replaced by our pretty “buy article” button. The user clicks the button, which pops up a window confirming the details of the item they are about to purchase (price, author, title etc.). They then click “confirm” and are instantly taken to the full article. The whole process is just one more click than they would normally need to read the full article, and flows naturally with how they would normally interact with the site.
An innovative feature we offer our bloggers is the ability for their readers to leave a donation when making a comment—after all, while a kind word is always appreciated, a kind word that also helps pay the bills goes that much further. A user would simply type in their comment, and other details as always, and then pick an amount to donate from the dropdown box right next to the submit button, and then submit the form. As before, this pops up a window that allows them to quickly verify the details and confirm their intent. Clicking “confirm” completes the process by making the donation, and submitting the comment. As before, this integrates naturally into the normal way the one would interact with the site and is quick and easy,
Of course, the first time a users encounters MuCash, they do need to create an account. Although each user will only go through this process once, we have put a great deal of thought into how best to streamline this flow to make it as easy as possible. We have a signup process that happens entirely in a popup window. This means that a user never leaves our partner sites and is more likely to complete the purchase. We also only require the bare minimum amount of information needed to create an account and securely process a payment: an email, password and credit card information.
User experience for micropayments is challenging. We strive to make things as quick, easy, and understandable as possible, but nothing takes precedence over keeping our users safe and secure.
Security and ease of use are often at odds with each other and are not always the easiest things to keep in harmony, and it is why we work so hard on that aspect of our business. The confirmation window does add an extra step to the process, but we’ve designed it quickly provide the user with all the information they need to know at a single glance, and then get out of the way. While we belive that our user experience is second to none, we are always looking to make things better, so if you have ideas drop us a line.