AWS for Industries

Secure stored payment credentials deliver frictionless checkout and can increase sales

Leading eCommerce enterprises prioritize continuous customer experience innovation—from serving up curated and highly personalized product selections to paperless, QR-code-enabled returns. Enterprises are especially focused on the checkout or payment phase of the customer lifecycle, a stage where friction can mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.

Stored payment credentials are a powerful tool in creating faster and more seamless checkout experiences. I recently sat down with Stripe Product Lead Josh Ackerman and Owen McDonald, senior editor, PYMTS, to discuss new research on digital payment trends and how the proper use of stored payment credentials can improve sales and customer experience.

I’m excited to share highlights from the study and our conversation, as well as ways that AWS is helping eCommerce enterprises and the broader payments ecosystem enable secure stored payment credentials and frictionless checkout experiences.

Stored credential use on the rise; security concerns remain

With the goal of helping our customers better serve their customers, AWS recently partnered with PYMNTS to understand the state of play for stored payment credentials. We surveyed more than 2,100 consumers and present the findings in a new report, How We Pay Digitally: Stored Credentials Edition.

The report examines how many consumers are using stored payment credentials on a merchant’s website or in a browser versus manually inputting payment information, their reasons for choosing one over the other, and how merchants can increase the use of stored credentials. We found that while most consumers are using stored credentials in some way, there is significant opportunity to increase adoption when security is kept at the forefront and incentives are offered.

Key findings include:

  • 80% of consumers use stored credentials for at least some online transactions. The most widely used option is storing credentials on merchants’ sites or marketplaces’ websites and apps (60%) followed by enabling browsers to store and auto-populate payment fields (46%) and using digital wallets (39%)
  • Consumers use stored credentials across a variety of products and services. Stock and cryptocurrency accounts have the highest rate (79%), followed by paid subscriptions (78%). Most online shoppers also use stored credentials for monthly bills (66%), retail products (66%), and groceries (63%).
  • Convenience drives consumers’ use of stored payment credentials. 56% of consumers opt to store their payment data because it provides an easier checkout process.
  • Security remains a concern. Among respondents who had manually entered payment information at least once in the last 30 days, 45% cite security concerns as the most important reason for doing so.
  • Merchant incentives can be effective in encouraging the use of stored payment credentials. 57% of consumers who manually enter payment information say they are highly interested in storing credentials with a merchant if offered a one-time discount.

Converting missed opportunities into satisfied customers

The study underscores that there is tremendous opportunity for enterprises that embrace and encourage stored digital payment credentials.

“Consumers care about and are going to optimize for what’s the fastest, most secure way to pay,” explained Ackerman said. “What we’ve seen is stored credentials and mobile wallets make those things incredibly easy and satisfy consumer needs.” He also shared that good checkout experiences extend beyond the immediate purchase as they have been shown to affect 90% of decisions to return to a business.

At the same time, however, Ackerman said that Stripe research shows that 60% of businesses don’t allow customers to save their payment methods for future use and 93% of businesses don’t support mobile wallets like Apple PayGoogle Pay, or Link by Stripe.

“The net result is that there’s money being left on the table, and if you are a business who is not yet supporting a payment method like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and these other express checkout options, it’s revenue that you could be earning and conversion points that you could be gaining,” he said.

A good checkout experience is in our DNA at Amazon. In turn, at AWS, we’re helping companies like Stripe ensure that they have the right data to make sure they’re creating a good customer experience, so that their customers—merchants—are creating a good experience, and the end customers come back to them.

Ensuring and communicating security

Security is the main reason that shoppers continue to use manual entry of payment information. Today, there are many best practices and security processes and tools to ensure the security of customer payment credentials.

We always say security is job zero here at AWS, and we’re providing the infrastructure and industry expertise for the payment and banking industry to develop effective solutions to prevent and address security threats, such as account takeovers, credential stuffing, and card testing.

AWS encourages the use of scalable machine learning (ML) models, which are evaluated, deployed, trained and retrained in an ongoing way to create new rules and updated decision engines that combat fraud. We’re providing services to companies like Stripe that have the ability to protect sensitive data. These include AWS Nitro Enclaves to protect and process secure data; Amazon Macie, which uses ML to safeguard sensitive data; and AWS CloudHSM and AWS KMS for encryption and protecting the resources using encryption keys.

Communication about security safeguards in place is also important to overcoming customer reticence. Yet, according to Ackerman, nearly three-quarters of businesses whose websites Stripe audited did not display security logos on their checkout page. Stripe works with merchants to make sure that there are high visibility ways that businesses can communicate to their consumers that their checkout flow is secure and trustworthy.

Using incentives to build confidence

Our study found that discounts of as little as 5% to 10% can help to convert many stored credential “holdouts.” From an industry perspective, this would be money well spent, especially when you consider how much it costs to acquire new customers for most merchants.

“All consumers want to make sure that they’re getting the best deal,” Ackerman said. “This finding isn’t surprising, but what is surprising is the number of sites that don’t offer this functionality at all. Even having as little as a 5% or 10% discount could make a big difference and could dramatically bump up your conversion rates at that final checkout moment.”

Top-performing merchants are the ones that recognize their customers, remember them, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations at the right time. Our experience is that the merchants that are doing this well know how to leverage data combined with artificial intelligence and ML to better engage with customers.

For more information on how AWS is helping payments enterprises ensure security and enable their customers to deliver frictionless checkout experiences, visit 

Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Mark Smith, Head of Payments, leads Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) worldwide business and market development efforts for the payments market segment of the Financial Services industry. In this role, he is responsible for the development and execution of AWS’s strategic initiatives across a wide range of payment companies, including merchant acquirers, payment processors, payment networks, card issuing banks, payment service providers and payment fraud detection companies. He works with these organizations to help them transform their existing businesses and bring new, innovative solutions to market by leveraging AWS services.