About Alternative Payment Methods

An outline of our Alternative Payment Methods (APMs), and how they behave differently to credit and debit card payments.

What APMs are

Worldpay defines APMs as branded payments other than credit and debit card payments (such as Visa and Mastercard). APMs can behave in different ways, and this guide outlines the different behaviours so that you can streamline your integration.

How APMs are different to credit and debit cards

A summary of what's different about APMs.

Authorisation, authentication and capture

  • With card payments in the Direct integration model:
    • You receive an authorisation response in the XML - with APMs, you receive aredirect URLto send the shopper to
    • You capture payment details - with many APMs, the provider captures the payment details
  • Card payments are near real-time (authorisation happens almost immediately) - APMs are all asynchronous to varying degrees (there are usually delays between the shopper interaction and authorisation)
  • Card payments can be manually captured, whereas APMs generally can't (APMs jump to the CAPTURED status automatically)
  • For all APMs, authentication is carried out by the APM provider

Payment journey, statuses and outcomes

  • With many APMs, thestatement narrativebecomes more relevant because it provides continuity and confidence throughout the shopper journey
  • APMs addadditional payment statusesthat you need to code into your system
  • APMs add new payment outcomes (result URLs)
  • With APMs, there are two concepts for non-completion of a payment:
    • Shopper drop-off (i.e. the shopper didn't attempt a payment)
    • A declined payment (i.e. the APM provider declined the payment, error, etc.)

Disputes and refunds

  • APMs can have a different dispute process to card payments
  • Refundsfor APMs can work in different ways, and have different restrictions


  • APMs are subject to local rules and regulations, and may restrict the types of goods and services that shoppers can buy
  • Many APM providers support only a subset of the languages offered by Worldpay

Fundamental differences between APMs

When comparing APMs these are the main differences:

  • For most APMs there's a small subset of data you need to capture (amount, currency, payment method), but some APMs also need additional data
  • The delay between the end of the payment journey (on the website) and you receiving notification of the payment being authorised can be either a few seconds or several days
  • There can be multiple ways for shoppers to complete a payment within one APM (we call these payment options)
  • APMs have different payment amount limits (even within the same APM, if it has different payment options)
  • A small number of APMs have specialised payment statuses
  • Some APMs are not refundable
  • Some APMs do not support partial refunds, and some do not support multiple partial refunds (only a single partial refund)

Want to jump into the APM guidance?