Shopify: Is Debit or Credit card language stopping sales?

Stephen Keable
3 min readMay 5, 2020
Credit or Debit? (@twopaddles on

So this is a very British centric issue as far as I can tell, however three different companies I’ve worked with now have had similar user feedback from customers.

‘Be able to use debit card rather than credit card.
Couldn’t see the option button.’

I’ve seen this a bunch of times now and it mainly seems to be an issue raised only by British customers (feel free to let me know of other countries in the comments).

So Shopify obviously allows either credit or debit cards, so why do customers think they can’t. Because the default label in the checkout is simply “Credit card”.


In North America the difference between credit and debit cards is largely ignored and all cards are referred to as “Credit cards” whether they are Debit, Credit or Charge. Similar to how people refer to any brand of vaccuum cleaner as a Hoover.

However in the UK a lot of consumers are more aware that they have a “Credit Card” and/or a “Debit card” or “Bank Card”. In the UK credit cards were introduced in 1966 by Barclays long before the introduction of Debit cards in 1987 also by Barclays. Whereas in the US debit and credit cards evolved at the same time from the 1960s onwards.

As a result UK customers mostly grew up with a plastic card being for credit transactions and cash or a cheque, being for debit transactions. Something which still holds true, especially with older consumers.

For the more pedantic Brits, this can mean someone gets to the checkout and decides, well I don’t have a “Credit card” so bye, bye.

Fixing it?

This is super easy using the Checkout language settings in Shopify, although slightly tucked away. Firstly head to Settings and Click Checkout.

Then scroll to the bottom and click the “Manage checkout language” button

Stephen Keable

Shopify partner, JavaScript/Liquid/Swift developer, convert to serverless architecture and builder of digital products people love to use since 1999.