For most partners our pre-configured single page checkout flowprovides the best user experience and a highly converting checkout. For specialist use cases the checkout APIs can provide an alternative experience. Please speak to your account manager for more details.
Both services are fully secure and provide a number of benefits, such as multiple payment methods (including PayPal), customisable UI widgets, seamless integration with 3D Secure and advanced fraud protection.
From a "capability service" perspective, the Payments Service deals with all the individual payment-related tasks, such as displaying a Payments widget, and authorising, capturing and cancelling payments.
While the Payments Service provides these single API calls and widgets, giving you the flexibility to orchestrate them how you'd like, the Checkout Service deals with the end-to-end checkout journey (from after adding items to basket through to successful payment). Its Checkout widget, for example, wraps the Payments widget to help you with not only displaying a payments form for processing payments, but also automatically handling order creation, booking confirmation and payment capture.
The main advantage of using the Payments widget is that it gives you the flexibility to support other payment methods, not currently supported by Encore, or include these earlier in the checkout journey. Additionally, if you need to sell other products (not sourced from Encore), you could use the Payments widget to take payment from your customer (via Encore) but confirm these orders directly with your own supplier. Otherwise, we recommend using the Checkout widget, as it will handle all the heavy-lifting of capturing payments and confirming bookings for you.
You should refer to the section on Payments widget and Checkout widget for more details on both.