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How to Ensure Secure Online Payments

In the digital world, defending your customers from online breaches is a critical way to establish trust. There are many cybersecurity threats to contend with, from viruses and phishing to malware and ransomware, and if you aren’t paying attention, your customers could be the ones who suffer.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reportedly handled over a million cases of suspected credit card fraud in 2019. And that’s going to have a knock-on effect on your business’s bottom line, with 33% of UK organisations claiming to have lost customers after a breach.

Fortunately, maintaining secure online payments doesn’t have to be a challenge. Several strategies can help you ensure that your secure payment system remains airtight and protected against hackers and cybercriminals. Explore some of these strategies in a little more depth with our comprehensive guide.

Strategies for safeguarding secure payments

Want to know how to create a secure payment page? If so, you’ll need to get to grips with several best practices. Here are three of the most effective ways of maintaining a secure payment system:

PCI DSS compliance

Firstly, let’s focus on PCI DSS. If you accept credit card payments (either online or offline), you need to comply with the PCI DSS requirements. There are 12 general requirements that you’ll have to adhere to, and while PCI DSS isn’t a law, it’s enforced by banks, merchants, and credit card companies. Non-compliance can result in several penalties, including fines, liability for fraud charges, and the termination of your business’s ability to accept credit card payments.

From installing firewalls and encrypting the transmission of cardholder data to regularly testing your security systems and protecting your systems against malware, paying attention to PCI DSS can help you ensure secure payments.

TLS/SSL protocol

Next, you should make sure that you have TLS implemented on your site. TLS (as well as its predecessor, SSL) establishes a secure link between your customer’s browser and your website. All the information transferred through this link is encrypted, which means that if anyone attempts to intercept your communications, they’ll only receive encrypted, and therefore unreadable, data.

TLS is mandatory for PCI DSS compliance, and while it’s not strictly necessary for businesses that take Direct Debit, it’s still highly encouraged. You can either get your own TLS certificate or use a trusted provider like GoCardless or PayPal, which can also help customers feel more secure when they make a payment on your site.

Address verification service

Another great addition to your secure payment systems is an address verification service, also referred to as AVS. Essentially, AVS can help you verify whether the billing address that the cardholder has provided matches the address associated with the card. If there’s a mismatch, it will be flagged. Although address verification tools certainly shouldn’t be used as your only line of defence against online threats, they can provide an additional layer of protection that you can use to detect potentially fraudulent transactions from credit and debit cards.

So, there you have it – three of the best strategies you can use to safeguard your customers’ secure payments. Of course, these aren’t the only methods for ensuring secure online payments. It would help if you also encouraged your users to learn about the importance of using a VPN, as well as the significance of their data security more generally. Post this information on your site to keep your customers security-conscious and well-informed.

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GoCardless Ltd., Sutton Yard, 65 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7EN, United Kingdom

GoCardless (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services. GoCardless SAS (23-25 Avenue Mac-Mahon, Paris, 75017, France), an affiliate of GoCardless Ltd (company registration number 834 422 180, R.C.S. PARIS), is authorised by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority), Bank Code (CIB) 17118, for the provision of payment services.