Last editedAug 20212 min read
As an increasing volume of sales transactions move online, it’s more vital than ever that you keep cybersecurity at the forefront of your business strategy. Providing a system for making secure payments online is important not just for your customers – it also helps protect your company from fraud. Here’s how to ensure online payment security.
The importance of making secure payments online
Online payment systems are cost-effective and convenient, but security is a top issue for any business. From customer card numbers to company financial details, payment systems leave a wealth of information vulnerable to cybercriminals. Fraud is costly from a financial perspective, but it can also erode customer trust in your brand. Implementing a payment system with built-in security features helps ward off hackers and keep your reputation intact.
How to ensure online payment security
Here are a few ways to take control of the situation and ensure that your customers can make secure payments online.
PCI compliance: If you accept card payments on your website, be sure that you’re adhering to PCI DSS regulations. These ensure that customer data is handled and processed according to a set of clearly defined, secure standards. Most payment processors cover PCI compliance on your behalf to take the guesswork out of the equation.
SSL protocol: Another way to ensure secure payments is by following SSL protocol on your website. This involves encrypting sensitive details shared during checkout. You’ll get a padlock icon that appears in your URL bar, so your customers know your site is secure.
3D Secure authentication: For an additional layer of security, look for the 3D Secure authentication protocol. This applies to card-not-present transactions online, using tools like biometrics or tokens to authenticate transactions.
Tokenization: With tokenization, credit card numbers are replaced with random strings of letters and numbers. It’s a form of online encryption that reduces the chances of a widespread data breach. If a transaction’s token is stolen by hackers, the information is useless.
Verification service: An address verification service (AVS) ensures that a cardholder’s billing address matches the address registered with a particular card.
Most secure online payment systems
In addition to implementing the fraud prevention tactics above, it’s also important to choose the most secure online payment systems. Options include:
Credit and debit card payments
One secure method of online payment is credit and debit cards. Credit cards adhering to PCI standards are particularly secure for small businesses, while customers benefit from added protection from the credit card issuer. Debit cards often come with built-in layers of added security. For example, activity from an unfamiliar IP address triggers added verification methods.
Digital wallets are ideal for making secure payments online. Purchases are verified with a PIN or fingerprint for added security, and because they’re linked to a debit account your business runs little risk of accepting a fraudulent payment.
Transfers between banks are secure online payments because they benefit from all the safeguards that financial institutions put in place. Provided you’ve taken the time to make your own website secure, enabling direct debits and online transfers should be safe for customers.
Identifying red-flag activity
Even with the most secure online payment system, scammers can sometimes slip through the cracks and leave your business vulnerable to attack. Learning to identify suspicious activity enhances all the other strategies described above. One secure method of online payment is a credit card, but if you start to notice unusual patterns of purchasing activity it might be something to keep an eye on. An example of red-flag behaviour could be multiple orders from multiple cards, all stemming from a single IP address.
Partnering with a secure payment processor helps spot these incidences of unusual behaviour, all while keeping your business safe.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.