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2 min read 06.05.2022 96
Ese Precious
Ese Precious
Fintech writer at AskWallet.io
How to Accept Online Payments Safely

How to Accept Online Payments Safely

Even a cybersecurity genius would agree that when it comes to creating a secure online payment system, common sense alone is unreliable. Therefore, to be a successful eCommerce business manager or entrepreneur, you need to learn how to implement the best security practices for accepting payments via bank cards, e-wallets, and other digital methods. This knowledge will help you to protect your customers and your business from fraudsters and cybercriminals. This guide contains (in simple language) all that you need to know about accepting online payments safely.

Why do Online Payments Need to be Secure?

Security concerns are a major reason why most buyers fail to complete payments while shopping online. If your online payment system gives a sense of insecurity to your customers, they are most likely to leave your site and go to that of your competitor, and this is not good for your business. Therefore, to increase your conversion rate and sustain customer loyalty, you must improve the confidence and trust of your existing and potential customers by offering them a secure and safe payment system.

Tips to Make Payments Safe 

Use SSL/TLS for Secure Online Payments

The first things we would like you to know about accepting online payments safely and securely are the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols. They are both cryptographic sets of rules used to encrypt data (that is, transform human-readable data into codes) and authenticate a connection in the process of sending data over the internet. In other words, they are standard cyber security technologies that help to establish a secure connection between a website (webserver) and the web browser (client) of a visitor.

TLS is the successor of SSL – an improved version of the latter. TLS was developed to fix some security weaknesses that were in SSL. When either SSL or TLS is used to secure online data by encryption, the only way to humanly read the data is to use the correct key or cypher to decrypt it. (Note: only authorised persons with access to a decryption key can read data encrypted with SSL or TLS).

This secure online connection encrypts all messages passing through it. As a result, sensitive data, such as credit card details, are encoded before being delivered to website owners, who may then decode the data once they have it. Anyone attempting to steal the data during the transmission will only get encrypted (incomprehensible) data.

If you leave your website without SSL/TLS security, you will not be able to safely process details of transactions made through bank cards or other online payment methods, and your visitors will see a message like “Your connection is not private”. Such warnings usually make a lot of buyers leave unsecure sites. So, you need to add this security layer. You can do it by installing an SSL/TLS certificate on your web server. When installed, your website becomes secure. The visible proof of your site’s advanced security level is a padlock icon with the “https” prefix, which appears in front of your web address when a visitor uses his browser to access your site. Experts recommend using SSL/TLS to accept online payments securely, thereby reducing cyber security risks and serving your customers better.                                                                                                      

PCI Compliance in Online Payments

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to all retailers who receive card payments (online or offline), from the world's biggest corporations to small online stores. To accept card payments, you must comply with PCI. So, what is PCI compliance? It refers to the PCI Security Standards' 12-point technological and operational framework for businesses that handle, store, or transfer card payment data. It is worth noting that each card provider has its own set of compliance, validation, and enforcement guidelines.

The particular compliance criteria you will need to fulfil will be determined by the size of your business and the number of transactions you do. Find the appropriate level for your business from the following:

  • Level 1 – Businesses that conduct more than 6 million transactions each year.
  • Level 2 - Businesses that handle 1 to 6 million transactions each year.
  • Level 3 - Businesses that handle 20,000 to one million transactions each year.
  • Level 4 - Businesses that handle fewer than 20,000 transactions each year.

Therefore, if you want to accept online payments safely, your website or web-linked database must be scanned to ascertain PCI compliance. Besides, it helps your customers to trust you with the sensitive information you receive from their cards – knowing that you can prevent security breaches and data theft.

Verify the IP and Billing Address Information

Another way to safely accept online payments is to always match the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the buyer, which helps to identify their device on the internet, with the billing address of their card. These details are provided during the transaction. If you compare the information and find that the customer is not the rightful cardholder, you can suspect any fraudulent activity and take necessary measures to stop it. Thus, this kind of confirmation can help to prevent potential fraud.

Use Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

SCA (Strong Customer Authentication) is a method of reducing fraud and increasing the security of online payments by requiring some information from the user throughout the authentication process. Examples include asking questions relating to “something you have” (a personal computer or smartphone), “something you know” (a password or PIN), or “something you alone possess naturally” (fingerprints or voice recognition).

Use Payment Tokenization

Card tokenization can be used to accept secure payments. It encrypts sensitive payment information by transforming it into a string of completely random digits known as a "token." As a token, the data may be delivered across the internet or payment channels to complete the transaction without being revealed.

Require Strong Passwords

Cybercriminals attempt to get access to user accounts by using common names, birthdates, and dictionary word combinations. Requesting a strong password to protect client accounts can provide an extra layer of protection. If a consumer forgets their strong password, they must be able to access their account through a "forgot your password" method.

What exactly is a strong password? It is a lengthy security key that comprises uppercase, lowercase, numerical, and special characters. You can generate it yourself or use any digital tool for strong password generation. Personal information should not be included in strong passwords.

Implement 3D Secure

3D Secure is an authentication mechanism that prevents unauthorised card usage and shields e-commerce retailers from chargebacks in the case of a fraudulent transaction. To authenticate transactions, merchants, card networks, and financial institutions share information using 3D Secure.

Request the CVV

The CVV/CVC code (Card Verification Value/Code) is situated on the back of your credit/debit card on the right side of the white signature strip; it is always a three-digit code. It can be used to authenticate card transactions over the phone or online. If the credit card details have been stolen, asking for information that is only available on the card might assist businesses with validating the payment.

Monitor Fraud Continuously

A payment gateway that identifies and controls fraud is required by e-commerce retailers. A built-in fraud detection system helps to identify areas where a fraudulent transaction exists. Businesses can implement rules that deny transactions that are suspected to be too risky, or they can request permission to allow such transactions to be completed based on their position and risk tolerance.

Train Your Employees

Employees should be equipped with the information and skills necessary to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats. When the team knows the safe payment procedure, they will be better equipped to spot fraudulent conduct as it occurs and avoid data security breaches.

Payment Solutions That You Can Use to Accept Payments Safely and Securely

GoCardless

To keep you safe, GoCardless employs strong encryption and is backed by some of the most recognisable payment brands. The company's worldwide data risk management approach adheres to international standards and employs the best privacy practices to secure personal information. Payers who use Direct Debit are entitled to an immediate refund if something goes wrong with the transaction.

Stripe

Stripe is PCI Service Provider, Level 1 certified. It maintains a high degree of security by employing best-in-class security technologies and processes. All TLS (SSL) services, including our public website and the Dashboard, must use HTTPS. Stripe's official libraries use TLS to connect to Stripe's servers and check TLS certificates on every connection. The firm conducts frequent audits of its implementation, including the certificates served, certificate authorities used, and cyphers used. Furthermore, all card numbers are encrypted at rest, that is, stored as codes. Separate devices keep the decryption keys. Stripe's platform for storing, decrypting, and transferring card numbers is hosted separately from its principal services and does not exchange any credentials with it.

Intergiro

Intergiro is a FinTech company based in Sweden. To offer you the best services possible, Intergiro saves all personal data in safe and encrypted storage environments and only shares it with trustworthy partners. It uses Strong Customer Authentication techniques to verify your identity before providing you access to your account and secure your transactions.  Intergiro also checks and enrols your phone before utilising it for authentication and transaction authorization. MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) is also used on its web Customer Portal and mobile app. It allows you to access its noteworthy mobile app more securely by using your fingerprint or facial recognition. It receives real-time notifications of fraudulent activities, allowing for swift action and early fraud prevention measures.

Decta

DECTA is a multinational payment processing firm with financial IT expertise. It offers a comprehensive set of digital payment services tailored to the needs of merchants, banks, and payment service providers. These services include secure payment services, third-party technical payment card processing, and 3D Secure solutions. It offers services such as tokenization, fraud protection, and financial compliance. Read our review of DECTA to know more about it.

Mercuryo

Mercuryo, which provides and manages a global payment network for users to purchase, trade, and store crypto and fiat money, stays up to date with new technology breakthroughs and ever-evolving fraud schemes. Mercuryo incorporates compliance and anti-fraud solutions, as well as a variety of risk management measures. Furthermore, it strictly conforms to all regulatory rules and card systems. It maintains track of illegal and suspicious transactions by doing address checks to determine whether they have links to any illegal activity. The company also administers KYC/AML, correctly stores customers' data and card data, conducts fraud monitoring, renders blockchain analytics following PCI DSS requirements, and provides 100% security against chargebacks.

Square

Square can be in charge of your payments' security from start to finish. When it comes to managing PCI Compliance, which can be a costly process, it makes compliance simple and affordable. It takes care of the costs and processes involved in dealing with assessors, SAQ regulations, and audits on your behalf, and there are no fees associated with keeping compliant. Payment data never gets to your device or system unencrypted.

ConnectPay

ConnectPay offers all-in-one banking payment solutions. To protect your login and transaction confirmation processes, ConnectPay utilises Strong Customer Authentication, which displays as an OTP (One-Time Password) on the ConnectPay App or by SMS, depending on the channel you choose. If your account information changes, you will get a notice from this electronic money institution. ConnectPay also demands multi-factor authentication for both clients and employees, as well as security training and exercises for internal users on a regular basis.

SecurionPay

SecurionPay's token technology, which keeps your end-user data safe by encrypting it at all times, relieves you of the complete PCI compliance burden. It ensures the safety of its partners at all times and provides solutions to drastically reduce the risk of online fraud. SecurionPay takes fraud prevention seriously. It can protect you effectively, thanks to information obtained straight from the Card Schemes. SecurionPay makes suggestions about suspicious transactions and gives you the power to act on them and choose whether certain measures are necessary. It also offers a suite of anti-fraud tools and services, including non-invasive 3D Secure authentication, blacklisting, and more, all of which may be used in conjunction with the SecurionPay payment gateway.

Soldo

Soldo is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom and the Central Bank of Ireland in the European Union. It also operates under the European Banking Authority's Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). Security is a top priority for Soldo. The company adheres to worldwide standards and best practices in security, and it strives to produce secure solutions constantly. It employs sophisticated 3D Secure (3DS) as a supplemental authentication mechanism to protect online transactions from fraud. In addition, it makes use of Secure Customer Authentication for multi-factor authentication, which improves the security of electronic payments. By specifying who spends money on whatever item and where it can be spent, as well as locking cards if they are missing, Soldo provides better security against unauthorised spending. 

Paysera

Paysera is Lithuania's first licenced e-money institution. The client's communication connection with Paysera is encrypted so that no one can intercept the data being exchanged. Paysera's security is validated by the PCI DSS international standard for security technology and procedures. In the Paysera system, the greatest degree of security, level 1, has been deployed. The Paysera payment card is safeguarded by 3D Secure (Verified by Visa) technology, which offers the cardholder additional complementary protection while buying online. Paysera employs the Know Your Client (KYC) concept to protect customers' funds and prevent fraudulent behaviour, requiring them to disclose personal information, and answer questions about their financial activities. After KYC, starts monitoring, analysing, and, if necessary, taking appropriate fraud-prevention actions. Paysera suggests using a strong password to safeguard your account. The password for the account must be unique and contain at least 8 characters, including capital and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters. You should also change your password from time to time.

ecoPayz

Your personal financial information is not shared with anybody when you use your ecoPayz account. Your payment method is also not revealed. ecoPayz employs cutting-edge security and fraud solutions, as well as the highest levels of data protection and encryption, following Payment Card Industry and Data Security Standards (PCI and DSS). Furthermore, depending on your browser's capabilities, all transactions are automatically encrypted from your browser to its website utilising the SSL/TLS protocols. It safeguards your account from viruses, spyware, and hacker attacks. The Thawte Certification Authority has certified the company, ensuring that your information is kept secure. Servers containing sensitive information are physically separated from all other infrastructure and housed in limited, highly secure facilities.

MuchBetter

MuchBetter is a secure e-wallet that is both simple and convenient for individuals and businesses. Its new and exclusive flagship feature called dynamic CVV protects all accounts. Usually, the CVV is a three-digit code found on the back of your bank card; however, unlike every other bank card in the world, the MuchBetter card does not have this information. Instead, you can find this secret code in the MuchBetter app, and it varies every time you use it, making it nearly difficult for someone to steal your credit card information online. MuchBetter accounts are also safeguarded by device pairing, touch ID, dynamic security codes, and a transaction review mechanism, which ensures that only valid transactions are processed.

Bankera

Multi-factor authentication is one of the cybersecurity features that Bankera uses to protect the accounts of its customers. Each time you access your account or make a payment, you will be asked to confirm the transaction by inputting a code delivered to your phone via SMS. Besides, Bankera's electronic money is entirely backed by liquid assets such as cash, its equivalents (short-term bank deposits), or highly liquid bonds, and is kept separate from the financial institution's own funds. This safeguarding strategy benefits such organisations' clients by providing an additional security layer. Customers would still be able to collect their payments if the financial institution went bankrupt. Find more information about Bankera on our website.

NETELLER

NETELLER is one of the world's most reputable and secure online payment systems. This popular e-wallet can protect you and your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the most advanced anti-fraud technologies and security measures. It helps with PCI compliance, 3-D Secure services, real-time transaction monitoring, device fingerprinting, verification of security code (CV2/CVV), data encryption and multiple firewalls, et cetera. Its security features are intended to keep you secure both online and offline. However, for an added level of protection, it suggests using a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication on your account.

Conclusion

AskWallet has covered all important risk-related topics and provided useful tips for you to accept online payments safely in this guide. Your next strategic and profitable step is to use the links in this article to find an informative summary of any of the payment service providers before creating an account with them.   

In return for choosing to use our recommended safe payment systems, you will get access to a borderless market by having the whole world as your potential customers, making it easier for your existing customers to pay you, and getting your site visitors to trust your products and services. Follow our advice to increase your cash flow and grow your business to a global e-commerce brand.