Worried About Online Payments? Not A Problem
eCommerce is the name of the game these days. The whole shebang is available in online marketplaces at competitive prices. Companies and brands are employing innovative tactics to attract customers and increase revenue. With the explosive rise of the eCommerce industry also came the increase in the frequency of online payments. More and more people are turning to online payment methods; this is mainly due to the ease and convenience which is offered by online payment solutions. In addition to being able to pay at the click of a button, banking services also offer a great many other incentives through their credit cards with online payments.
Many people still have reservations about online payments. Although it is a convenient method to conduct transactions over the internet, there is also the always lingering question about the security of the said transactions. Undoubtedly, like any other system, banking systems also have their shortfalls which can make people worried about the safety of their money being handled through online payments. However, with the advancement of technology, the exchange of money online for goods and services is becoming more secure day by day. Finance and technology specialists are working together to make sure online payments are not only hassle free but also completely secure.
Online Payment Systems:
First, let us take a brief look at how online payment systems work so that we can better understand the security measures associated with them. Online payments utilize payment gateways to get the work done. A customer typically uses a credit card or a debit card to pay online for goods or services he/she has purchased; this payment, however, does not go directly to the merchant from whom the purchase is being made. The payment first goes to a payment gateway, which verifies the relevant card and other consumer details from the issuing bank and, upon successful verification, authorizes the payment to be made to the merchant.
Measures For Security:
The use of payment gateways is the start of a secure transaction because the gateway verifies the authenticity of the payment from the other end. There are, however, many other measures which are increasingly making online payments more secure by the day. Here are some ways in which online payment systems are ensuring security:
Data Encryption on Website:
A major step in weeding out third-party infiltration into the online payment process is to encrypt the website using an SSL protocol. An SSL protocol is an encryption technique which protects all the information on a website, including credit card details and personal information. It is denoted by the ‘https://’ before the web address in the URL bar, as well as a padlock symbol in the corner of the URL bar. This safety feature is one that has been adopted by all websites of authentic origin which handle details pertaining to online payments. So always look for the two symbols of an SSL encrypted website before proceeding with your purchase.
Another common security feature nowadays is the use of OTPs, or One Time Passwords. These are passwords which are generated when you put in your credit card information for the purchase to go through. They are a random string of characters or numbers which are generated once and are only valid for a certain period of time. This feature adds a layer of security to the transaction in the way that the password is sent to either the email address or the phone number registered by the users themselves, so only they or people authorized by them have access to it. This way, no one else can access the payment process.
A lesser used, but nonetheless effective, security feature is the use of an address verification system. This requires the user to input the billing address as provided on the credit card documents present with the bank. If the user’s input and the bank documents match, the payment goes through.
The latest in the wave of security features for online payment security is the bio-metric identification. This is primarily targeted at mobile and handheld devices equipped with fingerprint scanners. The technology requires users to validate their online credit or debit card transaction by scanning their fingerprint on the compatible handheld device in order to complete the transaction. This is a powerful tool for online payment security as it allows elimination of identity theft risk which are possible with passwords and pin codes being stolen.
PCI Data Security Standards:
The PCI Security Standards Council is a global body which was formed to develop and enhance security protocols for online payments. Its founding members include major credit card providers such as VISA and MasterCard. The PCI Data Security Standards are a set of standards formulated and propagated by the council for online payment security, and all major payment card brands have made it a part of their security compliance programs to make online payments more secure and efficient. These standards provide an additional layer of security for conducting online transactions.
What You Can Do?:
All of the measures above and more are being taken to provide customers with the peace of mind that they can make safe and secure online payments. In addition to these, there are some things that you as a customer can do on your end to make sure your money does not find its way into the hands of a fraudster. Keep your credit card’s details and other sensitive information safe and do not share it with anyone; make sure only you have access to your card. Always have two to three layers of security when purchasing things online, such as a password, OTPs, verification through your email as well as phone number, etc. If you suspect suspicious activity on your credit /debit card, take steps to rectify it immediately, before it is too late.
Online payment security is a two-way street. Most of the responsibility falls on the merchant to ensure the website and payment methods are safe, but by being careful on our end we can help the process. Being vigilant can ensure your money’s safety and your satisfaction all at once.