How can I make online payments secure?

How can I make online payments secure?


I want to offer my customers the option of doing online payments but how do I ensure that the process is safe for them and for me?

There are some simple steps merchants can take to ensure they don’t lose sales because of buyer fears.

Online retailers are very vulnerable to credit card fraud, especially if they’re selling virtual goods like vouchers or software, or anything they have to ship rapidly. If the cardholder later claims their details were stolen and requests a chargeback, the merchant has to swallow the loss.

One way of avoiding this is to make cardholders enter an extra password or one-time PIN before they can complete a purchase. This gives online retailers the same protection a physical store enjoys when customers have to enter the PIN at the till.

What is holding some people back, is the fear of lost sales. Fortunately, there are some simple steps merchants can take to reduce the losses.

When customers abandon a purchase at the last hurdle, it’s often because they aren’t very familiar with the process, and the sudden introduction of a new step in the process makes them suspicious. The best way to combat confusion is with better information.

Every online retailer should have a clear Help section that’s easily accessible from their checkout pages, and explains exactly how the process works and why it’s a good idea.

A couple of lines of text explaining what will happen when your customer hits the Purchase button is also a good idea.

If you provide a clear map that makes the process predictable, people are much less likely to lose trust.

Merchants should take care to ensure their explanations are written in clear English that’s easy to understand. Avoid technical jargon like ‘authentication’ and ‘issuing bank’ – an explanation that leaves people more confused just makes things worse.


Peter Harvey
Peter Harvey is the founder and managing director of PayGate – a gateway to simple and effective online payment solutions. With more than 26 years in IT and payment processing, Harvey is a master when it comes to architecting solutions to client’s exact ecommerce requirements. He is a trusted advisor to some of the largest financial transaction institutions.