Protect Your Customers by Using Secure Payment Systems
Any data you collect as part of your eCommerce operations must be protected and secured. Maintaining a secure payment system protects not only your customers but helps protect your business as well.
We’re in a new age of retail, where more and more transactions occur online. That’s because businesses are converting to digital processing for everything they can to streamline their back-office and maximize their returns. Simultaneously, there’s an explosion of companies expanding their online platforms to meet the needs of today’s customers.
Whether you’re an established player in the eCommerce game or just starting out, protecting your customer’s payment and personal information has to be your first priority.
Protecting Data With a Secure Payment System
To protect a customer’s personal and credit card information, it’s essential that you maintain a secure payment gateway. That means using a PCI-compliant encryption and tokenization process to secure their payments, making their data less susceptible to piracy.
The result is a secure checkpoint that protects your payment systems, helps prevent fraud, and shields your reputation from thieves and the negative publicity that comes with a hack. The last thing you want is for your perfectly planned and executed marketing strategies to be undone by the consequences of failing to maintain a secure payment system.
You don’t have to be a programming expert to recognize that having basic encryption for your customer’s data as it moves from website to server is essential for a successful eCommerce business. Your secure payment system is only as safe as the website on which it’s hosted. So, bolster your security by maintaining a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
This encryption is common and basic, but some eCommerce sites do not employ it, and their business suffers. It’s easy to tell on most browsers if a website has an SSL certificate or not, and some customers will simply not use a merchant without one.
Protecting your customer data is essential to keep your customers’ accounts information and funds secured no matter your eCommerce model.
Minimize the Data Collected
To further cut down the risk of fraud, consider what customer data is actually essential to your operations. For instance, if you require each shopper to create an account with all of their personal demographic information, it becomes your responsibility to maintain its security.
You may be better off harvesting fewer data points, as each one represents an exploit. All it takes is a single security breach to expose potentially all your customer credentials and account info. Consider that 23% of all data breaches come from credential theft.
This sort of fraudulent activity has an alarmingly high rate of success against American small businesses. Accordingly, it’s essential to minimize the data you harvest and store where possible.
Extra Steps to Maintain Secure Payment Systems
Anyone running an eCommerce business should be in touch with a merchant services provider who can help you obtain the resources you need for a secure payment system. They can advise your team about the precautions needed to ensure that your customer data is secure. They know what tools it takes to do so.
But, aside from what your merchant services provider recommends, consider following a few best practices to keep your eCommerce payment system secure. Nothing is a guarantee against criminality and fraud. But, the harder you work to secure your payment system, the lower the risk of exposure and penalties.
- Educate your employees about the risks of data piracy
- Mandate and enforce regular password changes
- Minimize the scope of the data you require from your customers
- Use two-factor authentication to establish a customer’s identity
- Maintain a secure site with an SSL certificate
- Make sure your entire network is secure—not on a public or unsecured wi-fi network
Secure Payment Systems Bottom Line
Sensitive cardholder data is often the target of fraudsters and data pirates looking to exploit it for illicit financial gain. If your customers can enjoy a speedy and secure checkout on your site, it goes a long way toward keeping them happy, as they can be reasonably confident that their personal information is safe.
As a merchant, you have to face the reality of our online-centric shopping world where payments are made at lightning speed. When you take the standard precautions to maintain transaction security, you’re not just protecting your customers but also your reputation.