Choosing the best payments system for your ecommerce store is a vital step in ensuring that your online business is secure. But navigating the world of payment processing can be tricky for those who don’t already have some working knowledge of the payments industry. Below, we’ll walk through some top strategies to keep in mind when establishing a plan for accepting payments through your ecommerce store.
1. Use a platform-hosted merchant account when possible.
With almost any ecommerce platform, using the payment solution built in or offered by the platform itself is the most secure and simple way to accept credit and debit cards. Because the feature is built specifically to complement your ecommerce store by the very same company, you can rest assured that maintenance and updates for the integration will be prioritized.
This also allows you to use your ecommerce solution as a one-stop shop to contact with all of your issues and questions, eliminating the need to triage between your ecommerce support team and your payments support team. Best of all, since they value your business, ecommerce platforms are also typically able to meet or beat the price of competitors.
2. Utilize all-in-one solutions to accept multiple payment methods.
On top of accepting credit and debit card payments, it’s a good practice (and a growing trend in the online shopping world) to meet customers halfway by offering a variety of flexible payment solutions. Wallet payments, Pay Later options, mobile payment apps, and more are becoming increasingly popular ways to pay online, but it can be expensive to maintain so many different accounts.
This is where all-in-one payment solutions are becoming increasingly popular. By using a payment provider that does the work integrating a variety of payment methods themselves, not only do you make it easier on yourself—you also make it easier on your storefront by reducing the number of integrations, which can present vulnerabilities to hackers.
3. Ensure that your storefront adheres to compliance standards.
PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of standards that were created to keep global payments secure. Many factors go into complying with PCI standards, including protecting stored cardholder data, monitoring access to your systems, and more.
Luckily, these days most merchant service providers include PCI compliance as a built-in component of their offerings, so the onus typically does not fall on business owners to adhere to the many associated rules. As you research credit and debit card processing solutions, make sure the options you’re considering include PCI compliance with their services.
4. If your territory requires it, adopt a 3D-Secure solution.
3D-Secure, another set of security standards focused on adding additional confirmation on the customers’ end, is becoming mandatory in a growing number of countries. While this can create friction in the checkout process, it adds a layer of protection for businesses by shifting chargeback liability from the business to the issuing bank. In the case of Visa transactions specifically, Visa guarantees that you will never receive a chargeback at all.
If you’re in a territory where 3D-Secure is or will become a requirement, make sure that your payment gateway meets this condition. Fortunately, many of the larger gateways like PayPal and Stripe have already incorporated 3D-Secure into their offerings.
5. Add an SSL Certificate to your storefront.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificates were created to encrypt any data transferred between your online store and your customers’ device, adding another vital level of security. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a URL that starts with http:// and one that starts with https://? The “s” refers to the presence of an SSL certificate.
In addition to securing payment information, SSL Certificates help ensure that your customers’ personal information remains safe and out of hackers’ reach. Most ecommerce platforms themselves include SSL certificates with the purchase of online storefront services, but if yours doesn’t, make sure you purchase one from a reputable source before accepting payments.
6. Incorporate fraud prevention tools where you can.
Finally, to equip your payment process with the highest level of protection, make sure that you use all the fraud prevention tools you have at your disposal. A few common fraud tools include:
- Address Verification Services (AVS), which compares the provided billing address to the one filed with the cardholder’s bank to ensure that they are a match.
- reCAPTCHA, which ensures that each transaction is being instigated by a human and helps you avoid bots that test stolen card information to see if it will work.
- Fraud Score tools, which help you detect suspicious orders without having to manually check each one for unusual or questionable characteristics.
It is important to ensure that your beginning-to-end checkout and payments infrastructure is sound to keep your storefront secure for your customers and avoid fraudulent activity. Keep these best practices in mind when setting up your ecommerce payments strategy so that you (and your customers) don’t end up getting burned in the long run.