Offering a variety of payment methods gives your customers the flexibility to pay in a way that suits them. Consumers can often make purchase decisions based on the payment methods available.
As a business owner, it’s in your best interests to ensure that you offer secure payment options through trusted online and in-person payment services.
Secure online payment methods
There are many services that enable you to receive payments online. Of course, as with any online activity, there are always some security risks with payment processing and handling. When creating payment options for your customers, ensure the systems you offer to have a high level of encryption of data. Poor quality, confusing or slow payment systems will turn customers away.
As a business owner in Australia, you have a responsibility to handle electronic payments securely, whether these are conducted in-store or online. You are required to take steps to prevent cardholder data from being accessed and acquired by scammers or hackers. Your customers will appreciate your efforts in making their shopping experiences secure and using customer data appropriately.
Accept every payment quickly, easily and securely.
1. Credit cards
The most familiar form of online payment is also one of the most secure payment methods. Credit card transactions are encrypted, which means the details are jumbled up and encoded.
Most credit card providers also routinely screen and monitor for fraudulent activity and if fraudulent activities do occur, customers are not liable, and can have monies returned if they can demonstrate the transaction wasn’t authorised.
The use of credit cards is overseen by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and most major credit card companies participate in the PCI Security Standards Council. This group meets to develop, enhance and share knowledge related to secure credit card transactions and payment processing.
2. Voice payments
An increasing number of customers are authorising payments using their voice. The number of voice-activated devices being used in homes and businesses is growing exponentially and the number of people completing online sales through voice is expected to grow. It is anticipated that there will be 275 million voice assistance devices in homes by 2023. Google Nest and Amazon Echo devices with Alexa and Siri can be used to process payments by customers from the comfort of their lounge rooms.
As technology improves, providers stress the level of security that voice-based transactions can offer. Banking companies have been increasingly enabling voice technology for their customers, citing benefits that include not remembering pin numbers or logins.
3. Payment services
Payment systems are a safe online payment method that enables your customers to make an online payment. Payment services are handled through a payment gateway that keeps the customer’s information secure, and a payment processor that manages the transaction. These services allow a safe and reliable transaction to take place from millions of retail and sales websites. The customers’ card information and details are never stored or retained.
Square’s online payment solution is one example of a highly secure payment service that customers will find easy to use. Square offers a high degree of security by ensuring end-to-end encryption that doesn’t store or retain customer data. Transactions can be carried out 24hrs a day, and Square uses machine learning to identify and block fraudulent transactions.
Secure in-person payment methods
1. EMV-enabled credit cards
Long gone are the days of sliding a credit card through a machine to enable a magnetic strip to authorise a transaction. Most cards now have EMV enabled. EMV enabled credit cards to contain a chip that transmits unique and encrypted information to a processing terminal.
The terminal reads the encrypted information from the card, which is unique to each transaction. This makes the EMV process highly secure and helps to eliminate counterfeit transactions.
2. Contactless payments
A similar process is used during contactless payments. All your customers need to do is hold their card over the terminal and a one-type use code is exchanged between the two devices. Contactless payments have continued to increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are expected to continue to grow.
3. Payment apps
Many people use digital wallets which store details in an app or a smartphone. Payments can be processed when a customer logs into the app or enters a passcode. They do not need to open their banking apps. Popular payment apps include PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Facebook Pay, which all process payments quickly and easily.
Extra security methods such as passcodes, authentication and personal notifications can also be set up. Payment apps are secured and don’t hold onto transactional data once the process is complete. Customers love the convenience of payment apps. Services like Square are versatile in that they can service customers both online and in-store.
4. Gift cards
Many customers still want to purchase and use gift cards in-store. Gift cards are a secure payment method for customers because they are not linked to an account or credit card. The details are safe from any scammers or hackers. There has been an increased interest in gift cards during the pandemic, as people have been unable to purchase gifts as easily in retail stores.
There are several online sites that enable customers to purchase gift cards that can be used across a range of stores. Gift cards enable you to connect with new customers, showcase your services and may be particularly in demand during the holiday season. There are also laws to manage the use of gift cards in Australia.
All in all, offering the right mix of online payment options is the key to increasing your conversion rate. Your customers should be able to pay for your products and services in the method they feel most comfortable with and through safe payment methods.
As a business owner you have a responsibility to ensure that customer data and payment information is safe. It’s also in your best interest that you take steps to protect your business, to prevent fraud or transaction disputes from occurring.