What Features to Look for in a Secure Online Payment Medium

A sector as big as e-commerce, which grew at a rate of 9 per cent in Australia from 2014, warrants a very serious discussion regarding purchase security. Online shopping has become a favoured avenue because of convenience, variety and competitive pricing, yet the safety of payment practices is still being worked out.

Payment types vary from credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, cash on delivery, and prepaid cards. However, with great access comes great vulnerability. In order to discuss the safer or more favourable options for payment, we first need to look at where payment mediums have gone wrong.

A Major Scandal

Recently PayPal got caught with its hands in its customers’ pockets. More specifically, PayPal seems to have signed up customers for the PayPal credit service without express consent or actual knowledge, which came to light when it proceeded to charge its customers fees for missing payments.

In response to this scandal, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ever so politely requesting that PayPal give back $15 million to affected customers and pay $10 million in fines.

This present scandal aside, long-term user complaints regarding PayPal have included frozen accounts for no apparent reason, random fees, non-existent customer service and issues with account fraud.

What now?

So where is an online consumer to turn to if e-wallets like PayPal are out of play? One of the most common payment methods is still credit cards, which we all know come with their own risks and must be monitored very closely. Although mechanisms like Verified by Visa have been created to make the process safer, they are unfortunately not without their own oversights.

For example, the Verified by Visa system works through a PIN. However, if the user forgets their PIN, they simply have to press ‘reset PIN’ and they are redirected to a password reset window. The user is then asked very basic questions, like birthdate, to verify that they are the cardholder and can reset the PIN. As a scenario, let’s say your wallet has been stolen with your Visa card inside, what are the chances that your driver’s license with your birthdate on it is also in that wallet?

Read more: 10.5 Tips to Protect Your Magento Store from Smart Hacker

What’s more, Verified by Visa has encountered email phishing scams that ask customers to update information and, for security measures, to create a new password for the account. For a system that is in place to offer more security, the feeling remains uneasy that all is secure in these mega corporations..

There Are No Problems, Only Solutions

Ideally, what a safe system entails is one that is prepaid and allows the user to purchase goods and services online, Read more: How SSL encryption gives a false sense of security such as paysafecard, so that if your wallet does get stolen or your information gets intercepted you cannot accrue extra charges. It should also require verification via a PIN or personalised security answer, and it must be registered to a user so the account can be frozen or blocked if the card is lost or stolen. Of course pre-paid credit cards are an option, but not all prepaid options are registered to a formal user or have loss protection policies in place like traditional credit cards.

If you are using a prepaid credit card, be sure to read the fine print, as some have hidden fees that extract from your balance (if the card is not in use, an activation fee, etc.). Also, keep in mind that you need to closely keep track of the balance and buy items that you don’t plan on returning as you cannot receive a refund onto a prepaid credit card.

Feeling social? Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn Now!

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags bank transfersonline paymente-commercedebit cardsonline shoppingbanking securitye-wallets

More about CSOPayPalTwitterVisa

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jessica Mayfield

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts