01/07/2021

How to ensure payment security

By Mariana Almeida Marques

All payment transactions have their associated risks, and the rise of online payments has amplified them. In 2019, 32% of UK companies have suffered data breaches (UK Government Report). Thus, there is a growing need for security systems that ensure the protection of customers’ information.

What is a Secure Payment System?

The name says it all: a SPS is a system put in place to ensure that all payment information is protected from unauthorised access, avoiding data breaches and theft. Maintaining a secure payment system is critical, as data breaches can truly destroy customers’ trust in your company and irreversibly damage your company’s reputation.

There are various ways to ensure that your company provides a safe payment system to your customers. Below are a few technologies and protocols that you must comply with:

SSL encryption

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security technology that encrypts all information passed between a website and the visitor’s web browser. This encryption ensures a safe transaction of information (such as credit card details), as nobody can have access to the real information during the payment processing, they could only access the encrypted (unreadable) version.

Once the information reaches the website owner (person/company that receives the payment), then it can be decrypted again. The SSL is now called Transport Layer Security (TLS) and counts with upgraded security, though both designations refer to the same encryption.

secure payments

To show customers that your payment website is safe, you must obtain a SSL certificate that authenticates your company’s identity and lets your customers know their information is protected. Once you obtain this certificate, your website will show a padlock symbol before the URL.

PCI compliance

An SSL certification is only the first step to show that your company is legitimate and able to handle payment data safety, but it isn’t enough to be PCI compliant. The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) is a frameworks of operational and technical requirements that enforce data security.

There are 12 requirements, including updating anti-virus protection, encrypting the transmission of cardholders’ data across open networks and regularly testing security systems. It applies to financial companies and organisations that accept or process payment transactions. The PCI DSS is managed by the PCI Standards Security Council, an independent organisation created by all the major card networks (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JBC).

If your company’s site has direct access to payment data (storage, processing or transmission), then you are responsible for complying with the PCI DSS. However, if you use a third-party Payment Service Provider and have no direct access to payment data, your PSP takes the responsibility for PCI DSS compliance.

Payment Service Providers are responsible for authorising a payment

Trusted Payment Service Providers

If you are using a third-party Payment Service Provider (PSP) for your payments site, you must ensure that it is a trusted provider that offers high security standards. Afterall, the success of your company might depend on how well your PSP partner handles payment transactions, and no company wants their customers feeling unsafe when sharing their payment details. Some of the most popular and trusted PSPs in the UK include PayPal, Stripe and Braintree, though there are many others available.

About Imburse

Imburse allows you to partner with any Payment Service Providers you want, so you have the freedom and flexibility to choose the providers that best suit your company’s needs. If you would like to know more about PCI regulations and how Imburse can help you ensure payment security for your customers, get in touch with us by clicking the button below.

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