8 Security Features You Definitely Need in Your Payment Processor

E-commerce is such a popular mode of business these days that plenty of entrepreneurs breeze through the business-building steps to get straight to the revenue-making steps. As a result, most entrepreneurs partner with big-name payment processors without considering the terms and conditions or available features, and they become locked into agreements from which they can’t wait to escape.

Though you might be eager to open your digital doors, you should slow down long enough to properly evaluate your payment processing options. In particular, you should seek out processors that offer these essential security options that will keep you and your customers extremely safe.

SSL Certification

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, but most web users recognize it by the “s” that appears after the “http” on certain websites. SSL is the security standard that indicates a website has effectively established encryption between the server and the host, which ensures all data passed between the two devices remains private. As an online merchant, you definitely need SSL certification, but you should double-check that your payment processor’s website has it, too.

PCI Compliance

About 10 years ago, the nation’s card payments companies united to establish security standards to keep themselves, merchants, and cardholders safer from fraud. Called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the regulations they created guide payment processors toward smart and secure practices. Because fraud can be extremely expensive for merchants, you want a PCI-compliant processor.

Multiple Processing Options

While your e-commerce business is in its early stages, you might prefer to process a single payment at a time as soon as you get it, so you can revel in your revenue. However, as your business grows, you might prefer an ACH payment processor, which allows you to send hundreds of payments at a time. You want a payments processor that will grow with you, when it comes to both security and efficiency.

Authenticated Login

Most of us know that passwords like “password” are not secure, but security experts are learning that even the strongest passwords alone might not be enough to keep data safe. Therefore, your online account with your payment processor should have multiple login layers that authenticate your identity before allowing you access to private data. This should be doubly true if you forget your login information and need to retrieve it.

End-to-End Encryption

Most people don’t realize that paying for something is exceedingly complex. From the customer reading the numbers of his or her card to you, the merchant, shipping off their desired product, there are quite a few moving parts — and it is exactly these parts that criminals target.

In typical stores, customer information can be in-the-open until it reaches a processor’s data warehouse, giving hackers plenty of opportunity for theft. You should look for processors that promise end-to-end encryption, so there is never a chance of payment data leaking out.

Tokenization

Similar to encryption, tokenization is the process of replacing actual payment info with sequences that mimic card and account numbers. Typically, this happens at a gateway between the merchant and the processor, but you can also provide your customers with tokens they can use instead of their payment information whenever they want to make a purchase. Tokenization is simply another layer of security to protect data.

Automated Fraud Detection

Legitimate purchases and fraudulent ones look different — but you probably don’t know what to look for. Fortunately, there are automatic fraud detection systems that do. Using a number of data factors, these systems calculate a risk score that they use to accept or reject certain payments automatically. You can set your own thresholds, or you can rely on the system to choose appropriate numbers. Automated detection will drastically reduce the number of chargebacks you receive from fraudulent payments.

Address Verification Services

Address Verification Services (AVS) is a simple tool that works, like automated fraud detection, to recognize and thwart fraud attempts. However, the way it works is quite simple: The system contacts the card issuer and compares the card’s billing address code to the one inputted into your payment processor. If the two don’t match, there might be fraud.

 

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