How Secure is Payment Processing?

You don’t have to go far to look for recent data breaches or cyber-attacks. Research shows that in the first six months of 2017 there were 918 data breaches that compromised 1.9 billion data records. That was a 164% increase over the same period in 2016. Scary!

But there are often warning signs of potentially fraudulent activities, so merchants must remain on top of technology, trends and developments to avoid becoming part of the next round of scary statistics.

Be proactive

The first step to being proactive is to partner with a reputable merchant service provider, and the next steps are to take notice of the information they give you, take action where necessary, and always remain vigilant of any suspicious transactions.

With the number of digital payment transactions growing rapidly, the number of opportunities for criminals is growing as well. Smart merchants know that they have the responsibility to ensure that they offer the highest level of security possible to their customers if they want to minimize fraud and maximize sales. Confirming that you select a merchant service provider that maintains the highest level of security possible too is also your responsibility.

Important things to know

  • SSL Certificate:
    A SSL protocol encrypts information on your site. An SSL certificate confirms that your site is protected, and many customers today consider that a necessity. With an SSL certificate, all cardholder information and other sensitive data are protected. SSL certification is typically indicated by an icon in the URL bar, such as a padlock.  In fact, if you are viewing this article right now on the website, where it was originally published, then you can just look up at the URL bar right now to see how an SSL-protected website appears on your own browser.
  • PCI compliance:
    Merchants must comply with prescribed regulations of the Payment Card Industry Data Standards (PCI DSS) regarding how sensitive data is secured. Data encryption is essential to ensure that no sensitive data is visible while processing. Failing to comply with PCI guidelines could damage also your brand!
  • Tokenization:
    Tokenization is technology that greatly improves payment security and eliminates certain vulnerabilities. Tokenization is a random sequence of characters that replaces sensitive cardholder data like the 16-digit card number, thereby rendering the information useless to any third party even if they were able to intercept it.
  • 3D Secure:
    3D Secure helps prevent fraud in online card transactions by offering extra protection through the creation of a secure password that is verified with each payment.
  • Address verification:
    Address verification requires customers to provide the billing address associated with their card in order to receive approval of the payment transaction.

You can speak to your merchant service provider to confirm that you have every possible security measure in place, and how you can enhance the security of your card payment system. It is important for merchants to know the security vulnerabilities their businesses face at any time, and then ensure that they comply and evolve with the prescribed payment, security, and risk standards.

For more information about how secure payment processing is, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to

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