Is Your Payment Processing Secure?

Online shopping is catching on at an accelerating rate. Businesses were once worried customers wouldn’t buy things they couldn’t see, touch, or try on, but we now know that customers are willing to take that chance. Of course, businesses have helped move this trend along by offering sound refund policies, providing try-on photographic technology, and uploading video demonstrations.

In the end, the challenge hasn’t been with purchase or customer buy-in, but more with payment options. Customers generally prefer to pay by credit card, and businesses have many ways to accept cards, thanks to the hundreds on payment processors on the market.

Unfortunately, this has also attracted some fraudsters trying to steal card information. The best way to protect your customers is to use a reliable merchant processor. But how can you tell which ones are legitimate and which ones aren’t? Here are some tips.

  1. Instant verification

When a customer pays by credit card, your payment processor contacts their bank to confirm the customer’s identity, and whether the card has enough money to pay. When the customer’s bank approves or declines the transaction, the processor immediately informs both you and the customer whether the transaction was successful. The faster this complex series of transactions take place, the more secure they are, because there is less time for anyone to intercept the data – or the money. Instant verification is therefore a very good sign.

  1. PCI compliance

Within the card payment industry, there’s an organization called the Payment Card Industry Council. It issues twelve recommendations for card safety. They include high-grade encryption, secure data handling protocols, and complex password maintenance. Licensed inspectors called QSAs (Qualified Security Assessors) evaluate payment processors to see if they comply with these requirements. Make sure that your payment processor is PCI compliant.

  1. Industry recognition

Acknowledgement by your peers proves you’ve made it, because peers tend to be really competitive. They won’t praise you unless they’re 110% sure you deserve it. That’s why industry awards have so much credibility. Look through your potential payment processor to see if they’ve won any industry awards. You could also look for specific details on encryption levels.

Other factors you can check for include client listings. Get testimonials and read reviews to see what clients have to say regarding your payment processor.

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


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