Safeguarding customer financial details during thesecure online payment acceptance process is paramount. Not taking action to ensure your payment environment is under lock and key can make your site an easy target for online data thieves. This, in turn, creates fraud and customer distrust when it comes to purchasing online goods and services from your business.

Irrespective of whether it’s your customer entering in payment details via your website or your employee’s process payment directly in an online payment gateway, maintaining the security of payment transactions is vital for business development and growth. Read through the following four policies your business needs to adopt ASAP for secure payment acceptance.

1. PCI Compliance

One of the most widely adopted policies for secure payment acceptance are the PCI Standards. PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance creates a universal method on the handling, usage, and storage of credit card information. The rules are mandated by the major card brands but managed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The standards came into existence in 2006 due to massive cardholder data breaches witnessed in our recent past.  As a merchant, avoiding this standard results in hefty fines and the risk of losing your payment processing abilities. Check out the PCI Security Standards Council’s site for an all-encompassing look at what it means to be a PCI compliant merchant.

2. Address Verification Service (AVS)

Businesses of all industries and sizes widely use AVS technology. The fraud prevention tool is the gold standard for online payment transactions. An AVS check confirms a credit or debit card’s billing address entered online by a customer matches the issuing bank’s address on file. A non-match can result in a declined transaction and also reduces your susceptibility to fraudulent transactions. Your payment gateway should offer this service; if unsure, check with your payment provider for more details.

3. Tokenization

Tokenization provides a secure way of not having store a cardholder’s full payment details within your business environment. The technology replaces sensitive data with random characters – called a token. Tokens allow for a transaction to flow through the electronic payment cycle without the actual card details being exposed. Once payment is tokenized, from employees to hackers – no one can view the complete card information. Tokenization is a low-cost and easy to onboard way to secure your customer’s online payment details.

4. Encryption

Encryption works in conjunction with tokenization to provide a secure online payment acceptance process for your business. Cardholder data is replaced with a random value that can only be “unlocked” via the use of an encryption key. It keeps any party between the point of sale and the payment processor from obtaining the data to use in fraudulent scenarios. An encryption policy is useful when a business stores payment details on file so customers can make future purchases without re-entering the credit or debit card. A merchant utilizing automatic recurring payments also finds this technology paramount to keeping their payment cycle secure.

If you are worried about your secure online payment acceptance, adding any or all of the above policies will help you sleep at night. All add an extra layer of security that works better together than apart. By all means, these four policies are just a few tools available to provide a safe payment environment. If you’re unsure if your current online payment setup is sufficient for your business needs, give Payment Savvy a ring. We’re always happy to answer all your questions and complete a no-strings-attached review of your current payment system.