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Security is of critical importance in the modern world of payments, especially now that digital methods are becoming increasingly popular. While the ease and convenience of these methods are unquestionable – as adoption increases, so do the volume of opportunistic cybercriminals ready to exploit users. As a result, it is critical that as a business owner, you ensure that your websites or payment portal is watertight and can resist any type of criminal activity.

If you don’t implement adequate safety measures and prioritize security, you risk having your site compromised, losing customers who have lost faith in your business, experiencing a hit to revenue, and your reputation. You might even be open to potential legal repercussions. With eCommerce fraud attacks in the US rising by 30% from 2016 to 2017, it’s clear that secure payment processing systems are simply non-negotiable in today’s day and age.

Still not convinced you to need to prioritize security in your payment solutions? Here is a list of 4 compelling reasons why payment security should be at the top of your to-do list.

You’ll gain a competitive advantage

Today’s customers are becoming increasingly savvy about their data and security. If you demonstrate your trustworthiness by taking your payment security seriously, your customers will be far more likely to continue doing business with you. To illustrate the advantage you could gain, consider the fact that 75% of US retailers have suffered at least one cybersecurity failure within their online stores (according to a 2019 Thales Data Security Report). In this climate, gaining your customers’ trust is instrumental to your success.

However, if this trust (and your customers’ data) is breached, you risk losing them to the competition. In fact, Experian reports that 27% of customers have abandoned their cart because of a lack of visible security!

Ensure compliance

Compliance refers to your business’s ability to meet certain sets of standards. When it comes to payment security, there can be serious legal repercussions for not being compliant. An example of this is the PCI DSS standards – make sure to look into which standards apply to your region to ensure you are fully compliant and providing the highest level of security to your customers.

Protect your business from severe financial losses

By choosing to secure and troubleshoot your payments portal, there is no question that you can protect your business from potential financial losses. A data breach can be extremely costly and you’ll be responsible for dealing with the financial burden of addressing and managing the damage caused. In the worst-case scenario, you may even have to cover legal fees if dragged into a litigation process.

Contribute to an improved business ecosystem

Perhaps a less tangible, but no less important benefit of prioritizing your payment security is that you will be contributing to a more secure, flourishing business ecosystem. This improves the shopping experience for your customers while increasing confidence in online shopping at large, allowing your business to continue to thrive.

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So, now that you’re convinced that payment security is a non-negotiable for any successful organization, how do you actually make it a priority? Here are the key steps you need to consider:

Choose a reliable payments processor

The first step is to choose a payment processor that has a reputation for the highest level of safety and security. Some anti-fraud features you should make sure are on the table: data encryption, real-time merchant monitoring, 3D secure, automated transaction analysis, CVV/CVC validation systems, tokenization and PCI compliance.

Choose the right transaction monitoring software

The right transaction and payment monitoring software should have real-time visibility and the ability to promptly identify fraudulent activity and security breaches. These real-time tools and deep data visibility means alerts will immediately be sent out to you before any customers are affected.

You should also ensure that the software service you opt for, offers a high level of customer support. This means you can access immediate troubleshooting assistance in the unfortunate event that a breach does occur or a threat is on the horizon. As a bonus, bringing transaction monitoring software on board will allow you to optimize payment channels in a proactive way, innovate and debug rapidly, improve the customer experience and transparently increase profits.

Consider cyber liability insurance

Alongside the more proactive measures listed above, you may also want to consider options like cyber liability insurance, which will offer valuable assistance were the worst to occur. While the aim is, of course, to avoid getting to a point of crisis at all, it is still worth securing a backup remedy.

Handle customer data carefully

Some businesses may choose not to store customer data, immediately removing any payment data as soon as a transaction is completed. If this is not possible, you may want to consider storing this data on a private network. Whichever path you decide to pursue, it is vital that you protect your customers and are transparent with them as to your preferred method of doing this.

Get an SSL certificate on your site

Don’t fall victim to the misconception that cybercriminals only target massive corporations. Any business is at risk – so make sure to get an SSL certificate (a data file that ensures secure connections) on your site. Also, encrypt cardholder data if it has to be transmitted across open, public networks.

Review your plugins and third-party integrations

Many business owners forget to take stock of the third-party solutions operating within their online stores. It is integral that you regularly assess all of these, and ensure you can trust them. Remove any that you are no longer using – the fewer parties you can expose your customers’ data too, the better.

Prioritizing payment security is essential for the growth and reputation of your business. All of the above efforts will also help you manage payments more smoothly and expand to new markets.

Of course, you don’t have to manage your own payments and security. The right payment software will take the burden of integration off your shoulders while equipping you with the best security features on the market. Ensure you have chosen the right payment and transaction monitoring software to set your business up for success.

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