What is the Most Secure Payment Method? (We Compare 5!)

According to a 2017 Gigya survey, 69% of users in the UK and Ireland are concerned about the security of their personal data online.

And that’s no surprise. The online world offers us a great many benefits: one-click shopping, food delivery and social media, to name a few. But the more we put our lives online, the more at risk we are of cyberattacks, fraud and data breaches. When it comes to paying online, it’s only natural that we all want transactions to be safe, secure and protected. And as a merchant, ensuring customers’ safety is key to building strong consumer relationships. Here’s what we’ll be covering in this guide to using secure online payments:

The importance of taking secure online payments

The 2020 lockdown caused an explosion in eCommerce and online services, making digital payments the norm rather than the exception. Online payments are convenient, socially distant and efficient - and are what allowed many businesses to remain open.

However, with online payments come more risks. Especially with the non digitally native, paying online can increase the level of fraud, cyber-attacks and identity theft. If the appropriate steps are not taken, your customers can end up more vulnerable online.

Secure payment systems don’t just ensure your payments are at a lower risk of becoming subject to fraud, they also put your customers at ease and help bolster your company credibility. By making sure you offer payments in the most secure way, you are strengthening the relationship with your customer, growing brand equity and therefore increasing revenue.

Most popular online payment methods

1. Credit and debit cards

98% of the UK population owns a debit card, which makes it the default method to pay online for most people. With credit cards, consumers have the added security of the card network whenever making a purchase online. With debit cards, customers are not subject to liability, but can still rely on the card network to cancel their card if it gets stolen or they are subject to fraud.

As a merchant, credit and debit card payments are convenient and straightforward: most people have debit cards and know how to use them online. Card payments are also some of the safest forms of payments; by using a reliable payment processor such as Pomelo Pay, both the merchant and the customer are protected by the card network and an additional layer by a certified and compliant payment processor.

2. Bank to bank transfer

Merchants can also request customers to pay directly through a push payment from their bank account. This is a common payment method for large transactions that need to be transferred manually. Although the customer is in more control, there are some other drawbacks to using a bank to bank transfer:

  • Customers need to manually input their details, which is cumbersome and time-consuming
  • It’s a push payment, which means it cannot be recalled if there is an error (which puts it a higher risk of fraud)
  • Although secure, neither party is notified when the payment is processed
  • Although cheaper than a card payment, it is also slower
  • Merchants often need to chase customers in order to pay the invoice

3. Direct Debit

Direct debits are a popular payment method for merchants that request regular payments from their customers. Through a direct debit, you set up a mandate (like a contract), and then pull the payment from your customer on the agreed date. This is often more secure than a standing order since merchants don’t need to rely on the customer to remember to transfer the money.

Having said that, the downside is that merchants do assume the risk if the customer does not have enough funds in their account. In addition, most clients do not do direct debits for large B2B payments, and must manually transfer the payment.

4. QR codes

QR codes are an innovative, safe and secure way to accept payments. The process is straightforward: your customer scans a QR code with their mobile phone, inputs their card details and pays online. By using a third party payment provider like Pomelo Pay, every transaction is tokenised and encrypted, which means that as a merchant you never access any financial information and no card details are stored on any device.

QR code payments are handy because you can print code on a brochure, attach it in an email or display it on your website. This enables a discreet payment method where no merchant needs to be present and customers can pay in their own time.

5. Payment links

Payment links are an excellent way to take payments without having to be physically present with your customer: you send a payment link to your customer so they can complete the payment in a secure location in their own time. You get notified the instant the payment is processed, and the money is deposited the next working day.

If you take payments over the phone, you can send your customers a payment link with Pomelo Pay via SMS or email instead of asking them to read their card number out loud. This secure payment link means you get paid instantly (no more chasing invoices!) and your customers feel safe when completing their payment.

What is the most secure payment app?

Pomelo Pay is one of the most secure payment apps on the market. Every transaction is tokenised and no financial information is stored on any device, allowing merchants to take payments conveniently and securely.

Working with a secure third-party provider like Pomelo Pay offers the following benefits:

  • Provides an FCA regulated level of security which is certified PCI Level 1
  • Outsources compliance and regulation to a third party specialist
  • Helps customers and clients remain safe and secure
  • Brings credibility to your company and brand

Pomelo Pay is the trading name of Appfleet Ltd, and we are regulated by the FCA and has PCI at Level 1. We are also a principal member of Mastercard, which means we are held to a much higher standard than other payment processors. This is what allows us to work with large companies from all around the world that engage in high-value transactions such as house sales, B2B transactions and private engagements. With just a transaction fee of 1.49%, you can put your customers at ease by letting them know their personal data is protected and secure online.

Secure Payment Method FAQ

What is a secure payment method?

Debit or credit cards are one of the most secure payment method. However, this is about choosing the payment network which is secure. If you are paying by card, it is important to verify that the provider of the payment gateway is a company who is regulated, and has the right licence such as PCI Level 1.

What is the least secure payment method?

Paying by bank transfer is one of the least secure methods. This is because if you send money from your bank account to the wrong organisation or person, it is very difficult to claim back from your bank. To avoid this, refrain from paying with bank transfer, and if you do pay, double check that you know exactly where your money is being sent to.

If you choose to use money transfer companies or websites, make sure you understand the jurisdiction and regulations these companies operate under. You have to also check their terms and conditions so you are comfortable with how you are protected under them.

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