Are online payments secure?

Online Payments

Are online payments secure?

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In 2020 (and in no small part thanks to COVID-19), online shopping and payments are at an all-time high, up 129% compared to the same time last year, but how safe are online payments?

When online payments were in their infancy there was widespread uncertainty about just how safe it was to hand your card details over online, and while thankfully online payment security has improved significantly, there are still some consumers (typically older generations) as well as businesses afraid to take the plunge.

With the trend towards online shopping described as a ‘sticky habit’ and looking like it’s here to stay (42% of consumers intend to shop online more from now on), there’s no better time than now to clue yourself up on the safety of online payments, as the ability to accept them is turning into a must rather than just an option for businesses seeking success.

Online safety features

3D secure technology

3D secure technology is a safety protocol that exists to aid in the prevention of fraud in online transactions. 

When a business has 3D secure embedded in their payment system the customer is asked to authenticate themselves using a pre-agreed password or single-use PIN (provided by their bank) to complete the transaction.

3D secure is super simple to use for consumers but more importantly is makes online shopping much safer. A handy additional benefit is the trust it instils in consumers has been shown to up their total spend (bonus!).

Good to know: Our payment gateways and pay by link systems use 3D secure technology as standard.


One of the simplest but most secure methods for ensuring the payer is actually the cardholder is Address Verifications System (AVS).

In action, it requires the shopper to enter their billing address details and in turn, checks to see if this matches the address on file with their bank. If it doesn’t this raises a red flag and the transaction is pulled into question.

The three or four-digit number found on the back of debit and credit cards is called the Credit Verification Value (CVV) and during online transactions with CVV security in place, the consumers will be asked to input these details.

If they can’t provide it, or the numbers don’t add up, this immediately indicates potential foul play and once more the transaction will be questioned. 

When used in tandem AVS and CVV have been shown to reduce fraud in online transactions, and offer additional security for both the consumer and the business they’re buying from. 

Good to know: all our online payment systems (payment gateways, virtual terminals, and pay by link) use both AVS and CVV.

SSL certification

Secure Sockets Layer certification is a digital certificate that achieves two important things for security :

  1. It provides authentication for a website, and
  2. It enables an encrypted connection.

SSL ensures all information passed between the consumer and the business is private and secure and helps prevent hackers from getting their hands on confidential details.

Good to know: our payment gateways are SSL certified.


Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of standards any business who wishes to accept card payments - online or face to face - must comply with before doing so.

The standards were and continue to be developed and verified by an independent body, created to help reduce fraud and improve the safety of payments and add an additional layer of security for both consumers and businesses.

Good to know: our PCI compliance team is on hand to help our businesses become PCI compliant, and on our end, all our online payment systems are compliant too. 

How to accept online payments

Hopefully, by this point, you feel assured that online payments are packed full of security features and super safe for consumers (so long as they’re acquired from a reputable payments provider).

Now let’s take a look at your options for accepting payments online.

Payment gateway

A payment gateway makes selling through your website a doddle and will have your business open 24 hours a day.

Payment gateways hook up with shopping carts, so once consumers have added what they want to their basket they’re taken through to the secure payment gateway where they pop in their details and the transaction is completed. 

Good to know: with a takepayments gateway you’ll also have access to real-time reports!

Virtual terminal

A virtual terminal allows you to take payments online while you’ve got your customer on the other end of the phone. 

All you do is log into the secure page provided by your payments provider and enter your customers’ card details while they’re on the line. You don’t need a website to use a virtual terminal, just an internet-enabled device.

Pay by link

Pay by link is an email invoicing solution that makes online payments simple. 

Once again, you don’t need a website to get paid online, just an internet-enabled device on which you create a custom invoice, pay now button, or link, and send it to your customer by email.

In turn, they open the email and are directed to a secure payments page where they enter their details and you get paid.


The newest kid on the online payments block is beepaid - it’s a game-changing payments app which is a piece of cake to set up and will have you accepting secure online payments in no time.

To use it you simply pick up your mobile phone, open the app, create and send a custom invoice to your customer, and get paid.

To find out more about any of our market-leading online payment options or for more information on any of the features discussed in this article, reach out to one of our friendly experts today!

Order and beepaid

Our Order and beepaid app lets independent businesses easily take orders and payments from the table, or offer a collection or delivery service. Find out more.

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce


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