Secure payment systems

Published: 16/03/2020

When card machines first hit the market there was widespread speculation and uncertainty about their safety, and with good reason. To start with, payment on plastic was made using magnetic swipe technology, and this was a golden ticket for fraudsters.

Flash forward to the current day, and the security of payment systems has evolved significantly. Here at takepayments, we take safety extremely seriously, and keeping you and your customers’ data safe is at the core of everything we do.

Paying by card can now be considered one of the safest ways to purchase, especially if the payment system in question is geared up with top-class tech and adheres to regulations. We’re proud to say our systems are and do, here’s how:

PCI DSS compliance

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was established to aid businesses in secure card transactions and fraud reduction. The standards are developed and verified by an independent body whose only goal is to make card transactions secure. 

Businesses need to be PCI DSS compliant to start accepting card payments, and our dedicated PCI compliance team can help during the entire process. But we don’t stop there, all of our card readers; countertop, portable and mobile, are PCI DSS compliant as standard.

Want to learn more? To clue yourself up on all things PCI DSS head to our guide, or for a deeper dive check out our blog post looking at each of the 12 requirements.  

Chip & pin authentication

Chip and pin technology took over from magnetic swipe and it drastically reduces card fraud and increases the security of card payments in two ways:

1. The chip

Cards designed for chip and pin transactions are sometimes called EMV chip cards, thanks to the small silver chip they carry It’s this chip that allows the card machine and card to communicate when it’s entered into the reader. 

The chip interacts with the machine and encrypts the information shared with it, creating a unique transaction code for each purchase. This code is only valid for a single transaction, meaning even if a fraudster got their hands on the information, they’d be unable to do anything with it. 

2. The pin

Once the chip has worked its magic, the pin comes into play. The cardholder is asked for their four-digit code, and if they can’t input it, the transaction is declined. 

The combination of these two security features makes it extremely difficult for a fraudster to do much damage with a stolen card.

Remember: all of our card machines here at takepayments have integrated chip and pin authentication technology. 

Tokenisation

With the development of technology, the way we can pay by card has evolved, and payment via smartphone or watch (i.e. Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc.) is fast becoming one of the most popular options, but is it safe?

Yes, thanks to tokenisation. It’s a method of encrypting customers’ card details by swapping sensitive data for a non-sensitive alternative which would be of no value if it got into the wrong hands. 

Now we can’t take credit for tokenisation - it’s something that takes place on the customers’ end, but with all of our secure PCI DSS compliant card readers you’ll be able to accept payment by Apple, Samsung and Android Pay, safe in the knowledge you aren’t risking a data breach. 

AVS and CVV

So, we’ve gone over the safety measures in place for face-to-face systems, now let’s take a look at online payments.

Since online card transactions don’t require a PIN, unsurprisingly, they were met with hesitance. To begin with, what’s to stop a fraudster going on an online spree with someone else’s card?

Address Verification System (AVS) is one of the easiest methods to ensure the purchaser is actually the cardholder. It checks to see if the billing address entered matches the address on file with the card issuer’s bank, and if it doesn’t a red flag is raised and the transaction is questioned. 

Credit Verification Value (CVV) is the three or four-digit number found on the back of credit and debit cards. During an online transaction, the customer will be asked for their CVV and if they can’t provide it (i.e. don’t have the card in front of them), it indicates possible foul play.

Used in combination AVS and CVV has been shown to reduce fraud online, and reduce the risk of chargeback on your end from fraudulent transactions. Here at takepayments, our online payment systems and virtual terminals use both. 

3D secure authentication

Originally launched by Visa, 3D secure authentication, or 3DS, is another fraud prevention measure for online card payments. 

It provides customers with a secure authentication step before completing an online purchase, and works like this:

  1. The customer heads to checkout online
  2. They enter their debit or credit card details
  3. They’re redirected to their card provider’s 3D secure page
  4. They’re asked for a password which they’ve set-up previously, or
  5. They’re sent an authentication code via text which they’ll enter online
  6. Once the correct details are provided they’re redirected to your site where the payment is approved and the transaction completed.

Good to know: this whole process takes place very quickly.

3DS protects not only the customer but your business too. If a payment is processed using 3DS, you’ll no longer be liable for the purchase, i.e. you’ll be protected against unauthorised chargebacks. If a payee disputes a transaction, the liability falls to the card provider who’d be responsible for dealing with any refunds. 

Sound good? A payment gateway or pay by link with takepayments always has 3D secure technology built-in. 

SSL Certification

SSL certification is a form of digital certificate that a) provides authentication for a website, and b) enables an encrypted connection. 

So, any site with an SSL Certificate indicates a secure connection between customers’ personal devices and that website - it protects both you and your customers’ details when they make an online purchase. 

FYI, all our payment gateways are SSL certified. 

Added safety benefits of accepting card payments

Hopefully, by this point, you feel safe in the knowledge that accepting card payments with a takepayments system is super-secure. But it’s not just the inbuilt clever technology and regulations that boost safety, the simple act of accepting payment by card over cash has security perks of its own.

Capped spending

The only way a consumer can pay by card and not be required to enter a pin or passcode is with contactless purchases - they simply tap their card on your machine, and that’s why contactless payments made with a debit or credit card are capped at a maximum £30 spend. 

This spending limit not only stops fraudsters going on lavish spending sprees with a stolen card, but also reduces the cost of refunds and potential chargeback fees on your end too. 

Business safety

Allow your customers to pay by card and you’ll have less cash in your till, premises or pocket, and that increases safety in two ways:

  1. You’re less susceptible to fraud - while regulations around card payments are constantly evolving, counterfeit cash is still in circulation in the UK. In the first half of 2019, for example, 228,000 fake notes worth the equivalent of £5 million were taken out of circulation.
  2. You reduce the damage that could be done by theft - because if the majority of your customers are paying by card there’ll be less cash for a thief to get their hands on. 

Top tip: want to learn more about the perks of accepting card payments? Head to our article on 6 benefits of going cashless.  

If you’re in the market for a super-secure payment system, you’re in the right place. All of our card machines and online payment systems come with the very latest technology to make sure you’re taking safe and secure payments. Want to know more? Then chat to one of our experts today on 08082 393254. 

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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