Accepting online payments is critical for almost any business today to thrive. Still, if you do not focus on security, taking payments opens you up to liability and business risks. To lift your business responsibly, you need to take measures that allow you to protect both yourself and your customers. Taking these five steps provides a great start for you.
1. Start With PCI-DSS Compliance
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI-DSS, comes from the collective guidance of the major credit card brands. While it does not provide a legal requirement, you do need to show compliance before these card providers will work with you. In addition, compliance with these standards gives you and your customers a baseline level of protection against security threats. Before you begin taking online payments, you need to ensure that your security measures are up to this set of standards.
2. Track and Examine Suspicious Activity
Suspicious activity can come in many forms. A high volume of transactions from particular countries, transactions that do not fit a customer's typical patterns, and many other changes from your usual sales volume can trigger suspicion. By both tracking and following up on these kinds of changes as they occur, you can avoid having to deal with chargebacks, fraud, and lost customers later.
3. Use AVS
An obvious danger of accepting online payments is people using stolen credit and debit cards. To help you prevent this, you should employ an address verification system as part of your payment platform. This identifies the addresses associated with card payments. As a basic piece of data that each payment card provides with the transaction, this gives you a verification step to protect cardholders, and by extension, your business.
4. Keep Up With Updates
Security threats do not exist in a static set. If they did, protecting yourself would be easy. Unfortunately, criminals evolve, so every day brings a new threat. While it is impossible to keep up entirely, you can help yourself immensely by installing security patches and updates as they come available. This does not mean clicking on every security pop-up, as these themselves can be threats. When your internet service provider gives an update, though, add it promptly to keep up with the latest known security threats.
5. Partner With Experts
You should not try to go it alone when it comes to security. Unless your business is online payment security, you will never know as much as the experts in that area. Work with a payment processing company that focuses on security issues. Not only will this protect you more effectively than you can do yourself, but it frees you up to focus on the business itself. The more you surround yourself with people who understand your security needs, the more effectively you can build and grow your company.