Whether you’re making a personal purchase or you’re the manager of a small business, you work too hard to take chances with your money. So what is the most secure payment method?Today, we have more options than ever before when it comes to payment. We can choose to pay over the phone, use a credit card or we can go old fashioned and rely on cold hard cash. But before paying, it’s wise to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Here, we’ll look at the most popular and widely-used payment methods and we’ll question: What is the most secure payment method in the retail sector?
1. EMV-Enabled Credit Cards
EMV-enabled credit cards, also known as “chip and PIN” cards, are now the credit card processing standard. They are designed to be more secure than traditional credit cards. When you compare them to magstripe cards, they’re challenging to clone.
EMV-enabled cards have an integrated chip. With every transaction, this chip creates a new authentication code, making them a fairly secure option. You should also note that credit cards have additional security benefits. It’s easier to dispute charges and many credit cards have extended warranties.
However, despite the benefits of credit cards, the reality is, they’re still susceptible to fraud. If your card is stolen, it will be easy for the thief to spend your money. Although you can reclaim this money, doing so can be time-consuming and stressful.
Verdict: Credit cards, when used responsibly, can help you build up your credit score, showing you are a responsible lender. This will increase the odds of you securing further loans or getting a mortgage for a house. Credit cards should be used with caution, however. If they are lost or stolen, the fallout can be problematic.
2. Debit Cards
A debit card allows you to transfer money electronically from your bank account when making a purchase. As opposed to credit cards, you aren’t borrowing any money. You can only spend the money in your bank account or overdraft. When it comes to unauthorised transactions, many debit card providers offer “zero liability” protection. This provides some peace of mind and nearly rivals credit card protection.
On the downside, should you have an unauthorised transaction (for example, if someone uses your debit card number without your permission or an error occurs), the money comes straight from your account. If this happens, it can take some time for the bank to return the money. This can be a problem if you need that money to pay bills, rent or mortgage repayments.
Verdict: While debit cards are useful to have, we recommend you avoid using them for everyday purchases. When it comes to large purchases, you should probably avoid debit cards in favour of credit cards, due to the added protection credit cards offer.
These days it seems that even for small purchases, most people use a debit card or a credit card. But there is still a place for old-fashioned cash transactions. Cash spending carries zero risks of identity theft and there are still some shops that insist upon a minimum card spend.
On the other hand, when it comes to secure payment, cash has obvious pitfalls. If your money is stolen, you can’t replace it. People often don’t feel safe walking around with large amounts of cash. So it’s impractical to rely on cash transactions entirely.
Verdict: For minimal payments (for example, if you are paying for a cup of coffee or a newspaper), cash transactions are simple and straightforward. We don’t recommend carrying around large sums of money every day. In addition, for payments such as rent or mortgage repayments, cash is not only impractical — it simply won’t be accepted.
4. Payment Apps (Such as PayPal)
Payment apps, such as PayPal, are designed to allow you to safely spend money without relying directly on cash or credit cards. These apps allow users to transfer funds digitally to companies, friends and family. Payments occur by linking the app to your bank account or credit card. These apps are widely used and trusted, particularly among Millennials.
With payment apps, payment is immediate and convenient, making it a good option for online shopping. Fraud protection is usually good and it’s generally fairly simple to get unwanted transactions reversed. Payment apps mean you don’t need to carry around a physical card, which adds another level of safety and security.
The downside to these payment apps is all your financial data is in one space, which makes you susceptible to hackers. With this payment method, you also need to be wary of spy or malware programmes.
Verdict: Payment apps are a convenient and stress-free solution for many people, but you should use them with caution. Make sure you have a strong password and remain vigilant to minimise the odds of you falling victim to fraud.
5. Phone Payments with Callstream Vault
There are instances where businesses and individuals will want to pay over the phone. This can happen when a business is remote, or delivery-based, and the customer can’t visit in person. Perhaps immediate payments can’t be taken, or the merchant doesn’t accept payments over Paypal. On top of this, some customers prefer talking to a human being before spending their money. It gives them a sense of safety and security.
In instances such as this, services such as Callstream Vault make taking card payments over the phone secure and simple. Callstream Vault allows customers to input their card details without having to read the numbers aloud. They simply enter the digits onto their keypad. The sounds are muted and the information is sent directly to the merchant’s payment processing platform in a secure format. What’s more, Callstream Vault is PCI DSS compliant, meaning it adheres to the legal standards and requirements.
Verdict: Taking card payments over the phone using a service such as Callstream Vault is safe, simple and secure. It’s also the best choice if a vendor is unable or unwilling to accept other forms of payment. Customer information is respected and withheld to give everyone peace of mind.
PCI DSS compliance is something we take seriously at Callstream. Arrange a demo with us today to find out more about how CallStream Vault works and how we can help you make secure telephone payments and record necessary phone calls.