Online payments are fast and convenient – but not all payment options are equally safe. In this article, we will briefly analyze the solutions that offer the highest level of security.
Every year, we rely more and more on online payments. The competition among service providers in this sphere is fierce. We often use those payment solutions that we are accustomed to, without thinking too much about whether they are safe enough. Yet security is a vital issue — this is why you might want to read this article that compares the safest online payment methods in 2021.
In theory, such apps can be an attractive target for hackers. They contain too much personal information about the user. 42% of those people who have not yet installed a payment app report that they avoid doing so for security reasons. But if you think logically, you will realize that transferring funds through an app is much safer than carrying cash in a wallet.
In the US, 80% of adults and 94% of millennials use such apps every week. Apple Pay and Google Pay are the two most vivid examples of this type of software. You need to link your credit card or bank information account to such an app to be able to use it. The bank has its own protection system and the app adds an extra one. Plus, you can add the third security layer on your phone so that it requires your fingerprint or a PIN code to give you access to money. To transfer funds, you just need to swipe, tap or carry out some other simple actions.
These are available both in desktop and mobile formats. If compared with the apps, the functionality of the platforms is larger. For instance, Genome enables its users to create an account in a European bank right from their smartphone and it will be approved immediately.
Payment platforms allow people to use multi-currency accounts and feature low commissions for currency exchange. They process all the operations 24/7 and very rapidly. If the user wants to create a merchant account, they will be able to do it with minimum effort.
Thanks to such platforms, users can manage their finances easily, efficiently and with maximum transparency. They can link to them their usual bank cards and accounts. Besides, many services issue their own cards that grant their holders even more privileges.
On the flipside, such functionality might be excessive for people who need a reliable payment system only for their everyday payments.
Credit Cards with EMV Chips
On a conventional card, you would see the signature of its owner. On an EMV card, there is a chip as well. It creates a new authentication code for every transaction, thus increasing the level of security. If you use a card without a chip for offline payments, hackers might steal information from its magnetic strip and “clone” it. But the EMV technology makes this trick impossible.
It is important to use credit and not debit cards. If you opt for the latter, the funds will be deducted from your account. When you use the former, it is not you but the issuer of the card who pays for the goods or services — and you give them money later. If you make a wrong transaction with a credit card, it will be rather easy to reverse it. When the issuer of a credit card suspects any illegal activities, they will check what is going on and will take measures — up to temporarily blocking the card.
Debit cards, on the contrary, are among the least secure payment methods. However, you can use them if their issuers provide 24-hour fraud monitoring services. Another handy instrument that enables you to increase the level of security of your debit card is one-time passwords. The system will send them to you as soon as you try to carry out a financial transaction.
Prepaid Cards and Gifts Cards
You load such a sum onto this card that you can afford to spend on the purchase. If something goes wrong, third parties will not be able to withdraw a larger sum from your prepaid card, so the main bulk of your savings will remain untouched.
Using this method, you do not need to reveal your financial credentials. Both physical and electronic gift or prepaid cards do not allow scammers to identify your personality. If you lose it or someone steals it, third parties will not be able to use it.
The main shortcoming of this method consists in the fact that some cards require registration. You might need to indicate your personal information to prove that this card belongs to you — but this will decrease the level of safety.
Another drawback is that someone has to pay for the gift card. If they do it offline and with cash, that would be entirely safe. But if they purchase it online, they might need to reveal their confidential information. Hackers often create fake gift card sites to steal the financial credentials of gullible people. Also, fraudsters might ask you to pay a bill over the phone using a gift card — never do that because most likely, it is a scam.
If you still think that cryptocurrencies are heavily related to illegal activities, you are wrong. In 2020, only 0,34% of all crypto transactions were related to criminal offenses. If you use a crypto wallet that was built by a renowned developer, never share your password with anyone and transfer funds only to trustworthy vendors, your financial operations will be totally safe. Adopting cryptocurrencies is a matter of psychological comfort. More big brands should start accepting this payment method — and then their customers will switch to it too. This will inevitably happen over time.
As you see, no payment method is perfect and each one has its drawbacks. Yet if you select one of the options that were described in this text and remain careful enough, your financial transactions will be as safe as they can.
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