Behind the Scenes On Online Payments

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Over the last decade or so, it’s become a lot more popular for businesses to take to the internet to do their work. Providing a platform with almost unlimited potential, it makes sense that so many are opting for this sort of plan. Of course, though, when you’re taking money over the web, there are a lot of considerations you have to make. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of these, as well as the support you can get along the way.

The Server: For a website to find its place on the internet, it needs to be hosted on a service capable of connecting with the outside world. When you’re taking payments, though, this sort of services needs to have some very important features. Without them, it won’t be secure, and data could be at risk. Below, you can find some examples of these requirements.

  • Encryption: When data is passed between two machines, there is a time where it is accessible to those in remote locations. To avoid data being stolen, most hosts will encrypt their website’s data using a system called SSL. Thankfully, this sort of resource is nice and cheap, and any business can afford it, making it easy to make sure that your host is nice and secure.
  • The Hardware: Of course, though, someone won’t need to intercept your data if they are able to access it directly. Some servers are much more resilient to attacks than others, and some examples will be able to keep people out entirely. You should always make sure that the option you choose has the best security you can afford. Firewalls and routers may sound boring, but they can make a huge difference in your business.

The Website: Unfortunately, payment security doesn’t just stop with a server. Along with this, you also have to think about your website and the areas which will boost your security. Taking payments can be very dangerous if your website isn’t built for it, and you should work hard to make sure that everything is tightly locked up.

  • Validation: The biggest part of this is validation. When a user gives you information, the first job you need to do is checking that it is the right data for the job. It will take a skilled developer to be able to program this sort of functionality into your website. But, with this in place, you will be able to handle data nice and securely, without any risk to your servers or the data they store.
  • An API: Building a payment system for yourself is a costly and time-consuming process, and most people won’t need to do it at all. Companies like PayPal have worked very hard to create payment gateways which take the responsibility away from website owners. With a well-documented API in hand, you should find it nice and easy to get set up with the right tools.

The Gateway: The API you’ll be using is called a gateway. Acting as an agent between you and the customer, this service will handle the entire money transfer for you, removing loads of risk from your end. There are loads of examples of these around the internet. So, it’s important to do some research before you choose one.

  • Secure Storage: As a large part of their job, your payment gateway will store your customer’s payment data for you. They have services which can do this securely, and you simply have to take an access token to use them again and again. Of course, though, some companies will handle this better than others, and you’ll have to do some research before you get started with one.
  • Verification: Making sure that a customer is using a payment method they own can be very tricky. Real world identity verification is very hard when you don’t have someone in front of you. Of course, though, you don’t have to worry about this issue. The best gateways will have systems in place to make sure that customers are who they say they are. So, now, you just have to get on with making the sales.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your online sales. Not a lot of people realize quite how strict this sort of areas can be. But, if you fail to take the right action, in the beginning, it can be hard to recover, and you may even find yourself facing legal challenges. Most new companies will want to avoid this entirely.

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SWE Staff

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