Digital payments have become part and parcel of our lives and are currently at the top of the payment trends. With the e-commerce industry on an unprecedented high over the last five years, shopping for anything is now possible from the comfort of our home. Most of these transactions are undertaken through digital payments like UPI, Net Banking, or mobile wallets. As per an article by the Statista Research Department, India recorded a whopping 40 billion+ digital transactions. This volume indicates the number of Indians relying on one or the other online payment solutions for all their shopping needs.
Despite being secure and reliable to a great extent, one cannot deny that fraudulent entities do not plague digital transactions. The risk of cyber attacks and hacking has never been higher. Fraudsters are constantly lurking and looking for an opportunity to steal a user’s payment information for online payment frauds.
Hence, this calls for safety awareness among the users and education about cyber breaches when making digital payments.
What steps to follow to ensure safe digital transactions?
- Do not save your card information: Technology is making people lazier. Today, the volume of transactions that one makes in the day is relatively high. As a result, most people do not like entering their card details every time while making a transaction from a particular website or app. They end up saving their details within the application or the portal using which they make the payment. Most applications even have pop-ups asking their customers to save the card details for easy payments in the future. This is more common with low payment gateway prices. While it makes transactions quicker, it increases the risks by multiple proportions. If the database of the application or the gateway is somehow hacked, all card details can become public.
- Keeping passwords a secret: Passwords, PINs, and OTPs are the backbones of secure digital transactions. Passwords should be not only strong and unpredictable but also different for different digital payment media. Changing them once every two months is a healthy practice. Additionally, passwords or PINs for online payment solutions should never be shared with anyone, not even with close friends or relatives. Customers must also be mindful of any suspicious activity in any account. If anything is detected, it is best to change all the passwords associated with that account immediately.
- Checking the authenticity of websites: With the rising popularity of online services, hackers and frauds are coming up with clones of websites. The clones look precisely similar to the original website but steal the digital payment credentials from the customers. To avoid falling prey to such websites, customers should verify the URL of the website multiple times before revealing any details there. A padlock symbol in the address bar is an attribute of a secure website. Secure websites also begin with HTTPS instead of HTTP, where the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure.’ The payment gateway price for such websites would also be decent, like in the case of Zaakpay. It is a red flag if the website is accessed using an unknown or unreliable payment gateway.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi/Computers: It is pretty easy for hackers to hack into a public Wi-Fi or a computer to monitor the user’s activity. Owing to this insecure nature of public Wi-Fis and computers, it is best to avoid making any payment or transaction while using them. Private cellular internet is more secure than any public Wi-Fi.
- Using a Private Browser for Making Transactions: It is best to have a separate private browser rather than using the regular one. While usually browsing the web, an average user comes across several websites and pages, and many of them save their cookies, etc., on the user’s device. Considering this, it is not wise to use the same browser for any transaction.
- Download official applications: All the major businesses with which a customer interacts today have their mobile apps. Just like in the case of websites, frauds create similar illegitimate apps. The most common example of this can be modified applications that show premium content from OTT sites for free. Such applications often run in the background stealing essential credentials.
- Log out from websites and apps: Many customers forget to log out of e-commerce websites after purchasing. Even while using one’s device, it is advisable not to remain logged in.
- Check the compliance of the vendor: Payment gateway prices offered by gateways like Zaakpay are certified by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). As customers, it is essential to look out for this certification when making the payment online. However, certificates keep changing and getting updated. An outdated certification in a gateway means its technology or security is also obsolete, and it is more prone to cyberattack. The best thing to do is to avoid payment via such gateways.
- Only make purchases from reputed merchants: It is always recommended that you only make purchases from a reputed merchant with a history of secure transactions. However, when purchasing a small business, make sure that its website is secure.
In an article by global information and insights company TransUnion, the rate of financial fraud attempts against financial service providing companies in India rose 88.50%. The whole point of an online payment solution is to make the customer experience seamless and hassle-free. Digital frauds can turn the entire experience into a nightmare. However, the good news is that it is possible to avoid most threats by keeping a note of simple pointers and only to pay via secure payment gateways. Zaakpay’s payment gateway is one of the most secure payment processors in the industry that aids in reducing cyber threats. Most importantly, the payment information entered by a user is stored in the form of a token and cannot be accessed by anyone but the processor- not even the vendor or the business being paid. Nevertheless, the essential thing to ensure is to remain vigilant and cautious of the platforms you are paying at.