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17 Payment Tools and Tips for Ensuring Secure Online Transactions

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Entrepreneurs from YEC discuss the best tools and approaches businesses can implement to keep transactions secure.

Today's world demonstrates a level of connectivity that humanity has never before achieved in its history. From cell phones to smart cars and even refrigerators that order supplies for you when you're out, we truly live in a futuristic world. With all these advancements in technology, we still find ourselves having to look over our shoulders when making payments to other parties. The world may have evolved technologically, but so has the ability to steal user information. In this new world, data is as necessary as the money in one's bank account.

Even so, a majority of users fail to take the proper security measures to protect themselves. For instance, many people typically have similar passwords because it's easier to remember those terms. Password systems are only as good as the users that generate them. If a user utilizes the same password for their bank accounts as they do for their other online accounts, a password breach could also mean access to that user's money. Malicious users have an easy way to access the user's funds by simply cracking their email passwords.

Over the last few years, there has been a growing prevalence of online fraud and security breaches. Even massive companies have made mistakes in configuring their cloud servers, resulting in hundreds of thousands of email accounts and compromised details. Between social engineering and direct hacking of user data from compromised machines, it's not surprising that so many Americans have their details stolen from them with such regularity. Security is catching up to malicious users, but it always feels as though they are on the wrong side of the arms race.

With so many consumers looking to find ways to protect their online data, businesses have opted to integrate payment tools into their websites. Some hosting companies make it easy to do so directly from the dashboard of a website's back end. Other businesses prefer to use third-party platforms exclusively for secure payments. Here, 18 entrepreneurs from YEC discuss the payment methods and approaches they use to ensure their transactions' security and integrity and to protect their users' data during purchases.

1. PayPal

PayPal is arguably the most secure platform for online transactions. Moreso, they are a trusted brand that is well established with substantial funding to invest into research and development. Given their market share and dominance, they have the most to lose if/when something does go wrong. PayPal can easily connect to a WordPress website using WooCommerce, Shopify, and other builder platforms. - Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.

2. Google Pay

Google Pay is becoming the most secure and reliable payment tool for e-commerce shops, mobile apps, and in-person checkouts. Many industrial giants like Airbnb and Stubhub have noticed a 600% increase in unique visitors after integrating with Google Pay API to their site. It can easily be integrated into your e-commerce platforms like Shopify, as well as other previous payment methods like Stripe. - Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

3. Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a great tool for keeping secure payments and transactions. While the application isn't as flexible as others, its level of security is superior. When you make a payment using Apple Pay, your Apple device will communicate via encryption with the authorization device, and none of the information is retained. This is a safe way to make payments and reduce identity theft or fraud. - Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

4. Stripe

Stripe is a great online payment tool that works in many situations. We have been using it for the last five years. You can do credit card and bank charges, one-time or recurring charges. They also have very good integration APIs, enabling easy integration with your other software, websites and apps, as well. Their security standards are very high. It is PCI compliant. - Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

5. Braintree

Braintree is a great payment option for a secure payment tool. You can reach more buyers and increase your sales by using software that ensures user safety and security. Braintree is a PayPal service that integrates all your payment gateways so it's easier for customers to submit their payments and complete their purchases. - Jared Atchison, WPForms

6. Secure commercial bank

For small- to medium-size transactions such as those coming from customers online, PayPal has one of the most comprehensive suites of security features and has the longest history in the business. For larger transactions such as suppliers and wholesalers, the best option is a competent and secure commercial bank that handles these types of transactions frequently. - Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP / White River Consulting, LLC

7. QuickPay

Many of my European clients recommend QuickPay since they have top-notch customer support and can be reached quickly at any time of day. Plus, they have a simple API that can be utilized to create and customize payment windows that are 100% secure. Although I don't use it myself, I've heard nothing but good things about it from my clients across the pond. - Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

8. FreshBooks with PayPal

Though not a favorite by all, we still use PayPal for many transactions on a daily basis. It's also useful when using FreshBooks to create and issue invoices, which allow the client to decide on how they want to make payment. By combining the two, we've found we haven't needed to rely on any other outside transaction solutions. - Zac Johnson, Blogger

9. QuickBooks

We use QuickBooks for no-fee banking transactions and online payments. Millions use QuickBooks and its basic functionalities cannot be beaten. Many argue that upgrades are expensive, but consider the price of a security breach and how that would impact your customers, immediately, if not for years to come. Fraud protection and security are non-negotiable elements of client relationships. - Matthew Capala, Alphametic

10. Due

Due has recently been growing in popularity. The company first made a name for itself through innovative time-tracking and invoicing tools, which freelancers and small business owners have especially found valuable. Now, Due has been making a name for itself by allowing its users to accept secure online payments, and even offers an e-bank where you can store your cash online. - Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

11. Skrill

Security is one of the biggest concerns for online payment systems, especially when doing business internationally. Due to fees and currency exchanges, many international companies don’t accept traditional processors like PayPal or ApplePay. A secure alternative to these wallets is Skrill. Their vigorous verification process and secure transmissions make it easy to do business internationally. - Shaun Conrad, Guitar Repair Bench

12. Check Point

I recommend using Check Point. They are the leaders in online security and protection, and I wouldn't choose another company. - Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

13. Swipe

It's important to find payment tools that are secure and also work with your website or e-commerce platform. Gateways like Swipe are verified and widely used and you can easily integrate any plugin on your site with it. Make sure that you work with an existing payment gateway that has a strong reputation and you should create the best security for your business payments methods. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

14. Zelle, Venmo

Mobile apps do typically provide more security than other tools. That said, apps like Zelle, Venmo, Apple Pay and more are all pretty much even in terms of online security. - Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

15. Authorize.net

One of the most widely used payment gateways that most e-commerce sites use is Authorize.Net. Marketers love it for how secure it is in terms of accepting and making payments. Plus, it can be easily integrated with popular e-commerce platforms like Magento, X-Cart, Volusion, etc. - Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

16. Any tool with mobile features

Any online payment tool that has mobile features and offers security features like two-factor authentication is a good payment gateway to use. Try chatting with or talking to support or sales staff from that business and check out how quickly they respond and how relevant their information is. When they communicate well, you can feel sure that they will help if a problem arises. - Blair Williams, MemberPress

17. SSL certificates

Most of the major online payment platforms offer excellent security from their end, but there's an important aspect of security that needs to be handled from your end: SSL certificates. Ensuring that all of your e-commerce pages (storefront, shopping cart, payment/shipping info) are protected by HTTPS is the best way to ensure all of your transactions are completely secure. - Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

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Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber
business.com Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.