As online shopping grows in popularity, so do the risks of credit card and banking fraud. If you are a frequent shopper, many merchants around the world actually have access to your credit card or bank account information.
It becomes so easy for a fraudster to make purchases on your card without your knowledge. So how do you indulge in shopping safely online? There are a few ways to keep your credit card details safe.
The Online Payment Gateway
This “middle-man” website acts as the “gatekeeper” for your payment information. It works in tandem with the merchant and credit card issuer to ensure you are charged, the merchant is paid and yet your credit card information does not pass to the merchant (or anyone else beyond the “gatekeeper”) in the process.
PayPal — PayPal is accepted by most if not all sellers on ebay.com, most online stores and Etsy sellers. The gateway protects not only the buyer but also the seller, ensuring payment is made and received. Registering is free for buyers (sellers are charged a fee for receiving money) with your credit or debit card information. This information only needs to be entered once and after which, you use your email and password to make payment. Payment is processed instantaneously. This means, your details are only sent once to Paypal and not multiple times online.
WorldPay — WorldPay works in a similar way as PayPal but does not offer the convenience of an account where your card information is stored for repeat use or instant processing. Merchants who accept WorldPay (non-Malaysian as WorldPay does not support Malaysian merchants) will have a button which upon clicking will lead you to WorldPay’s secure payment form. You enter your credit card details and it is sent to your card issuer for processing. Unlike PayPal, this could take up to five days to process.
IPay88 — Merchants in Southeast Asia sign up to use IPay88 to process payment for them in much the same way as WorldPay. Upon choosing your purchases, you will be led to IPay88’s secure payment site to enter your payment information. IPay88 accepts all credit and debit cards, as well as online bank transfers.
The Enhanced Security Feature
If the merchant refuses to accept any of the online payment gateways above, stay safe by using your card issuer’s Enhanced Security Feature. Sign your card up for either Verified by Visa and SecureCode by MasterCard depending on card type and receive a secure PIN number or password which will be required for every transaction. This ensures that no one will be able to make a payment with your credit card without this PIN or password.
Most banks now offer SMS notifications for online transactions using credit cards. If it is not automatically given to you, call your bank to sign up. This ensures that every time your card is used for an online purchase, you are notified.
DIANA CHAI writes for RinggitPlus.com. RinggitPlus compares credit cards, personal loans and home loans to help Malaysians get more for their money.