An (Unofficial) Ranking of the Safest Payment Options

February 5, 2019

The conversation about which payment method is the safest has long been going on; whether it’s tapping a debit card, using chip & pin technology with a credit card, or even good old fashion cash. Though we have some very good insight here at Moneris about which payment forms are safer than others, we don’t want to claim that we have the official answer. Which is why below, we’ve shared our unofficial ranking of the safest payment options, and a note about why they rank the way they do. 


In one form or another, cash has been the go-to payment method for centuries. However, just because it has been relied on for hundreds of years, doesn’t mean that cash is a safe or secure payment method. Outside of the fact that cash is virtually untraceable when it’s lost, and misplacing small and nearly weightless pieces of paper isn’t hard to do, cash has a few other security problems. Cash doesn’t have a holder verification system like debit or credit cards do and there’s no PIN to type in or biometric scan, which means anyone could use your cash should they get their hands on it.

Contactless Cards

The popularity of contactless cards felt like it was almost inevitable since their introduction into the Canadian market, and for good reason. Contactless payments are quick and easy to make, and  can be made for purchase under $100 so long as the merchant has the contactless option enabled on their payment terminal. Though they lack an additional level of authentication that options like chip & PIN or digital wallets do, the $100 purchase limit stays protected, so if your card is stolen and used fraudulently many financial intuitions won’t leave you on the hook for that money.

Chip & PIN

Using chip & PIN technology is now standard practice for most debit and credit cardholders, which means it’s likely that you already use it on a daily, if not weekly, basis. Chip & PIN is a safe payment option, and one of the only options to make card-based payments for purchases over $100. The chip & PIN work together to create a two step authentication process to ensure that the card is both in your hands, and you know the unique personal identification number associated with that card. For larger purchases, chip & PIN is definitely the way to go.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are undeniably safe payment forms that consumers should feel comfortable using.

Digital wallets use debit and credit cards that have been added into the application to make contactless payments for purchases under $100. The process of adding a card into the wallet requires the card to be initially verified through card details and/or personal information, ensuring that the card is with the proper cardholder. Once the cards are added, using the digital wallets requires a form of biometric authentication to confirm a payment, like a fingerprint or face scan. On top of this, given that the card isn’t physically present there is a lowered risk of the card details being stolen by fraudsters. Given the two-step authentication required to use a digital wallet, plus their 100$ limitation, digital wallets are very safe.

Interested in learning more about safe payments? Make sure to check out our articles Tips to Ensure You’re Accepting Secure Payments and The Payment Solutions That Make Your Business Future Ready.

The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 



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