The Many Ways Small Businesses Can Accept Secure Payments

October 15, 2018

It feels like there’s no shortage of ways to pay for items nowadays. From paying in an app to tapping your smartphone, using your chip card and PIN, and even using plain old fashioned cash, there’s no shortage of payment options for Canadian shoppers. But for business owners, it’s especially important to accept payments in the most secure way, be it in-store, online or on the go.

There are many ways that small businesses can accept secure payments, so let us break down some of the most popular methods we see today.

Accepting Secure Payments in-Store

Accepting secure payments in-store has grown to become more complex over time, with more payment methods appearing in the last decade than ever before.

The most secure way to accept payments in-store is by using a payment terminal, be it a desktop device, wireless, or even a mobile-friendly option. Unlike cash, which can pose a variety of security risks, when you follow proper card acceptance, card-based payments can pose a low risk for fraudulent activity. There are a few different methods that allow a debit or credit card payment to be processed, and some generally safer than others:

Swipe. It doesn’t feel like long ago that swiping a card was the only way to use it, but thanks to technology advancements, that is no longer the case. Swiping a card isn’t recommended on payment terminals when there are more secure options available, but continues to be a last-resort method.

Contactless. A newer advancement in the payment space, contactless payments use near field communication (NFC) technology to communicate with a payment terminal. Sometimes referred to as ‘tap’ payments, contactless payment methods work for purchases up to $100 in Canada.

Chip & PIN. Chip & PIN technology is the last of the three secure in-store payment methods. Customers here insert their card into a terminal, and authenticate the purchase with their PIN. This provides two levels of validating the purchase, and is usually very safe.

Accepting Secure Payments Online 

Accepting secure payments online requires a few steps, depending on the type of online payment system a business has in place. We’ve recently published a few different articles about accepting online payments that you may find useful, including How to Accept Credit Card Payments Online and The Best Online Payment Methods For Your Business.

To summarize, there are two main ways to accept secure payments online, a hosted pay page (HPP) or application program interface (API). A HPP integrates with your online store to accept payments, while hosting the page itself on the processors network, while an API seamlessly integrates with your online store to give a consistent look and feel, while keeping customers on your site. Both of these online solutions can accept a variety of different payment types, including credit and digital wallets, and both are secure options for small business owners.

If you’re interested in learning more about accepting secure payments, make sure to take a look at our articles How to Accept Credit Card Payments In-Store and 5 Tips For Setting Up a Simple Online Store.

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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