The era of open banking and fintech has pushed most people to use digital payments. A recent study estimated that over 4.1 billion people worldwide used digital payments in 2022 and the figure is expected to jump to over 5.2 billion in the next few years. This growth has also been accompanied by fraud. According to the FTC, Americans lost over $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022.
Therefore, people are continually looking for a safe payment platform when transacting online. In addition to security, you should consider payment platforms that are easy to use, faster, and more convenient. Here are some of the safest online payment options.
Debit and credit cards
Debit and credit cards are the most popular payment options when you are shopping online. A debit card is typically connected to your current account and can be used to pay in physical and online stores. A credit card, on the other hand, allows you to borrow money up to a certain limit and then pay it back.
Most cards are powered by companies like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, which provide the underlying technology. Using these cards to make online payments is easy. All you need is the card number, expiry date, and the security number.
Debit and credit cards are relatively safe but users are required to take several precautions. For example, you should only use your cards in secure websites that are well-known. Further, always check whether email links are genuine and set an alert that notifies you when a payment is done. Most importantly, check your balances regularly.
Online wallets are fintech solutions that enable you to save money and handle transactions. In the past few decades, the number of these wallets has grown exponentially. A company like PayPal now has over 400 million users while Apple Pay has over 500 million users. Other popular online wallets are Zelle, Skrill, Cash App, and Venmo among others.
These wallets are loved because of their convenience, affordable transaction costs, and speed. They are also safe payment options. There are several options that you can use to make them safer. For example, you should embrace 2-factor authentication, use a strong password, keep your device updated, and combat phishing by being careful when clicking links.
Bank transfer is one of the safest payment options when you are shopping online. The process involves sending money from your bank account to the seller’s account. Unlike in the past, most banks have online banking capabilities that simplify how this process is done.
In most cases, all you need to do is to use your online account and enter the details of the recipient. The only disadvantage of this option is that the transaction time is usually not instant. In some cases, the transaction completion time can be a few hours or a few days.
Additionally, some companies accept electronic checks (eCheck). As the name suggests, an eCheck is a digital version of the traditional check. When used, funds will be withdrawn from your checking account and deposited to the recipient within a few hours or days.
Fintech platforms like PayPal, Skrill, and credit cards have simplified how people transact. In 2022, Visa transacted over $14.1 trillion, up from the previous year’s $11.3 trillion. Other companies like Mastercard, Discovery, and PayPal all transacted trillions of dollars worth of payments.
All these transactions have their vulnerabilities, which explains why billions of dollars are lost every year. Users can protect themselves by always having strong passwords, using safe and genuine websites, adding two-factor authentication, being careful to avoid phishing, and changing your passwords regularly.