What is a Payment Processor and Why is Customer Security Important?

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As a merchant, it is important to understand what a payment processor is and how it can help the bottom line of your business. A payment processor is a company that works with a merchant in order to ensure that transactions between the involved bank accounts and customers are being processed smoothly, securely, and correctly. 

When a customer makes a credit card purchase from a merchant’s store, the payment must go through a payment processor in order to check for fraud and eventually move the monetary sum from the customer’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account. Having these transactions approved and the rate of fraudulent transactions decreased not only helps with a merchant’s bottom line, but also their customer’s trust in the business. 

There are numerous ways to ensure that the customer buying experience is streamlined and secure. For one, merchants should ensure that their website is secure by using an SSL protocol, which encrypts sensitive information. Websites that are secure helps protect credit and debit card information in addition to personal information. In fact, according to research conducted by security solutions provider GlobalSign, 85% of online shoppers would not make a purchase from a website if they are unsure if their information is protected and secure.

Related to SSL, having one’s website be in HTTPS as opposed to HTTP is another important factor in security. The “S” in HTTPS stands for “secure” and indicates that the data being transferred is encrypted to protect users from theft, fraud, or even hacked accounts. Google itself has been using HTTPS as a means of ranking websites as well. For a merchant to optimize their business and be shown on top of the Google rankings, encryption is a step in the right direction. This is because it helps with driving website traffic, increasing customer trust, and making sales. 

Another method that contributes to secure online payments is the use of 3D Secure, which helps authenticate transactions. When a customer makes a purchase online, they can be prompted to prove their identity and verify the transaction through a personal code request. This may be in the form of a verification code sent to their mobile phone or even a fingerprint. Other methods of authentication and security include Apply Pay and Google Pay, which commonly require users to either enter the correct password or give biometric information. Biometric identification includes a fingerprint or facial recognition. 

This extra step in security ensures that merchants are protected from fraudulent transactions, too. According to LexisNexis’ study, merchants reported a loss of about 1.32% due to fraud and the costs associated with it. Fraud not only has a negative impact on the bottom line, but also the trust in a merchant’s business when sensitive information gets stolen.

According to another study, which was conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, a total of approximately $112 billion was stolen from customers due to identity fraud within six years. Customers who are often victims of fraud activity neither use email alerts nor monitor their transactions carefully. Therefore, it is integral to have extra layers of security in place integrated within the transaction process.

In a study conducted by Oberlo, it was found that 1.92 billion consumers bought goods and services online in 2019 alone. By 2021, the number of people who shop online is estimated to reach 2.14 billion. In the age of digitalization and the popularization of online shopping, it is integral for merchants to keep up-to-date with the latest customer safety measures by working with secure payment processors. 

Merchant Broker works with business owners and top tier processors to ensure both customer and merchant security. Clients who work with Merchant Broker are guaranteed the best payment processing rates on the market. To contact a representative, call 1-888-668-0733 or email info@merchantbroker.com.

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