The popularity of online payments over the last few years has brought up the question about the safety of these transactions versus offline payments more and more. Is it really safer than paying offline? The reality is that there are security concerns whether you make transactions offline or online. But, which one is more secure than the other?
When you get to the checkout lane at any retail store and hand them your cash or credit/debit card for payment processing, this goes into their point-of-sale software that stores your information in a generally insecure location without the proper security measures that can help avoid data breaches. That could mean that your credit or debit card information can be easily hacked through the store’s server if there are any thieves that want to do so.
Once your payment transaction is entered into the store’s POS, it has to go through the process of being approved through a payment processor. This means that your sensitive banking information has to get circulated and communicated in order for your payment to go through. This also means that your data can become more vulnerable since it goes through different channels in order to make a single payment. Any of those channels it goes through can be a weak point where your information can get stolen.
Even though there are guidelines from credit card companies about the safety of your sensitive data as it gets communicated through your offline transaction, this is still something that is no usually adhered to. There have been a lot of instances where a customer’s card information was stolen simply because they paid using it through a retail store.
There is also a matter of human error when it comes to offline transactions. There will be times that the cashiers you deal with can make mistakes with the amount to charge you or the change that he or she returns to you. This is especially true when it comes to multiple transactions.
When it comes to an online transaction, the most significant safety issue here is the online payment service that you use. If you choose an online payment solution that is reliable and trustworthy, then the level of security that you will get will be better.
With online payment services, you will not need to give out any of your sensitive information like your card details in order for you to make a transaction. You can simply provide a QR code or your mobile number for you to be able to purchase what you need. You can even use this service with your online shopping only by providing your email address that is linked to your payment provider. This ensures another level of safety that can help you avoid any fraudsters from getting into your bank account and stealing your funds.
Even using mobile wallets can be safer than using your credit or debit card for making payments at a retail store. You can avoid any theft through the precautions that these apps take in securing your data.