Today, we are focusing our attention on one of the favorite methods of payment used by many online purchasers, because it allows them to make their transactions quickly and immediately: payment by credit card.
This article will be quite long because there are many things to discuss. We will divide it into several sections to make it more structured and easy to read. We, as vendors, have tried many different modalities of credit card payment and tested many services; we have often made mistakes in our choices and paid for them severely. We really don’t want to use complicated technical terms here, which can either be intimidating or make your eyes glaze over, but are aiming to explain things as friend to friend in simple words, because our job is producing beautiful bags and not pretending to be experts on the rules of finance; but we felt there was a need for a simplified guide to online payments to help make things easier for our friends and customers.
Almost every online shop tries to offer, among its multiple options of payment, payment by credit card, even though, this is not always very simple for the vendor.
On the other side of the transaction, there is the buyer who is often anxious and too scared of fraud to use his credit card for making online purchases, preferring to avoid this payment option when he has to buy something on the internet, even though he always pays with his credit card at the supermarket, or when he buys something in a shop, or for any ATM (bancomat) service.
If you respect some simple rules, we can assure you that payment via credit card is a very secure method of online payment. There is more chance of being cheated or robbed in a big supermarket, paying for your purchases in cash or, more simply, getting out money at the ATM (as happened some time ago to a member of our staff).
What are the most important rules to follow for secure online payment by credit card?
- Obviously don’t buy your goods in an online shop that is not 100% reliable (we have planned a whole post about how to tell a 100% reliable online shop from a fraudulent one, which will be published in a few days). This precaution is useful not only to protect your credit card data but also to make sure you receive the ordered goods without any problem.
- Make sure that, when you are entering your credit card data, the secure transaction icon is present. It will be shown in the browser window through a small padlock placed in the bottom left of the screen, while on the address search bar, the url should begin https:// instead of http:// as normally appears when you navigate on the net.
- For your online purchases, it is preferable to use a pre-paid credit card, which means a credit card that can be charged with the exact sum to complete your purchase. In this way you can avoid having a larger amount of money stolen in the unhappy event that the shop does turn out to be fraudulent.
- Activate an SMS Alert service, so that you can always keep an eye on every transaction you make with your credit card. Every time you make a payment, you will receive a SMS on your cell-phone which will alert you to the transaction you just made, informing you of the sum paid, to whom you paid this sum and at what time you made your transaction. If you receive an SMS and realize that your credit card has been improperly used by someone else without your permission, you can then immediately block your credit card and ask to be refunded with the amount stolen (for this reason we suggest that you always keep with you the phone number required to block your card).
- Don’t ever send your credit card data via e-mail because an e-mail could easily be hacked and the information used to clone your card. If it is necessary to communicate your card data to the vendor, it’s better do it over the phone, even though the best thing to do is to conclude the payment all by yourself in a secure site, without the intervention of outside people. However, don’t ever enter your credit card data if the address of the web page starts with http:// instead of https://.
- Pay attention to the e-mails you receive. Please check if the mails you receive directly from the bank or from the e-shop where you made your purchase, are genuine or not. If they are genuine, you shouldn’t usually be asked to enter any of your personal data. Always check that any link that you are asked to follow in the received e-mail really leads you to the bank’s or to the e-shop’s genuine website and not to other spam websites.
Have you ever experienced, when making a purchase in an online shop, that, at the moment of payment, you notice that you are no longer on the pages of the e-shop, but on a different page, with different graphics and belonging to a different website from the web shop you were buying from? But, on the occasion of your previous purchases online you have always proceeded with the payment of your goods, directly on the secure pages of the e-shop itself !!!
Should you be worried?
Why have you been taken to the pages of a website outside the web shop?
Why do some e-shops allow you to pay directly on their secure pages while others don’t allow that? Which option is the safest one for the buyer?
Have you ever had that strange situation happen, when, after having made your payment and confirmed your purchase, as requested, thinking that your goods are already on their way to you, you then are informed that your payment hasn’t been authorized and so has been unsuccessful?
What can we do in these situations?
What could be the cause of this refusal?
Why haven’t you been allowed to pay with your credit card, when you know that there are sufficient funds available to complete the purchase?