Most small businesses use their websites to sell their products and services. Currently, setting up and managing an online store is quite simple and affordable. However, accepting online payments is a sensitive and strictly regulated aspect of running your online business.
Credit card fraud and data theft are, unfortunately, everyday issues in which people lose their money and companies lose their reputation. Just recently, the Cloudbleed vulnerability of one of the greatest password cloud storage services shows that even the most secure online systems can be hacked by someone determined enough.
For this reason alone, you must make sure that you comply with all the rules and that you offer your customers a safe shopping experience. If you are new to the eCommerce world, these are the essential features of your website for accepting online payments:
- PCI Compliance
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) has a set of compliance regulations for payment systems. These regulations, named Data Security Standards (DSS) are applicable to all merchants, both online and offline, and irrespective of the volume of transactions.
The good news is that most reputable eCommerce platforms with shopping cart included have the PCI compliance built into their structure. You can find out more about PCI DSS here.
- Authentication Layers
A simple username and password are no longer sufficient for eCommerce websites. These websites can be accessed either through computers or mobile phones and it is possible for a third party to gain access to a user account on one of these devices.
Two-step verification has become the norm even for online email providers. This means that users will be required to type in their phone number and input a code they receive every time they try to log in to their shopping account on your website.
- Multiple Logins
What happens when various members of the same family have accounts on your website? If you use standard cookies, each time a new member wants to log in from the same IP address (home WiFi) the others are automatically logged out. This is not acceptable, if you want to keep your customers. This is why you should enable multiple logins from the same IP location, as well as offer your customers the possibility to log in with their social media accounts.
- SSL Certificate
SSL is currently the standard online security technology and having a SSL certificate is mandatory for an eCommerce website. When SSL is enabled on a website, the “http” at the beginning of a URL becomes “https”.
This security feature creates a protective layer between the browser used by the customer who logs in to your website and the server where your website is hosted, making sure that data transmission from end to end cannot be intercepted by a hacker.
You can purchase a SSL security certificate from various online merchants, including your hosting service supplier.
What happens if a malfunctioning server causes you to lose your entire database of customer accounts? If you did not keep a backup in a separate and secure location, your online store is in trouble. You have to prepare an email, explaining to your customers what happened and asking them to re-create their accounts. Chances are, they will not do it, fearing data theft.
The most valuable assets in your business are your customers, so it is worth investing in the most reliable backup solutions for your eCommerce database.
Last, but not least, remember to add a SSL Certificate logo and other security seals on each page of your website. It is not required by laws and regulations, but your customers will feel reassured that their personal and financial data are safe and they will buy products from you with more confidence.