The recent security breach to an Australian cosmetics website where some customers were forced to cancel their credit cards, demonstrated the importance of security in online stores. The organisation was forced to take its website offline while the breach was being investigated by authorities. The organisation also had to issue a statement to its customers to contact their financial institution as their privacy had been breached.
This would be a particularly embarrassing circumstance for any organisation and a stressful situation for any customer. The long-term ramifications of this may be financially damaging to the organisation as trust is hard to gain once it is lost. So what can organisations do to protect their customers and their business?
“Online security is an increasingly important issue as more and more business transactions are taking place online. As such, the handling of credit card information is a particular hot topic – both in the offline and online worlds,” commented Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software.
“To ensure online security, online retailers have two options available. They can choose to either become Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant and handle credit card information themselves or use a third-party payment gateway – the most well-known being PayPal.
“Becoming PCI compliant requires a lot of effort that may not be justifiable for most organisations. Although there are extra costs associated with using a third-party payment gateway, it may be a worthwhile choice for most organisations,” suggested Kareem.
“There are many payment gateway providers such as banks and PayPal who can remove the headache of handling sensitive information such as credit card details. The charge to use their service is also fairly reasonable and it can often be integrated into an ecommerce site quite seamlessly,” continued Kareem.
“The only challenge for a retailer is gaining approval from these providers to use their service; however for an established and reputable business, this should not be too great of a challenge,” concluded Kareem.