Making safe online payments

Australians collectively lost $33 billion to cybercrime from 2020 to 2021, according to a 2022 study — with someone reporting a cybercrime every eight minutes.​1

By using safe online payment methods, you can help protect your personal and financial information from potential fraud and give yourself the best odds that your transactions remain secure.

For instance, PayPal provides online security for buyers, and protects customer data. Financial institutions, like banks and credit card providers, also offer industry-leading cybersecurity to safeguard customer data.

Learn more about safe payment methods below.

Pointers for paying safely with a credit card

Credit cards have two potential upsides when it comes to data protection. First: The credit card issuer may assume the liability in the case of unauthorised transactions.2

Second: Credit card issuers are usually creating and improving safeguards — such as encryption, fraud monitoring, and dynamic card verification value — to help protect cardholders, which may lead to greater peace of mind when making a transaction.

Safe ACH payments

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. This is an electronic payment system that makes it possible to move money between bank accounts for payment purposes. In Australia ACH payments are known as Direct Entry payments.

Financial institutions use sophisticated technologies — such as tokenisation, encryption, and identity-verifying micro-deposits — to ensure any money you send to a business or individual arrives safely.

Secure in-person payment methods

Modern technology has led to added safeguards that can potentially help curb fraud. Today's credit and debit cards, which typically contain EMV chips and sometimes allow for contactless payment, can be more difficult for criminals to take advantage of. An EMV chip is so named because EMV payment technology was developed by Europay, Mastercard, and Visa.

Here are some features you may want to look out for:

EMV-enabled credit cards

Most credit cards have a small silver square on them. That's usually an EMV chip.

EMV chips generate a unique transaction code whenever a card is used. This can help prevent cards from being counterfeited and lost or stolen cards being taken advantage of.

This is one factor that can make EMV payments relatively safe — especially if anybody in possession of the card also must enter a PIN to complete a transaction.

Contactless payment card

Contactless payment cards function similarly to those with EMV payment technology. The card is put near (not in) a payment terminal, and then a unique transaction code is generated.

Like EMV-chipped cards, contactless credit cards can provide increased security. Unlike their magnetic-stripe-credit-card predecessors, they can make life difficult for scammers by encrypting data and generating a one-time code for every transaction.

Secure payment processors and platforms

In today's digital-first world, there are many different types of payment methods — including payment apps that make it easy to check out quickly and securely.

Many of them offer security features such as multi-factor authentication, notifications, and fingerprint scanning to help consumers make payments with peace of mind.

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