Securely storing your customers’ payment methods for a seamless checkout experience

Online businesses want to make it easier for their returning customers to complete purchases. A way to achieve this is to securely store the customer’s payment methods during checkout.

The next time your customer returns to your website to make another purchase, the customer can reuse the stored payment methods during checkout. The customer does not need to re-enter the payment methods. By providing a simple and fast checkout experience, this can help you increase your sales. You can also reduce your PCI DSS compliance burden on your business.

A payment service provider can help you securely store and maintain your customers’ payment methods in a couple of ways:

  • A payment vault with tokenization
  • Account updater services

We will now explain how these work.

What is a payment vault?

A payment vault is a tool that allows you to store a customer’s payment method for future use. Most payment vaults allow you to store different types of payment methods, for example a debit card or credit card. The payment vault allows you to securely store the Primary Account Number (PAN), expiry date, name, and billing address.

After storing these payment details securely, the payment vault provides you with a token which is a unique number. This token now acts as a substitute to your customers’ stored payment methods. You use this token for the customers’ repeat transactions. There is no need to ask for payment information again.

As a merchant, you can use this token instead of asking the customer to re-enter a payment method. This token is only tied to your business and can only be used by your business.

Since you are storing only the token and your payment service provider is storing the payment details in the payment vault, you reduce the chance of a data breach. You also reduce your PCI DSS compliance burden because you are no longer exposed to these risks.

When would you store payment methods in a vault

There are several instances where you may want to store payments. Here are some examples and options.

When your customer makes a purchase

While a customer is making a purchase you can ask the customer if they want to save the payment details for later purchases. In this scenario, the customer will complete the checkout process and agree to have their information stored for future purchases.

When your customer sets up an account for future purchases

In this scenario, when your customer sets up an account without making a purchase, the customer will agree to have their payment information stored in their customer profile for future purchases.

When you offer recurring payments

Setting up recurring payments, such as subscriptions, involves saving a customer's payment method and charging your customer on a scheduled basis.

What is account updater?

Your customers' credit cards and debit cards get lost, stolen or expire all the time. As a merchant, you want to make sure your customers' card information is always updated so that when your customers make a purchase transaction on your website, you can ensure the transaction will not be declined. However, keeping payment information updated can be time-consuming and costly. Account updater services automatically keep your customers’ card information updated, so you won’t miss a sale due to expired cards.

The benefits of storing payments

Vault payment solutions offer many benefits for merchants and their customers, helping to yield more secure and reliable transactions.

The following are the greatest benefits of storing payment methods in a payment vault.

Provides a quick and seamless checkout experience

Using a payment vault helps create a fast, convenient, and seamless checkout experience for returning customers. Customers no longer need to re-enter their payment information. With payment methods safely stored, you can reduce the steps to purchase, allowing customers to complete their transactions in just a few clicks.

Protects sensitive customer payment data

Safe online payment solutions like the PayPal vault help protect sensitive customer information and reduce the risk of data breaches. Your customers’ payment data are tokenized and safely stored with the payment service provider.

Helps maintain PCI compliance

Storing payment information with a payment service provider helps businesses meet and maintain the standards set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards (PCI DSS) Council. According to these PCI compliance standards, merchants must:

  • Maintain a secure network
  • Protect cardholder data
  • Manage and prevent vulnerabilities
  • Require authentication for access
  • Regularly test and monitor networks
  • Set a policy for information security

By using a payment vault, merchants can cede responsibility for PCI compliance standards to their payment service provider. This also includes other data privacy standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Keeps payment details updated

A payment vault that offers account updater services decreases your chance of missing a sale. Your customers’ credit card and debit card information will automatically be kept updated.

Increases repeat customer transactions

As a merchant, you want a simple and easy purchasing experience for your customers. You want your customers to continue to return to make additional purchases. The payment vault will serve this purpose. You can reassure your customers’ payment methods are securely stored. Your customers will have a quick and easy repeat checkout experience.

Ready to create a more seamless and secure checkout experience for your customers?

Visit the Help Center to learn more about the PayPal vault.

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