Must-Have Features for Accepting Online Payments

Accepting payments online has never been easier. Payment processors like PayPal, Google Wallet, and Amazon Payments provide online businesses with turnkey solutions for receiving payments for the goods or services they provide. Moreover, many third party platforms integrate directly into websites for seamless transactions and allow for a customization and flexibility. While these out-of-the-box payment processing solutions are convenient and fairly comprehensive, there are many features not that may not be provided by your payment processor that will protect your website and its visitors.

An SSL Certificate

When a visitor submits information to your website, this information is vulnerable to interception by programs implemented by hackers to capture and deliver this information to the hackers for their own use. By encrypting a website with SSL, you safeguard visitor information by allowing your visitors’ web browsers to form secure, binding connections to the web server, which in turn ensures that information will be delivered directly to your website by preventing interception. Additionally, having an SSL is now a factor in Google’s search and ranking algorithm, which means that there is an added perk in that having an SSL helps with your website’s SEO.

Logins and Authentication

Allowing your visitors to create website accounts provides convenience and traceability for online purchases. Before creating an account, however, your visitors need to know that their account information will be safe. To address this concern, several layers of verification should be implemented to recover user passwords, which may include answering multiple security questions or delivering recovery passwords to your visitors’ mobile devices or personal email addresses.

Comprehensive Legal Agreements

Your website have contracts posted that govern how your website is to be used, govern transactions and sales through your website, and address how personal information submitted to your website will be managed and protected. At a minimum, these contracts should consist of an online privacy policy and Terms of Use (also known as “Terms and Conditions” or “Terms of Service”).  

A privacy policy is legally required for all e-commerce websites and e-commerce mobile applications, and your website’s privacy policy will notify your visitors about how you are going to collect, use, disclose, share, and store their personal information (including financial information). The topics covered by your website’s privacy policy will depend on the types of personal information you collect from your visitors, the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to your business, and your ability to adhere to the terms of your policy in practice.

Your website’s Terms of Use, on the other hand, is a binding contract that lays the rules for how your website may or may not be used, and will typically provide a framework of legal terms for any transactions conducted through your website. For this reason, it is imperative that online businesses adopt written terms that are pertinent to their business. Businesses that neglect to transcribe their business transactions into their Terms of Use, or that copy existing agreements without any modification, open themselves up to liability from insufficient agreements or a lack of understanding of the terms that they have adopted.