How to Make Secure Payments On and Offline

There are two types of payments: online and offline. You can decide which options work best for you, your convenience, and your payment experience. Every time you make a payment, whether on or offline, there is a risk that thieves or hackers might steal your payment information. So, how do you make payments securely? 

In this article, we are going to outline how you can make secure payments both on and offline.

The Most Secure Online Payment Methods

Customers can now make purchases from anywhere on the planet, thanks to advanced online payment methods. However, despite the many benefits of paying online, there are always risks regarding payment security. 

Below we have listed the most secure online payment methods.

Credit Cards 

An obvious choice, the credit card is one of the easiest ways to fulfil an online transaction. Convenient, easy to use, and secure, credit cards have strong fraud protection features that make it easy to reverse funds when a wrong transaction is made. Fraud security features range from: 

  • Card locking
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Security triggers
  • Additional verification for unusual activity/large amount spend
  • Virtual credit card numbers

What’s more, when you make a payment with a credit card the money is not immediately deducted from your bank account. Instead, you pay for the service or product later. This gives you time to notice and report suspicious activity on your card to prevent fraud.

Debit Cards 

Extremely popular among younger generations, debit cards are an easy way to make online payments without worrying about racking up credit card debt. With debit card payments, the money is deducted from your account straight away. Debit cards allow for secure online transactions and provide 24-hour fraud monitoring services.

Third-Party Payment Services

Third-party payment services are rapidly growing in popularity. An increasingly available online transaction method, third party payment services such as PayPal and ApplePay are widely renowned for their reliability, security, and convenience. What makes these payment methods secure for online transactions is that they don’t share any private information and they also offer buyer protection features for situations where purchased items don’t arrive.

Contactless Payments 

Contactless payments allow people to make low-value payments quickly and without having to enter a PIN. The option of mobile contactless payment is extremely secure, all card machines need to be registered to a vendor and linked to a bank account before they can charge cards. This means that every transaction is safeguarded and monitored against fraud.

“The use of contactless payments is set to explode over the coming years as both retailers and customers embrace the ease and immediacy NFC provides – it is up to retailers to put measures into place now that ensure data is kept under lock and key.” – Info Security Group

How to Make Secure Payments Online

Below are our tips for making secure payments when shopping online.

Update Your Software 

Making payments online requires that you input sensitive details such as card numbers, addresses, and security codes. So, you need to be mindful of keeping your online payments secure. One of the best ways to do this is to keep the software on your computer and smart devices updated. This is important because the latest software updates contain vital security features that protect your devices from online viruses and hackers, providing an essential extra layer of security.

Be Mindful of Where You Shop 

Not all websites are secure and when you are entering sensitive information, such as your card number and address, it is essential you know that the website or app you are using is secure. A great thing to look out for is the small padlock symbol, usually located in the URL strip at the top of your web browser. This lets you know whether the website is security protected or not. Although it isn’t a ‘catch-all’ solution, it can go a long way in ensuring your online transactions are extra protected.

Use Strong Passwords

Let’s face it, using the same password for everything is super easy, convenient, and means you’re unlikely to forget. However, passwords are often easily stolen, allowing hackers access to many of your online accounts (if not all of them!) To keep your online payments as secure as possible, it is essential to use strong passwords. There are loads of password tools out there that generate random passwords and store them for you. We would highly recommend this to ensure your passwords are as hard to guess as possible – keeping your online information safe and secure.

Utilise Two-Factor Authentication 

Providing two-factor authentication is crucial for ensuring the security of online transactions. Two-factor authentication will secure every login you ever make and will also notify you when it is being accessed from another device. Although it can make payments a little more time consuming (by a couple of seconds), those few seconds could ensure the security of your transaction.

The Most Secure Offline Payment Methods

Cash is a straightforward payment option. You hand over the money and the transaction is complete.


Cash is one of the oldest forms of payment but thanks to digitisation, it is quickly going out of favour amongst younger customers. However, unless society one day becomes completely cashless, cash will still remain one of the most reliable and popular forms of offline payments. One of the many beauties of cash is that it costs nothing to process. It also reduces the likelihood of people spending money they don’t have.


Checks are another very common form of offline payment that are particularly popular with those in the older age brackets. Checks must be processed by your bank before the funds are made available. This means the payment will go through a verification process to ensure you have sufficient funds in your account to pay out the money. If not, the check will bounce. Processing checks can take anywhere from 2 – 5 business days. One of the great things about checks is that if a check gets lost or stolen, it is less likely you will be at a loss than if it was just an envelope of cash.

How to Make Secure Offline Payments

Making secure payments in-person is simpler than online as there are fewer factors to take into account. Below we have listed our top tips for offline payment security.

Keep Passwords and PINs Private 

Never share your passwords or PINs with anyone. No matter how much you trust them, divulging your account information can make you more liable to fraud. You should also be very mindful of people watching while you’re at ATMs or typing your PIN in at the checkout.

Only Carry Cash You Need 

One of the most common causes of theft in the street is someone carrying a lot of cash in their purse at once. To avoid this, we recommend only carrying the cash you need and no more. Not only will it reduce your risks of being stolen from, but it will also help you stay within your budget.

Final Words

Ultimately, whether you prefer making payments on or offline, you must take the appropriate steps to ensure your payments are as secure and protected as possible. With cash, there is less risk of identity theft but with online payments, you are at a higher risk of hackers.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual, what they are purchasing, and the risks they are willing to incur. But we hope this article has given you some great tips for ensuring payment security whether you’re paying on or offline.


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