The Perils of Storing Credit Card Details on Your Website
As an entrepreneur, making your online shopping experience as easy as pie for your customers is likely high on your list of priorities. The temptation to store credit card details on your website might seem like a no-brainer, promising convenience for return shoppers and quicker transactions for everyone involved. However, there's a snag in this plan. Storing customer credit card details on your own website is rife with risks, and understanding them is crucial to protecting both your customers and your business.
The Risk of Cyber Attacks
In the online world, websites storing credit card information are like honey pots for cyber criminals. These bad guys are experts in their field, and they're constantly on the prowl for vulnerabilities they can exploit. If your website is storing credit card details, it makes you a more enticing target for these criminals.
Imagine this scenario: You own a sweet little online store selling homemade soaps. Business is booming, you're a bit chuffed with your success. But then, out of the blue, your website is breached by a cyber attack. Your customers' credit card details, stored on your website, are now in the hands of someone else. The cost, stress, and damage to your reputation could be catastrophic, and it might take years to recover, if you manage to at all.
Legal Responsibilities and Compliance Issues
There's a lot of red tape around storing credit card information. In many places, it's not just frowned upon, but it's actually against the law without the proper security measures. In Australia, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) sets the guidelines for storing credit card data. Non-compliance could result in hefty fines, not to mention the risk of legal action if data is compromised.
It’s a lot to keep on top of, and unless you have a dedicated team in place to manage it, the task can be daunting and time-consuming. Are you prepared to navigate this tricky legal landscape?
Trust and Reputation
Building trust with your customers is fundamental to the success of your business. If you're known as a business that takes care of its customers, you're more likely to see them coming back and bringing their friends along, too.
Now, let's think about what might happen if your website were hacked and all those credit card details were stolen. Suddenly, the trust you've worked so hard to build can evaporate in an instant. The damage to your reputation could be immense, and regaining that lost trust is no easy feat.
So, if storing credit card details on your eCommerce website is fraught with dangers, what's the alternative? Luckily, there are plenty of payment service providers (PSPs) out there that can take care of this for you. Companies like PayPal, EWay, SecurePay, Stripe and any of the major banks are designed to handle payments securely, so you and your customers can rest easy.
With a PSP, your customers' credit card details are entered via a Payment Gateway directly into a secure system and they never touch your website. This means you're no longer the honey pot for cyber criminals and you won't have to navigate the complex web of legalities and compliance associated with storing credit card information.
While there are fees associated with using these services, the cost is dwarfed by the potential financial and reputational damage caused by a data breach.
While it might seem like a good idea on the surface, storing credit card details on your website is a risk that's not worth taking. The potential for cyber attacks, legal issues and damage to your reputation make it a perilous path. Instead, consider using a reputable Payment Service Provider with a Payment Gateway to handle your online transactions. Not only will this provide a secure shopping experience for your customers but it also keeps your business safe from unnecessary risks.
Remember, in the world of online business, it's not just about providing convenience; it's about providing security and trust.