Online Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

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Nothing brings out the best in humanity more than Christmas. With tidings of comfort and joy, the spirit of the season encourages us to open our pocketbooks to those in need, volunteer our time to worthwhile causes, and be appreciative for all the blessings that family and friendship bestow upon us. It truly is a magical time of year.

Despite these warm feelings, in 2017, online fraud attempts increased by an astounding 22% during the holiday season. In North America, fraud was highest on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, with the average fraudulent transaction valued at just over $220 USD. In 2016, 1 out of every 97 transactions was fraudulent, while in 2017, this number increased to 1 out of every 85 transactions.

With 2018 holiday e-commerce sales expected to grow by 16% this year to $124 billion, the importance of embracing good online safety habits is paramount to preventing any undesirable surprises in January. Tips abound for keeping yourself safe online, but if you follow our simple recommendations, you can remain confident that your private information will be kept safely out of the hands of unscrupulous cybercriminals determined to ruin your holiday season.

Online Shopping Safety Tips

Before you enter your payment information on an e-commerce site, look for an SSL Certificate. It’s a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to its server. You can verify a website’s SSL Certification in a few ways:

1) Look for the addition of an “S” to the “http://” at the beginning of a site’s URL.

2) Look for visual cues such as a lock symbol and green colour in the site’s address bar.

3) Look for the addition of security seals during the checkout process. These seals are recognized marks which provide evidence that a retailer’s identity has been verified. Common security seals include Norton, McAfee, and TRUSTe.

4) For additional security, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when you browse the internet. VPNs allow you to create a secure connection to another network, encrypting your data and shielding your activity from cybercriminals.

Social Media Safety Tips

Most social media criminals utilize phishing scams to trick you into divulging sensitive personal information. Whether it’s fake messages asking you to verify your credit card and bank information, fake links which when clicked on download malware onto your phone or computer, or fake discounts which offer you irresistible offers in exchange for your private information, social media sites are awash with fraudulent activity. To remain one step ahead of cybercriminals, follow these simple practices:

1) Closely manage your privacy settings by ensuring that your posts are only shared with friends and family.

2) Be selective when accepting a friend. Try to only “friend” people you know in the real world.

3) Be very careful when clicking on social media links. You should be wary of offers with the word “free” in them or offers that sound too good to be true even if they are from your friends.

4) Never respond to social media messages from people you don’t know.

5) Don’t reveal private information through social media and always be suspicious of anyone who asks for your personal information online.

6) Be on the lookout for donation scams. Many criminals try to take advantage of your generosity by using fake charity requests. Don’t click on links in emails requesting donations. Instead contribute to the organization by navigating directly to their website.

Email Safety

Like social media, email is a perfect medium for executing phishing scams. To keep yourself safe, don’t blindly click on embedded links in emails. Although the URL from these links may appear to be from a reputable and familiar site, they can redirect you to a fake site that looks almost identical to the official one. If the email looks suspicious, either delete it or navigate directly to the website using your preferred search engine.

 

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We understand the importance of excellent security. That is why SolidTrust Pay will never ask for your personal account information through email or social media. Please leave us your comments below and if you enjoyed this post, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates, and more great content!

 


Why You Need to Upgrade Your Wallet to an eWallet

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In a previous blog post, we briefly toured the burgeoning world of alternative payment methods, an industry that has overtaken credit cards as the dominant online payment method for consumer goods and services. Already, alternative payment methods account for just over 50% of global online retail payments, up 3% from 2016. This represents a momentous shift in how we transact with one another. For much of human history, bartering dominated exchanges, with the first coin being minted in 600 BCE by King Alyattes in Lydia, which is now part of Turkey. Coins slowly evolved into banknotes in the 17th century, while the first universal credit card, which could be used at more than on establishment, was introduced by Diners Club in 1950.

Today, we are witnessing another transformation as digital wallets are quickly becoming the preferred payment method for millions of consumers. Termed eWallets, they offer us the opportunity to perform mobile payments, instantly send money to family and friends, pay bills, purchase goods and services, and even dabble in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. As an emerging technology, we are seeing a proliferation of eWallet providers, with consumers under the age of 30 intensifying demand. A recent report compiled by American Express singled out Millennials and Generation Z’ers as drivers of eWallet adoption, with more than 33% of Millennials engaging with their smartphones “more than anything else.”

But this raises an important question, why are eWallets heralded as the future of commerce? Three reasons stand out.

1) eWallets exemplify transparency. They render every transaction completely traceable, with each dollar exchanged being logged into your eWallet account statement and ready for you to view at your convenience on your smartphone or tablet.

2)  In one word, safety. Digital wallets use authentication, live monitoring, and data encryption to secure your personal information. For these reasons, many experts consider banking on mobile devices to be more secure than traditional online banking, as mobile operating systems make use of “sandboxing architecture” which isolates individual apps from malicious malware.

3) Digital wallets are fast and easy to use. With an eWallet, online payments can be made in just a few easy clicks and all your credit cards and banking information can be stored in one account, meaning that you won’t have to waste time filling out endless boxes with your payment details every time you make an online purchase.

eWallets and Small Business

Business owners will have the most to gain from adopting a comprehensive eWallet solution tailored to their business needs. As digital wallets and cryptocurrencies become increasingly popular, merchants that do not accept digital payment options will be negatively impacted as consumers look elsewhere for their purchases. This is why prioritizing your customer’s preferred payment method cannot be overlooked. At SolidTrust Pay, we are more than a convenient online eWallet and payment services gateway, we have over 12 years of experience helping merchants drive growth through the integration of bespoke e-commerce payment solutions.

 

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Which is your favourite eWallet? Let us know in the comments below or on our official SolidTrust Pay Facebook page. Also, if you enjoyed this post, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news, updates, and more great content!


Welcome to the Age of the eWallet

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Today, we are witnessing the explosive growth of alternative payment methods. In 2017, alternative payment providers were responsible for more than 50% of global e-commerce sales, a figure that experts agree will continue to climb. If you still think that cash, debit cards, and credit cards are the only way to pay for your good and services, then let me introduce you to eWallets.

An electronic wallet, or eWallet, is best understood as a virtual cashless service which can replace hard cash notes and bank issued credit and debit cards. Whether you’re sending money to the other side of the world or simply across the room, transactions are completed in a matter of seconds. From inexpensive inter-bank transfers, to smartphone payment apps and local card schemes, eWallets are dominating the alternative payment marketplace.

Easy to use and set-up, eWallets are the fastest growing payment method in the world. SolidTrust Pay, Alipay, Qiwi and PayPal are all examples of popular eWallet providers. China is currently home to the world’s largest share of online shoppers using eWallets, while the majority of online shoppers in Mexico, Italy, and Spain have already turned to digital payment services to complete their transactions, shunning credit cards in favour of the versatility inherent in eWallet platforms.

The popularity of eWallets among consumers presents a unique opportunity for businesses. With over 300 different types of payments in the world of e-commerce, it is vital for entrepreneurs to understand their customers’ preferred payment methods. The most common alternative payment methods are bank transfers, direct debits, eWallets, mobile payments, local card schemes, pre-pay, post-pay, and eInvoices.

Popular Alternative Payment Methods

Bank Transfers

Online: Customers use their online or real-time banking information to transfer money with immediate online authorization.

Offline: Enables your customers to make an offline payment by using a payment reference (authorization is delayed).

eWallets

Easy to use, this is the fastest growing payment method in the world and increasingly popular across all sectors.

Direct Debits

These are primarily low-value or predictable recurring transactions such as subscriptions.

Mobile

Direct Carrier Billing: Increasingly important in developing markets such as Africa, this is a quick and simple payment method whereby shoppers simply provide their phone number.

Mobile Wallets: There is a growing choice of mobile wallet payment options that operate in your local country or territory. Few are capable of global reach yet.

Local Card Schemes

These schemes often operate like traditional cards but, in most cases, only in specific domestic markets. Some are more sophisticated, for example, offering card and bank transfer options.

Pre-Pay

Customers are required to buy a card or voucher before starting a transaction. These payment types are usually authorised immediately.

Post-Pay

When your customer buys a product or service online, they pay for it later at an affiliated outlet or store. In most cases, the delay between the initial transaction and settlement means this will not work if you are selling perishable goods and time-sensitive purchases, such as travel tickets.

eInvoices

Your customer pays for their goods after delivery without sharing credit card or bank details.

Source: worldpay.com/sites/default/files/Worldpay-APM-Brochure-EN-u18.pdf

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Customer Service Disruption

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, it’s Training Day!

On Thursday, December 13th, all SolidTrust Pay employees will be undergoing compliance and security training in an effort to better serve you. As a result, our Live Chat will be unavailable on this day, but you will still be able to leave a support ticket for us at any time.

Please also be aware that document verification review times will be affected.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.