There has been a significant shift in how business and payment transactions are conducted globally in the last two decades. Conventional methods involved a lot of contact, like visiting a brick and mortar store and paying in cash. Now, you can shop for anything you want online and pay electronically. The growing popularity of e-payments has paved the way for introducing the E-Micropayment System that generally takes care of the small transactions below $5.
As the name suggests, micropayment involves transferring a small amount of money in exchange for goods and services. Such payments are usually below $5 and so are not feasible for credit card companies. However, they are significant to content and service providers because they are mainly payments for streaming multimedia like music and videos, downloading applications, purchasing games, flat-rate subscriptions, pay-per-click, purchasing web-based content, etc.
Usually, the buyer and seller are connected by an intermediary, referred to as a broker. The seller will usually create an account with the broker, set guidelines for accessing and purchasing their items, and provide payment details to the broker to be credited for the sales. The buyer also sets an account with the broker and provides payment info to be invoiced for any purchases.
There are two main types of micropayment systems:
- Online payments
In the case of online micropayments, a seller has to confirm the payment that the buyer has sent to a bank before proceeding to serve the buyer. Popular micropayment systems include MiniPay, NetCash, Millicent and NetBill.
- Offline payments
In offline micropayments, some previously executed operations are used to avoid connecting with the bank online. This way, a lot of costs are avoided by preventing double-spending. A popular offline micropayment system is PayWord.
Security Guide for Your E-Micropayment System
Implement SSL Security
Even though micropayments involve minimal amounts of money per transaction, there is still money changing hands, and wherever this happens, malicious actors like hackers are always interested. Buyers and sellers need to provide their payment details to brokers, which attracts attention from cybercriminals. That is why you need to buy SSL certificates for your micropayment system. SSL security helps encrypt sensitive information such that even if hackers were to intercept the info, it would be useless to them.
When choosing the certificate authority to purchase your certificate from, it’s essential to go with a reputed reseller like SSL2BUY that has been known to offer high-quality certs. Remember that payment systems are the most targeted by hackers, and so they need the best protection. When choosing the certificate type to go with, Wildcard SSL certificates are the best for micropayment systems. They protect your primary domain as well as all related first-level sub-domains.
Work With Reputable Brokers
As stated above, brokers act as the intermediary between buyers and sellers in micropayment systems. Both sellers and buyers need to open accounts with a broker and provide payment details to facilitate invoicing buyers and crediting sellers with sales income. As such, brokers will have access to sensitive, personally identifiable information of both buyers and sellers.
Before settling on a specific broker to work with, it’s crucial to conduct ample research beforehand and check out their reviews online. Ask yourself questions like: How long has the broker operated in the market? Which other renowned sellers work with the broker? Are there any reported security breaches with the broker, and if yes, how were they handled? You can get the best IT Services from Concise for your business.
Implement PCI DSS Regulations
Any modern payment service provider must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). A council in place scrutinizes all the IT infrastructure and complete application level of all payment systems before they are approved. For your micropayment system to succeed, you will need accreditation from this council, and once you have this, you can partner with any reputable brand in the market.
Having a PCI: DSS certificate for your micropayment system confirms that you have indeed fulfilled all the complex requirements needed to gain this approval. This also shows that your system has a high level of process and data security and can be trusted. You will need to meet 12 demanding requirements like installing and maintaining a firewall configuration, not using vendor-supplied defaults such as usernames and passwords, using updated anti-virus programs and so on.
Partnering With Reputable Banks
When micropayments were first introduced to the market, most banks were not quick to embrace them because they felt that this presented unwarranted competition. However, at present and age, these systems are interdependent because each of them offers unique services vital for the success of the other. For instance, most banks and credit card companies don’t process payments below $5, but micropayments do.
A micropayment system needs to partner with banks for processing online payments where a seller needs to confirm the buyer’s payment before serving them. As such, it’s essential to be very careful when choosing the banks to partner with because any security breach on the bank’s side can directly impact your business.
Training Users & Staff On Safety Protocols
Human error is one of the leading causes of most security breaches in the world today. Although people come across security tips like the importance of strong passwords all the time, you will be amazed at how many people still use weak passwords that are easy to guess. It will help if you spread awareness to all users of your micropayment system, such as buyers and sellers and your staff members, to create strong passwords for their accounts.
Enlighten them on other tips like not accessing the micropayment system from public Wi-Fi, keeping all their devices updated with the latest operating systems, software, anti-virus programs and so on.
Micropayments are here to stay. More than ever, people are consuming electronic content than ever before and having to make small payments like purchasing game upgrades, streaming music, etc. If you have a micropayment system, security remains the biggest challenge, so you need to implement the above tips on the safe side.