Online shopping or e-commerce has become very popular and a vital part of the global retail network. The industry is transforming tremendously, thanks to the improving digital literacy of modern consumers. In fact, it surged during the Covid Pandemic, with sales reaching up to $4.9 trillion worldwide.
However, concerns arise about the safest online payment method due to the increase of cybercrime. For example, many people are turning to a combination of VPN and bitcoin for anonymous transactions online. Thankfully, several options employ the necessary measures to protect your transactions in this digital era. They include;
Paypal is an excellent option to avoid credit/debit card fraud when doing online transactions. It is a safe payment method as it minimizes the number of people who can access your information. For example, you can shop from multiple e-commerce sites, but only PayPal will see your credit card number. This lowers the risks as you will only be worried about a data breach at PayPal and not on the sites you make purchases.
Moreover, unlike other payment methods, PayPal employs robust security features such as end-to-end encryption. Also, it has semi-anonymous payments, as you can create an account with an anonymous email address and a virtual or prepaid debit card.
Unfortunately, you cannot be able to access funds for an unspecified amount of time if a dispute arises in a transaction. This is because the customer support is pretty awful.
- Highly secure payment method
- Accepts multiple financing options
- Useful merchant support features
- Unreliable customer service
PayPay is a convenient method, but not all websites support it. However, credit cards are common and are a secure payment method. Most credit card companies employ essential security features like fraud monitoring and encryption to protect your accounts and personal information. Also, zero fraud liability ensures you are reimbursed in case of fraudulent transactions on your card.
What’s more, when you make a transaction with a credit card, the money does not immediately deduct from your account. Instead, the credit card company will pay for the goods and charge you later. Therefore, you can always contact the issuer if you notice any suspicious activities.
- Secure encryption
- May earn reward points
- Fraud protection
- Impossible to make an anonymous payment
A debit card is another reliable and secure to make payments on the internet. The most significant benefit is that you can only spend the funds in the account, thus helping you control your spending. Also, if you lose your card, the thieves can only access the amount in the account.
Most issuers offer 24/7 fraud monitoring services to protect your online transactions. Also, they use one-time passwords, where only the actual owner can use the card.
- Widely accepted payment method
- Helps to prevent debt
- Does not charge annual fees
- Possible overdrafts funds
A prepaid card works similar to a credit/debit card, and you can pick one from your local gas station, grocery store, or drugstore. However, the major benefit of a prepaid card is that it can hide your identity, and your transactions can remain completely anonymous.
Another advantage is that the card is pre-loaded, which is an excellent way to control your spending. Also, you can reload the card via the Visa app or direct deposit in-store. In fact, you need to have a bank account to use a prepaid card.
- Convenient and anonymous
- Easy to get and use
- Limits overspending
- Many hidden fees
Digital wallets are online platforms that enable you to make transactions through the attached credit/debit card or digital currencies. Typical examples are Apple Pay and Google Pay.
A digital wallet offers contactless transactions for online, in-app, or in-person. It will store your credit card information on your device, so you only need to authenticate your identity when making payments. Thankfully, the merchant will only see the transaction ID and not your credit card number.
Another major benefit of digital wallets is the convenience of paying by phone. This means that you can leave your physical wallet at home and purchase everything you want with a tap on your phone. In fact, you can even pay for the subway with Apple or Google Pay instead of a MetroCard in New York and other major cities.
- Facilitate contactless transactions
- The merchant can’t see your credit card number
- Paying with phone convenience
- Not supported by many online shops
Financial apps are becoming more advanced, blurring the difference between a mobile payment app and a digital wallet. But, essentially, a mobile payment app, like Cash App, Venmo, and Zelle, is designed for sending and receiving money quickly. Also, you can use them to make payments.
The major benefit is that they offer a standalone app for conducting your transactions. Cash App and Venmo allow you to store funds in the app while you must link your Zelle app to a bank account. In addition, Cash App and Venmo provide a physical debit card that is accepted in many stores and ATMs. This is especially helpful if you have a large balance.
On the downside, some mobile payment apps charges for withdrawing to the bank. For example, you will pay a 1.5% fee with Cash App and Venmo for instant transfers. However, you will not pay anything when transferring money with Zelle as it is linked to your bank.
- Send and receive money from your social contacts
- Allow you to maintain balance in the app
- Widely accepted in most online shops
- Withdrawal charges
A cryptocurrency is a virtual digital currency based on a distributed and decentralized ledger known as the blockchain. This is one of the best ways to make online transactions privately and anonymously. Fortunately, it is becoming widely accepted everywhere, unlike before.
Generally, cryptocurrency transactions are more secure because they are decentralized, and all details are recorded in a public ledger. Also, they have the advantage of lower transaction fees.
Unfortunately, general consumers have not fully embraced cryptocurrencies. This is because they are more volatile than other currencies and have a learning curve. Also, there isn’t a way to reclaim your funds if your crypto wallet is hacked, so you should keep it completely safe.
- Quick and straightforward transactions
- Lower transaction fees
- Eliminates intermediaries
- Crypto exchanges and wallets are prone to cyberattacks
Online shopping offers the convenience of buying whatever you want from the comfort of your home at any time. Also, you can compare prices on different websites to get the most affordable price. However, cybercriminals target online transactions, so your funds and details may not be safe. Thankfully, the above online payment methods are secure and widely accepted.