Digital technology never stops amusing us and you must have seen how revolutions taking place in the field of digital payments have made your lives easier. But everything comes up with its share of cons. When security is compromised in case of digital payments, the chances of cybercrime increase.
Falling prey to cybercrime and losing hard-earned money is a nightmare! Safety must become very important when you make official payments online or else you could end up losing your money. In this article, we are going to tell you how you can make official payments safely.
Here is what you will find in this article:
- Ways to Make Official Payments Safely
- Precautions You Must Take for Official Payments
Let’s get started.
Ways to Make Official Payments Safely
Not every payment platform that you come across is safe. Even if any platform offers you lucrative deals for making official payments through their portal consider whether it is safe or not. Here are some modes you can opt to for making official payments safely:
Making official payments through a debit card is cost-effective and safe. The amounts that you utilize for carrying out official payments are deducted directly through the bank account linked to your card.
The advantage with debit cards is that most of the banks provide zero liability protection to its debit cardholders which means that in case any fraudulent activity is detected on your card, you need not pay for the same and thus, your funds remain protected. Further, you might have noticed how sometimes your card issuer company gives you a call regarding a transaction from your card which they find “suspicious”. This is another reason why debit cards are safe because the card issuers provide strong fraud monitoring services to minimize the chances of fraud on your card.
Credit cards are not only convenient to use but also a safe medium for making official payments. They are not directly linked to your bank account unlike debit cards and the money that you utilize through your card is deducted from your card limit and an immediate deduction is not made from the bank account. Instead, it is a pay later service which means that your bank sends you a periodic credit card statement for the payment after you have made the payments through your card.
The reason that credit cards are safe is that they are backed up by a strong security feature. Also, in case you have made a wrong transaction for your official payments, you can contact the card issuer and request a reversal.
To ensure funds are received in the correct account some organizations make use of wire transfers to receive payments. Wire transfer payments involve a transfer of the funds electronically through a network of financial institutions. If you want to make official payments via a wire transfer then you can request your bank i.e. remitting bank to make the payment to the account of the recipient organization. The remitting bank would require you to furnish certain details such as name, bank account number of the recipient, and amount to be transferred.
The wire transfers ensure that the payment is transmitted to the bank account of the desired recipient and thus, it becomes a very safe option to make official payments. You need not worry about cyber frauds on account of wire transfers since banks remit the amount as per the details that you provide to them.
Alternative Payment Services
You might have heard of at least one of these payment methods namely Paypal, Skrill, Google Wallet, Payoneer, Wepay, and so on. All these are third-party payment services and they are known as alternative payment services since they serve as an alternative to credit and debit cards. Each of such services has its unique application through which the payment gets transferred.
These payment alternatives are safe since the service providers don’t ask for any personal information apart from email id. Thus, you can make your official payments through them without sharing any personal details.
Unified Payment Interface (UPI)
This is a very popular method for making any digital payment and not just official payments. The UPI interface allows you to make payments to the receiver’s bank account without requiring you to share your debit or credit card details. Sounds an easy and safe way, right!
Precautions You Must Take for Official Payments
When making official payments through a credit card, make sure that the website that you transact through is secure. The best way to ensure that the website is secure is to run a check on VPN review sites to arrive at the best VPN to deploy while searching through such websites.
There are some other features that you can check to ensure that the website is safe. This includes checking for the letters “https:” and not “http:” in the URL of the website and ensuring the presence of a small padlock image which is found at the top left-hand side. Further, if you feel that any suspicious transaction has taken place through your credit card which you haven’t carried out then make sure that you notify the same to your credit card company so that they can block your card and help you with the matter.
Your debit card shall have the feature of one-time-passwords, known as OTP, instead of a simple transaction password. This helps you prevent any fraud on your transaction since you need OTPs to complete the transactions. The passwords are usually sent by the card companies through a mail or mobile SMS. If this option is not yet available on your debit cards consider connecting with your card issuer to make necessary changes to your transaction options.
Here is another tip when it comes to debit cards. There are prepaid debit cards that you can use for making official payments. This way only a certain amount is in use and the rest remains safe in your bank account. Also, no matter how convenient it may seem, do not save your card details on any digital platform.
Wire transfers are a very safe option and hence you need to only ensure that the organization to whom you need to make official payments provides you their correct account details otherwise the payment can fail. You would then require to get the payment done again after getting the correct bank details which can get cumbersome.
Alternative Payment Services
As we have stated earlier, alternative payment services do not require you to share your personal details. So if you use any platform make sure the platform doesn’t require you to share your personal details regarding debit or credit cards or otherwise. Also, don’t share your login credentials with others.
Just like alternative payment services, UPI platforms don’t require you to share any card details with either the bank or the third party. You should restrict yourselves from sharing any sensitive banking data with anyone.
Taking precautions can help you save yourself from the financial loss and the stress that you might face if your cybersecurity is compromised and fraud occurs. Don’t let anyone hamper cybersecurity and make sure that you make official payments through trusted sources only.
How sustainable AI improves the triple bottom line
An investment in green AI enables financial services firms to align people, profit, and planet
By Nick Dale, EVP business development, Verne Global
Green investing is widely regarded as a mega trend, with chief executive Larry Fink of BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, stating, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”
The recent seismic shift in public opinion about climate change has not only increased attention on the sustainability and societal impact of investing in a company, it’s also influencing the decisions being made in finance industry boardrooms overall, whether that’s implementing innovative business models or adopting new partnerships and technologies. However, as business leaders strive to make green choices, many are unaware of the hidden environmental costs of the technologies they are employing.
AI in the finance industry
The use of AI has become ubiquitous across industry sectors, and is now an integral part of the technologies being used in financial services, from optimising asset portfolios and underwriting loans to assessing risks.
AI is especially beneficial for things like quantitative trading, which uses large data sets to identify patterns that can then inform strategic trades. AI’s machine learning models can analyse vast and complex data and make predictions accordingly. But AI models are not only data-hungry, they are power hungry.
Supercomputers train and test mountains of data for AI models, and can run 24-hours a day, for hours, days, or even weeks. These applications consume huge amounts of energy, and as AI technology continues to grow and develop, the computations behind it are also increasing in size and complexity. The carbon emissions from training a single AI model for language translation is roughly equivalent to 125 round-trip flights from New York to Beijing (AI Now 2019 Report).
The carbon cost of AI becomes even higher when you factor in the energy required to keep the computing equipment housed in data centres cool – overheating can impact performance and damage equipment. As a result, in a conventional data centre, at least 40% of all energy consumed goes towards cooling.
But sustainable AI is possible if financial services organisations take positive steps to minimise its environmental impact.
Minimising AI’s carbon footprint
Location, location, location
Many tech giants are committing to reducing their carbon footprint, with Amazon pledging to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024, and Google investing in data centres in Nordic countries specifically for better energy efficiency.
This is because in the Nordics, data centres are largely powered by renewable energy sources. Iceland, in particular, uses 100% renewable hydroelectric and geothermal power – with no nuclear power sources – and is connected to a reliable power grid. These renewable energy sources are much less harmful to the environment because, unlike fossil fuels, they don’t cause pollution and don’t generate greenhouse gases. Not to mention, renewable energy is based on natural resources that can be replenished within an average human lifetime, as compared to fossil fuels, which can take thousands—or even millions—of years to replace.
Over 80% of compute doesn’t need to be near the end-user, and in those situations, choosing data centre locations in cool climates has a significant impact on carbon emissions. AI compute can be located in places like Iceland, which can utilise all-year-round, free cooling due to its temperate climate.
Data centres that are located in hot climates, like Arizona in the US, require high-powered cooling systems in operation around the clock. With average high temperatures of 40° Celsius in the summer, these data centres can use up to 4 million gallons of water a day to absorb heat through evaporation into cooling towers. Consequently, when location doesn’t hamper performance or accessibility, housing AI compute in data centres with natural cooling is a no-brainer.
Energy efficient and cost-effective
Many in the financial sector have traditionally viewed sustainability as a trade-off between profit and planet, but when it comes to green AI, financial services firms can have it both ways. By housing the servers that train AI models in data centres powered by renewable energy sources, businesses can substantially reduce energy expenses and benefit from long-term, fixed pricing.
And when renewable energy sources are combined with year-round, cool climates, the energy demands and costs of AI can be dramatically reduced. AI is here to stay, but by making the right choices, companies in the finance sector can still drive profitability whilst making real and measurable progress on sustainability.
Survey of IT decision makers exposes the increased pressures IT organisations face amidst covid-19
Independent Survey Uncovers the Limitations Traditional IT Infrastructure Imposes, Exacerbated by a Remote Workforce
Nebulon, Inc.®, the pioneer of Cloud-Defined Storage, released today the results of an independent survey completed by IT decision makers at 500 companies in the IT, financial services, manufacturing, retail, distribution and transport industries across the UK, US, Germany and France. Conducted in June of this year, the survey exposes the biggest challenges enterprises face in transforming their on-premises application storage environments, which have only been exacerbated during this COVID-19 era. While IT organisations cite multiple restrictions, the survey reveals limited infrastructure automation and high CAPEX as the most significant challenges for those deploying enterprise storage array technology, forcing them to re-examine IT spending and operations even more so than usual amidst the pandemic.
While increasing automation and reducing costs may seem like mainstream initiatives for any large organisation, the pandemic and resulting workforce restrictions mandate significant progress in days or weeks, versus months or quarters. The results of the survey, undertaken by Vanson Bourne, further reinforce this as respondents also highlighted their on-premises application storage environments are difficult to maintain, and reveal that they lacked the in-house expertise necessary to manage them. Even more disconcerting, respondents indicate that their traditional external storage arrays are not suited to handle new workloads, including containers and NoSQL databases. This is unsurprising as modern workloads have been architected for local versus shared storage resources.
British IT decision makers specifically ranked “expensive” highest, with 57% making this one of their top three challenges, followed by “time consuming to maintain” (50%) and “difficult to automate at scale” (49%). Respondents from smaller organisations (1,000-2,999 employees) were more likely to mark “lack of in-house expertise” highly compared to larger organisations (3,000+employees) (59% compared to 31%) while these larger companies were more likely to consider cost a top challenge (61% compared to 35%).
“The impact of the pandemic is forcing CIOs worldwide to reconsider their operations,” said Siamak Nazari, Co-Founder and CEO of Nebulon, Inc. “Reducing costs through server-based storage alternatives without the restrictions of hyperconverged infrastructure, and reducing operating cost pressure through cloud-based management of the application storage infrastructure are crucial initiatives for IT organisations looking to survive this new normal.”
For companies with a growing class of mission-critical data that cannot or should not move to the public cloud, Cloud-Defined Storage is an alternative to expensive storage arrays, offering enterprises a cloud-managed, server-based approach for mission-critical storage. By combining a cloud-based control plane, called Nebulon ON, with server-based storage that is powered by the Nebulon Services Processing Unit (SPU), Nebulon enables organisations to reduce cost for enterprise storage by up to half without compromising on enterprise data services. This is made possible by Nebulon’s unique architecture that makes use of commodity SSDs in industry standard servers, Ethernet in favour of Fibre Channel, and by eliminating operational complexities by moving management to Nebulon ON with an as-a-service model.
Nebulon ON uses AI to analyse application workloads during operations, provides actionable recommendations for IT organisations and provides a single API endpoint that greatly streamlines automation at-scale. Customisable application templates, tailored for customer’s application clusters, eliminate the guesswork in configuring infrastructure and produce repeatable, reliable infrastructure services for modern, mission-critical workloads. With the architectural and operational simplicity of Cloud-Defined Storage, application owners gain a self-service infrastructure provisioning that is unmatched with existing on-premises storage solutions.
“IT organisations have been seeking a cost-effective alternative to external storage arrays for years,” said Nazari. “With our Cloud-Defined Storage offering, they finally have the opportunity to reduce costs while also deploying a self-service solution for application owners that also reduces the operational burden.”
Are you ‘prescribing’ the right security solution to your merchants?
By Sandra Higgins, Chief Marketing Officer at Sysnet Global Solutions, draws parallels between taking multivitamins for the body to keeping small businesses ‘healthy’ using an all-in-one security solution
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating the right food, taking regular exercise, and maintaining a positive mindset are key. However, despite these best intentions and practices, you still might not get all the nutrients your body needs to ensure it is working as effectively as possible. To combat this, a doctor might suggest taking a daily multivitamin as an insurance policy, to guarantee the body gets all the minerals and vitamins it needs, avoiding any shortfalls. Makes sense, right?
This same logic can be applied to businesses and the importance of cybersecurity and compliance solutions, especially in the current climate and the risks associated with remote working. Like a doctor prescribing a multivitamin to help their patients’ minds and bodies function effectively, in the same way, acquirers can offer security ‘prescriptions’ to help merchants keep on top of business health. The prescription is then deployed by a security software provider, much like a pharmacy would, dispensing the multivitamin of data security services and tools to help keep businesses in good health.
Just what the doctor ordered
With a wide variety of data security and compliance solutions available, like the streams of vitamins you see on pharmacy shelves, smaller businesses can often become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of available tools and may forego sourcing their business ‘medication’ altogether.
Taking the stress out of trying to understand what the business needs, it’s an acquirer’s responsibility to prescribe one solution that allows merchants to stay security fit and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed at the choice available. That way, merchants don’t end up buying the wrong solutions or supplementary add-ons at additional cost, that they don’t actually need.
The benefits of an all-in-one solution
Like with medicine, merchants need to know the long-term benefits of prescriptions before administering it, and with an all-in-one solution, the benefits are vast. In addition to easy compliance with payments standards such as PCI DSS and access to security tools that are appropriate to business set-up, other benefits of all-in-one security solutions include;
- Increased energy levels. With business security taken care of, business owners will have more time to focus on what matters, giving them more energy to run other areas of the business.
- Reduced fatigue. If a business has to work hard to manage its security levels, or its owner is losing sleep over not managing it at all, resulting in overdrive just to perform simple tasks, being compliant with regulations, like the PCI DSS standard, becomes much harder.
- Long-term healthy lifestyle. By taking an all-in-one security solution, businesses will become ‘compliance and security fit’. Everything will run more efficiently, without security issues slowing things down and preventing a business from moving forward.
- Improved mood. Certain studies have shown that a daily multivitamin has positive effects on a person’s mood and emotional well-being. Not having to think so much about security and compliance lifts a burden and has the same effect – business owner don’t feel guilty about not paying it enough attention and there’s no need to worry about breaches or facing fees from not being PCI compliant.
- Reduced stress and anxiety. Similar to having an improved mood, by simply attending to security matters, businesses will have one less thing to worry about.
Strength in numbers
Not only is there a multitude of long-term benefits attached to having a fully managed data security solution prescribed by acquirers, allowing businesses to be faster, simpler and more profitable, it also means that costs are kept low. Many people buy vitamins in bulk to help share the cost with family or close friends. By buying security tools at scale, costs are kept down for merchants. This means that when a business is weighing up their budgets, they can be sure their compliance and security cost is entirely affordable.
When buying a multivitamin, customers will likely buy from a reputable brand so that you can rely on the quality and effectiveness of the daily dose, as reputable multivitamin providers undergo meticulous analysis and rigorous quality controls during the manufacturing process. In the same vein, humans wouldn’t want a substandard multivitamin for their own body, so businesses wouldn’t expect this from an acquirer’s prescription.
Easy to consume
Multivitamins can provide patients with numerous health benefits but the biggest benefit of all is having these solutions in one place. It makes it easier to ensure the body gets all it needs to stay healthy. It is the same thing for businesses. Taking a security ‘multivitamin’ will greatly take the stress out of addressing compliance and security, and provide a business with more time to focus on other pressing tasks. If small businesses, in particular, can get into the habit of taking a regular multivitamin, a straightforward all-in-one solution, to address compliance and security at their business, they will be more open to trying other things too that may lead to an evolution of the business.
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