How Small Businesses Can Secure Their Payment Methods

published Sep 23, 2022
1 min read

Small businesses are more vulnerable to payment issues like fraud and data breaches. In fact, small businesses in the UK were warned earlier this year about an increase in targeted scams. This is due to British businesses having lost a total of £59.2 million to fraud in the first half of 2021.

As a small business, being scammed is a regrettable concern as it takes away hard-earned money. Further, your customers’ data could be stolen, leading you to take responsibility. One way to avoid this is by securing your payment methods. Read the 5 steps you need to follow before choosing payment processing for your startup by

Here’s how you can get started.

What to look for in payment solution providers

PCI-DSS compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a set of security standards that ensure the protection of card transactions. These standards include using antivirus software and maintaining firewalls for payment systems.

As they serve to protect their personal data, these measures can boost customer confidence.

When looking at card payment machines, look for providers that comply with the PCI-DSS by conducting regular vulnerability scans and sending periodic emails for compliance maintenance. To evaluate online payment solutions for your website, make sure they provide regular system updates.

They should also cause a padlock symbol to appear in the address bar of a browser to indicate that your customer’s browsing activities are secure.

Address verification system (AVS)

This is one key feature to look for in any payment solution. An AVS requires cardholders to provide accurate personal information, which must match the billing address on a file. When a match is not detected, it is immediately shown as a fraud.

This prevents criminals from using a stolen card in your business and involving you in their theft.

An AVS is often used in online payments but can also be applied in point-of-sale payments where a card is not present, such as mail order/telephone order payments.


Tokenisation is a process that turns a customer’s payment data into a random string of numbers. Even if hackers gain access to this data, they will be unable to use it. Tokenisation is often used in online and contactless payments like wearable payments, which include the use of mobile phones and smartwatches.

These have been growing recently due to the convenience and added layer of security that they allow for customers. Partnering with providers that use tokenisation methods can help you further secure customer transactions.

Fraud Prevention

What else can you do as a small business?

Keep your payment systems updated

Even if you work with payment solution providers that comply with the aforementioned standards, updating their services is still your responsibility.

An outdated payment method will be more vulnerable to potential cybercrimes. As such, regularly checking for and conducting regular updates will ensure that your customers have access to the latest security patches.

Implement a cybersecurity policy

Small businesses need to follow certain guidelines to prevent threats, especially if they offer digital and online payments. Implementing a cybersecurity policy is the way to go about this. It will contain protocols for you and your employees (should you have any) to maximise protection against cyber threats and actions. To create a cybersecurity policy, analyse the potential risk you face, assess possible threats, and establish realistic goals.

For instance, offering online payments makes you vulnerable to cyberattacks. One procedure to include in your policy is for employees to report the attack to authorities immediately.

Secure payment methods protect you and your customers from any malicious financial activities. You can prevent this from happening by choosing safe payment solution providers, regularly updating your systems, and creating a cybersecurity policy.