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From consumers to businesses, the world is moving to onlinepayment systems. Despite the fact that the technology has improvedover the past decades, concerns about security remain. For everynew electronic payment option, criminals will try to hack it andobtain users’ personal data. For small business owners, thechallenges of security are doubled – you have to ensure that bothyour customers’ and your company’s data remains safe.

The advent of paperless invoicing and online payment acceptancehas opened up a whole new world for small business owners. In thepast, time-consuming hurdles such as mail delivery of checks, bankclearance and delinquent accounts limited the speed oftransactions. While those problems have yet to be entirelyeliminated, the speed with which online and electronic transactionscan be completed has revolutionized the time frame for gettingpaid.

Plenty of vendors offer ways for small businesses to collect payments, but not all are created the same – and it canbe difficult to know who to trust in the ever-growing field ofcompanies that are clamoring to provide those services. That’s whyit’s essential to find out how you can accept payments with thehighest level of security.

The smartest choice is often opting to work with a trusted,renowned company with a long track record. One online paymentacceptance and invoicing option, AcceptPay, is offered by American Express OPEN and is equippedwith industry-leading payment security.

By offering your customers features like secure log-ins, dataencryption and secure information transfer and storage, you’llinstantly make them feel more comfortable. And as more people arebecoming savvy about what to look for in a secure site, you need tooffer processing that is performed by SSL (Secured Socket Layer) -a common tip-off for this is seeing “https” in their browser’saddress bar.

Doing a bit of extra homework that goes beyond those checklistitems is a good idea, as well. Above all, make sure whatever systemyou choose is compliant with Payment Card Industry Data SecurityStandards (PCI DSS), as AcceptPay is. An added layer of protection,in the form of Intrusion Detection Service (IDS) is among thelatest defenses against stealthy, malicious and suspicious networkactivity and it alerts you to any attempt to access your network byunauthorized third parties.

The benefits of getting paid faster through online transactions only go as faras the level of security your business can offer its customers. Ifyour system is insecure and your customers (or your own accounts)fall prey, your gains are instantly null. To protect the future ofyour small business, you have to start by protecting your customerswith a secure online payment system.