Criminals stole £844.8 million from online shoppers in 2018, a new report by UK Finance shows. Although banks prevented a further £1.66 billion from being lost, British e-wallets, credit cards and cheque users lost nearly £1 billion.
If you make an online payment regularly, you’re not safe from cyber criminals unless you use secure banking options. That also includes mobile users. As the UK Finance report showed, mobile banking fraud increased by 20% in 2018.
So, what’s the safest payment option for online users?
More than 20 years after its launch, PayPal is still one of the best payment options in 2019. It’s fast, easy to use and works with a host of popular shopping sites throughout the UK.
For your security, PayPal doesn’t share your personal information with anyone. When you initiate a payment to an online store, PayPal processes the deposit instantly.
It also notifies the store you’ve made a transaction so that they can ship your products. But regarding your financial details, only the e-wallet knows about them.
If you transact with multiple websites, PayPal has a system that helps you authorize deposits fast without providing your financial information every time you want to make a payment. And while this makes the e-wallet a convenient option, it also safeguards your data.
Being the most famous e-wallet, PayPal completes payments to nearly all web-based industries. From top betting websites on bookmakers.net to online banks, T-shirt stores to social networks. If you want to make an online payment, you can trust PayPal to facilitate it for you.
Founded in London in 2001, Skrill is arguably the friendliest e-wallet for companies that got turned down by PayPal. The company established as a banking option to transfer gambling wins. But it has since expanded to handle other kinds of payments.
Like PayPal, Skrill has a system called Skrill 1-tap that allows you to authorize deposits to multiple electronic stores by providing your email address and password alone. Your information remains with the e-wallet, so you don’t have to worry about shopping sites learning about your banking passwords.
When it comes to fees, Skrill is cheap for micropayments. It charges 1.9% plus €0.29 for payments less than 20. This is significantly lower than PayPal’s 3% charge. Unfortunately, the costs increase based on the amount, so you could end up paying up to 6% for higher transactions.
For clarity, Skrill charges you for currency conversion and withdrawal to your bank account. It also costs you to send money to other Skrill users. But for top-ups to others sites, the e-wallet is free.
Neteller shares numerous similarities to Skrill. They both have a fondness for partnering with gambling sites. They have near similar fees; they’re fast and operate in over 100 countries. Like Skrill, Neteller also allows you to link your Visa and MasterCard for convenient online shopping.
Neteller charges you 1-8% to transfer money from your credit card to your online account. For deposits to online companies, you pay nothing. Withdrawals from e-commerce stores are also free, but you’ll need to pay up to €25 to process a payment to your bank account.
The e-wallet, however, features lower fees for customers that invest in its Neteller card. Although you’ll be charged conversion fees at times, the card comes with a flat 1.75% withdrawal fee.
When it comes to security, Neteller uses the standard SSL encryption option utilized by nearly all websites these days. It also imposes mandatory login passwords plus two-step authentication for more reliable protection.
#4: Credit and debit cards
Visa and MasterCard have been around since the beginning of the Internet, and they’re still as safe as ever. Nearly all e-commerce sites in the UK accept them. Some banks and shopping stores impose deposit and withdrawal fees for the options. But MasterCard and Visa don’t charge fees.
As veteran banking facilitators, the two credits and debit card options are equipped with military-grade encryption techniques. This helps safeguard your financial information in such a way that only you and banks have access to its.
Despite their high level of security, Visa and MasterCard users are vulnerable to hacking. If you reveal your financial information to the wrong people, your bank account could easily get wiped out.
#5: Wire transfers
Although bank transfers provide the slowest option for depositing money to web-based retailers, they’re an option. Your payment may take up to ten days before it’s confirmed, but you benefit from low transaction fees.
In the UK, most banks charge less than £30 to deposit money to and from online companies. Compared to e-wallets, wire transfers are relatively cheaper for withdrawing significant amounts of cash.
Bank transfers are also safe when used correctly. Like e-wallets, most banks these days don’t reveal your financial details to third party websites Instead, they transact with shopping sites while safe guarding your data. Companies you shop from only get informed how much you’ve deposited so that they give you access to betting services.
#6: Crypto payments
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin—you name them. If you love crypto and occasionally purchase stuff online, you can now top-up your account using digital currencies.
For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies offer one of the securest ways to shop online. Not only are currencies like Bitcoin near hack-proof, but they also give you one-time transaction IDS. This way, you never have to worry about people learning about your payment address.
Bitcoin and its peers were built based on securing online transactions, offering convenience and more power to users. Due to this, they’re hardly regulated by governments. It’s legal, though, to use crypto in the UK.
Some people misuse them to commit crimes and transact illegally on the dark web. Still, digital currencies can be used to purchase nearly anything. From paying fees to buying a sports car, buying tech products to gambling—crypto is a safe, fast and reliable banking option.
With financial fraud increasing in the UK, it’s never been a better time to re-evaluate your online banking accounts. You want payment methods that place security at the top of their priorities. They should also be fast and reliable.
In that case, you have lots of banking options to choose when depositing or withdrawing money from web-based retailers. Choose e-wallets for micropayments. But for significant payments, credit cards and bank transfers are equally reliable alternatives.