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The changing faces of epayments

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69 per cent of all internet users in the European Union regularly shopped online last year, with the average user purchasing a service or product 6 times per month.

E-payments

The growth of online purchases has led to somewhat of a revolution in payment systems.

There are now numerous ways to pay for services and goods on the internet, and all of them come with inherent risks. Hackers and thieves are always looking for new ways to obtains sensitive data and are evolving in line with new payment systems.

Fortunately there is good news; there are some payment systems that are safer, cheaper and more effective to use than others. Here's your exclusive guide to some of the safest payment systems on the market.

PayPal

Established in 1998 PayPal is one of the oldest payment service providers on the internet, and as such has a good reputation for customer satisfaction and safety. PayPal are a third-party payment service provider, meaning that you transfer money from your existing bank account to your PayPal account in order to make purchases or receive payments.

Naturally by doing so you provide yourself with an extra buffer in terms of security. If your PayPal account becomes compromised then the finances kept in your main bank account should remain safe until the issue has been resolved.

Further to this PayPal operates in 202 countries meaning that they offer 24/7 customer support and fraud detection. The PayPal system also gives buyers the same level of assurances and guarantees that you would usually associate with a premium credit card.

If you raise a claim or dispute with PayPal within 180 days of a purchase you will be refunded in full if the item you bought does not match the description or the goods have been damaged in transit.

PayPal has the best security rating of any existing payment service provider on the internet and is an excellent choice if you want to add an extra layer of protection to your online purchases.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency

Most people are wary of paying for products and services with cryptocurrencies after the cautionary tale of Laszlo Hanyecz. In May 2010 the computer programmer purchased two large pizzas from Papa John's and paid with 10,000 Bitcoins.

At the time that was a fair exchange. However, in the past 9 years, the value of Bitcoin has risen dramatically to the point that those 10,000 Bitcoins would now be worth 72 million euros.

The growth is a result of huge industries embracing cryptocurrency – for example, it is now a valid casino payment method, with many leading names allowing customers to bank with bitcoin.

Whilst buying and selling goods with Bitcoin is still risky because of the currencies fluctuating value, there are still good cryptocurrency options out there. Local councils and even governments are now introducing their own licensed cryptocurrencies for two reasons.

Firstly, the security systems for cryptocurrency transfers are vastly superior to standard payment services. Secondly, all transfers made via cryptocurrency are not subject to the same charges and tariffs, meaning transactions can often be cheaper.

Digital Wallets

The loss of a wallet can be one of the most stress inducing events in modern life. All of your payment cards, loyalty cards and sensitive data can be lost in the blink of an eye and quickly end up in the hands of a dishonest person.

That's one of the reasons that more and more people are opting for digital wallets rather than physical ones in their back pockets. Mobile phone technology advancements have led to the rise of payments services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

These services were first designed to be used in lieu of physical card transactions but have now made their way into online transactions. Both Google and Apple securely store your various card details and encrypt them to keep them safe from hackers.

To purchase goods with these payment providers you will have to either enter a unique passcode or use your thumb/finger print. These digital wallets are perfect in that they provide ease and safety to the user in equal measure.

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