How to make online payments safely

Thanks to the spread of e-commerce sites, online payment has become a daily routine. Through the Internet you can both sell and buy goods and services of all kinds and when you get to the payment you are always a little 'perplexed about the reliability of the site and the difficulty of payment in a practical sense. It is often thought to mistake the procedure and to incur in some danger not protecting the own interests.

As a result of the covid-19 many are the Italians that have privileged the purchases online and, regarding the last year, we can say with certainty that the customers of the virtual stores are increased. It is legitimate to wonder if it is safe to make payments online and in what way we can protect ourselves. In fact, the Postal Police always suggests to keep up to date, the latest version, the antivirus of your devices, to verify that the online store is real, that it has VAT number and to read the feedback and reviews of other customers. It is important to know if we can have information about the traceability of our packages and the mode of delivery. As a main tip we suggest you avoid opening links and believe emails in junk mail, which promise winnings of all kinds. Even the Pentagon has been attacked by hackers, and we want to say that no one should think they are unassailable, but we must keep our guard up by following a few precautions.

When you want to make an online purchase and consequently make an online payment, the first thing to do is to evaluate the site or the app if they are safe or dangerous sites. If the site has a closed padlock symbol, this is meant to indicate that it follows the protocol that controls and protects the transmission of sensitive data. The acronym is "https" and it means "hypertext transfer protocol over secure socketlayer". After verifying the trustworthiness of the site or app, make sure you are using a secure payment system. Not all sites already with their name, such as Amazon, provide a guarantee to the customer. In fact, in order to verify the reliability of the site or app, you must first document yourself by examining all the forums or checking the social channels, but above all, you must read the opinions of users that will help a lot in the choice.

What are the safest online payments?

Where online payments are concerned, let's try to draw up a list of the best and, above all, safest methods to use. Let's start with the Post Office prepaid credit card, the famous Postepay. It is one of the most used cards in Italy, especially by young people. You can use it as a means of payment, but also to receive money from other people who are in possession of the same card. For the management of the card, the Italian Post Office has created an app, which also allows the P2P service, to transfer money from one card to another. Exchanges of sums of money less than €25 are free, with larger sums the fee is €1.

After installing the app, available free of charge for both iOS and Android, you will need to enter your credentials to access the home banking of the Italian Postal Service. By clicking on "enable" and following the subsequent instructions, you should arrive at the main screen of the app. From here all you have to do is enter the P2P area, enter the amount to be sent and select the contact who is to receive the sum of money. The operation will be concluded only after entering your PosteID code. If the operation does not end, one of the probabilities is that your recipient has not yet enabled the operations of his Postepay or even that he does not have it. In this case you can communicate the tax code and the number of the Postepay and make a simple recharge.

Online payments with the credit card

The credit card is issued by a bank and is characterized by a device that allows you to recognize the personal data of the owner and the bank itself that issues the money. Online payments can also be made by credit cards if you do not have a Postepay, through a transfer to the account or through the home banking system. In this case the procedure is very simple: you need to know the IBAN code of the person who sold us the good or service, write a reason for the transfer of money and mark the amount to be paid. To make an international transfer directly from your current account there may be costs, albeit minimal, provided by your bank. The amount will be credited to the account within 24 or 48 working hours after the transfer.

Prepaid cards for online payments

As well as credit cards, the bank also provides prepaid cards, which are linked to the same IBAN code. Prepaid cards must be recharged before you can make a payment. In order to make online payments, we recommend the use of prepaid cards that have a sum of money inside that corresponds to the recharge made by you previously. Thus, in case of cloning of sensitive data, you will lose only the amount of money that is inside the prepaid card, leaving intact the entire balance of the bank account. Usually these prepaid cards that banks provide, before making an online payment require confirmation of payment through an app that will send a notification directly to your smartphone.

You will be able to verify the data reported and then, if everything is ok, give the confirmation. At that point you can go back to the website and verify that the payment was successful. Other apps create a code that you have to enter before making the last click and making the payment. Or our prepaid card is linked to our phone number and immediately after an online payment, a reminder message will arrive with the amount spent. We can say that prepaid cards can be the best way for online payments, because as mentioned above, in case of fraud you will lose only the amount charged before the purchase. The only drawback of prepaid cards are small costs every time you make a recharge. We can say that the average cost is around 0.50 cents.

How to pay online with PayPal

Another method to make online payments is using the PayPal account. We can call it the intermediary between the bank and our seller. This account is a financial service that allows you to send or receive a sum of money almost instantly.  For this method you only need an email address and a special link. In fact, all those who will make a payment through Paypal, will have the opportunity to keep their personal data hidden. Its reliability is guaranteed by the PayPal program for the protection of those who buy. Through this program it is guaranteed, for the owner of the account, a total refund of the expense, with annexed the shipping costs if the good purchased was delivered broken, or has never been delivered, or if the good does not correspond to the description that had been indicated.

To transfer the money received through PayPal, you can also combine a credit card or bank account. Payments can then be made directly by withdrawing money from the associated card. The money transfer takes about 48 hours, if it is done through credit cards. If instead the PayPal account is associated with a prepaid card that is managed by Lottomatica Servizi, it will be automatic. The fastest way to pay with PayPal is using its app, available for Android and iOS. Downloaded the app, the first thing to do is to enter the login credentials of the account and if you have also activated the two-factor authentication, you'll have to enter the code you received by message. If you need to receive money, on the top right you will see an image of a gear and clicking on it you will have to select "" and put a check mark next to your personal link to allow you to receive sums of money.

Bank transfer online payments

Bank or postal transfer is a very safe method, since it allows you to track the payment in case of fraud. Being a slow method, because the amount of money takes a few days to be loaded, it is not the preferred method in case of electronic commerce and for this reason the good or service you bought will need more time before arriving at your home. The shipment starts only after the seller receives the amount of money in their account.

Online Payments with Cash on Delivery

Another secure method for online payments is Cash on Delivery. Unlike the other methods of payment mentioned so far, this one allows you to pay the moment the goods you bought arrive at your home. Many sellers, however, do not provide payment by cash on delivery. Many times it also has a higher cost than the other methods of payment online.

In the future there will surely be new methods to make payments online, but at the moment we can identify as the safest methods PayPal and payment by a prepaid credit card.