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Online and virtual payments are an integral part of the world we live in and right now the choice of services for consumers is wider than ever. Whether you choose Apple Pay or Paypal, Credit Card or Google, the checkout may depend on the whims of convenience or brand recognition. But in fact, your first consideration should always be security. The nightmare of having your sensitive data compromised and your bank account drained is something none of us want to experience.

So to help you choose which payment service to use when buying goods, entertainment or other services online, here is a rundown of the most popular and the security measures that make them safe for you.

1. Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a relatively new addition to the online payments market, but it is gaining ground rapidly as more big brands add it to their cashier. It is also a very secure payment option. The service lets you pay for both in-store and online purchases using your mobile device instead of a physical credit or debit card. 

All you have to do is save your card details into the Apple Wallet and choose Apple Pay during checkout. 

Various security levels include fingerprint or facial recognition, or your device may require a passcode. That makes Apple Pay much safer to use than your physical card. Indeed, if someone steals your phone, they would need to pass several security layers, including biometric authentication, before seeing your card details. 

While the payment method is one of the safest, the downside is that Apple Pay is not yet universally accepted. 

Android users also have similar payment options in the form of Google Wallet and Google Pay.

2. Google Checkout

Google Checkout is an eWallet that allows users to pay for goods and services through their Google account. 

A combination of Apple Pay and PayPal, Google Checkout also offers several layers of protection. Certified as Level 1 Payment Card Industry compliant, Google Checkout is one of the most secure networks for credit card transactions. It also utilizes SSL technology for all data transmissions, while digital signatures and API authentication add further safety. 

Just like PayPal, Google Checkout offers strong fraud and chargeback protection to buyers.

3. Credit card

With most websites offering credit or debit card payment options, using a physical card to pay online is very frequent. If you want to pay with a physical card, choosing the credit card is the best option. 

Unlike debit cards, credit cards have a secure nature because you’re not making payments with your own funds. It is the card issuer that pays initially, which means you have better margins to get your money back in case of fraud.

Remember, though, that it is only recommended to pay with a credit card on secure sites – look for a padlock next to the domain name or check out if there is an https before the domain name before submitting any payment details. 

It could also be a great idea to use VPNs when deciding to make online purchases with your physical credit card.

4. PayPal

Launched over two decades ago, PayPal is now one of the most popular payment services in the world, available everywhere from auction sites like eBay to ticket sellers, and frequently as an online casino payment option. Its strengths include ease of use, fast processing, and easy integration with most eCommerce platforms.

PayPal has a system that allows consumers to authorize payments without sharing their debit or credit card details with the merchant as they pay. Like Google Checkout, it is both secure and encrypted. Furthermore, the service uses data servers to scan your browser and make sure you’re using the latest data encryption technology before accessing your account or making transactions. 

For these reasons, PayPal is often seen as a safer alternative to using your credit card or bank account for online payments.

5. BOKU

BOKU is a mobile payment processing company that allows for fast and secure payments mainly for digital services, such as entertainment, social sites, and online gaming portals that allows for wireless phone billing instead of or in addition to traditional payment methods. 

BOKU allows you to pay using existing mobile credit rather than a credit card or bank account. 

Perhaps one of the safest payment methods for online services, BOKU doesn’t require users to create an account or save any bank or card details. All you need is your mobile number and some credit on your SIM card.

The best part is that you can even choose the desired top-up amount when making a deposit, so you have full control over how much you spend. Text confirmation of all purchases also ensures that nobody can make payments with your phone number unless they have access to your handset. These are just some of the best online payment options available today. If you are looking at alternative ways to transact this year then we recommend checking out the Apple Pay and Google Checkout options in particular as these are secure, new and gaining popularity fast, making them the services of the future.

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