A recurring billing system is the culprit why your credit card company never fails to remind you of your next due. It is the system being used by online stores and websites offering monthly subscriptions or monthly payment basis of their services and products. Without this they won’t able to keep track clients who missed a payment on a specified cut-off date. On the side of the customer, the e-mail or text notification they receive might be a bit annoying, but at least they won’t forget they have a pending bill and ignoring it may result to a more serious debt.
You will know that you’re accessing a recurring billing system once you’re in front of a shopping cart or check-out page of a website. This page is where you enter cardholder details such as the type, owner, number and the expiry date of your credit card on the respective fields. According to Kaspersky Consumer Security Risks Survey 2014, even though 66 per cent of more than 11,000 respondents consider buying online, still almost half of them are still hesitant.
This is quite normal because no one would freely provide personal and sensitive information online as they are well aware of the implied risks it entails. Even reputable e-commerce websites are being barraged with complaints every now and then. This is no thanks to techie savvy online thieves that make the lives of the consumer and the seller more difficult. Thus, it makes their shopping experience not rewarding but a nightmarish one.
Both parties must work hand in hand and it should not be a one-sided affair. What is the use of the layers of security applied in the very core of an e-commerce website if the consumer carelessly gives away sensitive financial information about himself? What are the things to consider before choosing a recurring billing software of their choice?
- SLA (Service Level Agreement) = never sign an agreement you don’t understand. The SLA is a contract stating at to what extent the provider is willing to give their services as per your requirements. Better yet, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
- Downtime = in general, cloud computing services must be available online 24/7, especially if the system is critical to the operation. You will definitely lose your customers once they saw the check-out page inaccessible. Downtime is bad for the business.
- Security = this should be top on the list. Does it support data encryption as it passes the information superhighway or the Internet? Do they manage software updates and will it affect the business while being executed? A stable and reliable security foundation retains clients and attracts new customers.
- Retention and Backup = retention is the period of how long the provider will retain or keep your data on their databases. Do they perform backups religiously just in case you need to dig in and investigate something?
- Customer Support = this should be a certified 24/7 deal. Also, ask the provider or vendor to specify the “waiting period” before hearing from them again.
- PCI DSS Compliant Software – this security feature should never be left out whenever your business is dealing with credit cards. Based on the PCI Security Standards Council,
“… compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.”