Information and Payment Security Issues in E-commerce

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Online Payments Involvement in E-Commerce

Current Payment Methods in E-Commerce

Security Risks Associated with the Current Payment Methods in E-Commerce

Solutions for Payment Security Issues

Business and Technical Challenges while Solving Payment Security Problems

Future of Information and Payment Security Trends in E-Commerce



The commercial transaction which is conducted through electronics medium on the internet is known as e-commerce. The buying or selling of any service or product through the internet is the primary purpose of developing an e-commerce site. Rapid development and modernization in the field of electronics and internet technologies opened a new scope of profit for commercial organizations. The internet is accessed by almost 3.8 billion people, which is more than half of the population of this world. After the arrival of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1990, the concept of e-commerce came into existence. The first retail transaction done using the internet was not before 1994. The vast market of the people accessing the internet was targeted by the commercial organization. The online transaction became one of the media for the transaction using the credit cards and debit cards. The online transaction of e-commerce got a massive boost through the electronic transfer of money. With the growing global market, most of the retail e-commerce websites had to rely enormously on the electronic transfer of money through electronic banking. The electronic transfer of money through the internet can have some serious security issues because every data on the internet is vulnerable and can be tampered by malware. The personal data of the customers can also be leaked by the e-commerce sectors for their own profit. This report will discuss the payment methods which are used in the e-commerce sectors recently along with the payment security issues, in the meantime highlighted the safety issues in critical information about the clients.

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According to (Laudon & Traver, 2016), the concept of e-commerce came into existence globally in 1995.  E-commerce evolved in a significant manner after the introduction of smartphones having a touch interface in 2007. This literature paper emphasis upon the technological, business and social aspect of the e-commerce system along with the risk which is related to the e-commerce system.

Development in computer science technology and internet made a significant impact on the success of e-commerce platforms. The retailers saw an excellent opportunity for advertising and selling their products using the internet and electronic media. Social media served a perfect platform for advertising the product of the retailers.

The concept of electronic transfer of money opened a new path for the e-commerce sector. The development of e-banking technology e-transaction was the main reason behind the success of the e-commerce sector. The major driving forces behind e-commerce sectors are business strategy and development, along with the innovation in technology.

Even though the paper discussed the various aspect of e-commerce like the technological, business and social aspect of the e-commerce system along with the risks related to the payment methods. Authors excessively emphasized on the technological, business and social aspect of the e-commerce system, leaving the critical topic of security risk during e-payment in the e-commerce system.


The payment methods which are used in the e-commerce are mainly cashless, and the transaction process involves internet banking or electronic transfer of money through the internet (Grüschow, Kemper & Brettel, 2016). The concept of the electronic payment or electronic transfer of money became very much popular from the last decade due to the increased rate of e-banking and e-shopping. There was a huge development in the technology which involves secured electronic payment.

The most popular and reliable e-payment methods are credit cards and debit cards. There are also some other methods for e-payment like electronic wallets, a bitcoin wallet and smart cards. When the customer order anything from any e-commerce organization, they had to either pay online while buying or they choose for cash on delivery.

E-Payment using Credit or Debit Cards

The process of e-payment is very complicated, and there are several steps for proceeding with the payment. The transaction using a credit or a debit card needs to have e global card brand account (Bezovski, 2016). The bank of the customer needs to be connected with the account of card brands like MasterCard, Maestro, Visa and others. While payment, the bank assigns a unique code to the customer using which the transaction can be done. The transaction is done between the bank accounts of the customer and the merchant. The transaction will be cancelled immediately if the unique code given by the bank to the customer does not match.

The second step of the e-payment using credit or debit cards is payment gateway process. The payment gateway process is a special kind of software that connects the bank of the customer with the e-commerce website of the merchant (Isaac & Zeadally, 2014). The steps which are followed by this software includes checking the validity of the credit or debit cards, checking the bank associated with the card, encrypting the numeric values that are connected with the credit or debit cards and finally sending the reply to the customer about the transaction (Yang & Lin, 2016). The merchant has to pay the monthly fees or transaction fees for the online transaction of money using the payment gateway software.

E-Payment using Third-Party Processors

Third party processors are the online platforms who acts as a mediator between the bank and the e-commerce organization. It is a type of application or an online networking site that acts as a prepaid account. The bank details and other financial data of the customer are stored in the platform of the third party processors for the faster transaction (Guo & Bouwman, 2016). These type of third-party processors are known as an e-wallet (electronic wallet). E-wallet supports the cashless transaction, and these e-wallets need authorization from the customers in order to transfer money from the customer’s bank account to the desired e-commerce accounts (Varsha, & Thulasiram, 2016). The online transaction using these e-wallets are mostly secure as they keep all the information by using various advanced encryption mechanisms. According to (Pourghomi, Saeed & Ghinea, 2014) most of the e-wallet companies uses 128-bit data encryption technology for securing the data of their customers.

Smart Card

The smart card is very much similar to the credit or debit cards, but it has one significant difference. Which is smart card has a small microprocessor chip embedded in the card. The smart card also has the capability to store some vital personal information of the customers. It can be accessed by the customers using the unique PIN code (Belanche-Gracia, Casaló-Ariño & Pérez-Rueda, 2015). Also it has greater encryption when compared to debit or credit cards and it has faster-processing speed.

The current pay methods which are used in e-commerce have some security risks. The major security risks which are associated with the payment methods in e-commerce are discussed below.

E-Commerce Fraud

The rate of frauds in the payment system of e-commerce organizations are increasing rapidly (Zhao et al., 2016). The growth rate of the fraud cases involving the payment in the e-commerce sector is 30% per year. The security system of some smaller e-commerce organization is not compatible with the highly encrypted payment security system.

 Automated computer devices control the payments of the electronic payments systems. The system can face some issues when a huge amount of payments are processed through that particular server (Trautman, 2015). The server may face lag issues and due to that, the payment process of some customers can pause at an intermediate stage.

The computer devices which are responsible for authorizing the payment from the customer’s bank account to the e-commerce organization use some security measures to control the risk of fraud. The primary authorization requires a password or some security question from the customer’s end. The authentication process is not always secured, and there can be a security breach as the system does not check the authenticity of the customer and will transact the payment if the password is correct.

The encryption of the security system software should be very robust to resist any fraud cases (Ladan, 2014). The e-commerce merchants sometimes choose the payment system, which is not that much secure. This situation can lead to leakage of sensitive data from the database system of the merchant. The credit card or debit card details can also be leaked from the system leading to stealing of money from the bank account of the customer.

E-commerce organizations can also be responsible for another kind of fraud. If the customer is not satisfied with the product, they can demand a refund of the money according to the norms of that e-commerce organization (Fang et al., 2014). The e-commerce sectors do not want to refund the money of the customers unless and until there is no alternative. The customer who generally pays through the internet, have to pay the amount through the net banking system. The money is deducted from the customer’s bank account instantly. If the product delivered to the customer is not satisfactory, and if the refund policy of the e-commerce sector is not that effective, then the customer can feel cheated.

Lack of Anonymity

The database system of the e-payment third-party processors is filled with the personal data of the customer. The bank details like credit card details and debit card details are stored in the database system of the e-payment processors or the e-commerce sectors (Sivapalan et al., 2014). The data can be leaked from the database system, or the system can be hacked for obtaining vital information.

The numerous payment security issues which are discussed above have various solutions. Those solutions are discussed below.

Proper Verification System before Transaction

The verification system of the e-commerce organizations or the e-payment organizations should verify the customer details properly before initiating the transaction. The e-payment organizations should take additional security measures for checking the authenticity of the customer (Irshad & Hassan, 2017). For an example, need to provide additional layer for user authentication and verifications like One Time Password (OTP) via an e-mail or SMS.

Encryption of Data

Personal and transaction data of the customer should be encrypted using the proper software to prevent the leak of data from the system (Wang et al., 2014). The data should be stored in the secured database system. The database system hired by e-commerce organizations or the e-payment platform should be authentic and very secure. The encryption of the data will make the extraction of data difficult from the system by hackers.

Choosing the Correct Payment Processing Partner

The e-commerce organization should choose legal payment processor organizations as their partner for the transaction. Reputed third-party payment processors should be preferred by the e-commerce organizations for secured transactions. According to (Rasheed, 2014) the third party payment processor should comply with the standards of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The standard council for the payment card security was formed in 2006 to ensure safety while transaction (DSS, 2016). The credit card or debit card information should be kept secret by the merchant according to the council standards. The correct partner of the e-commerce organizations would be able to support the customer problems regarding e-payment.

Implementation of Secure Socket Layer

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) was designed to prevent the altering of information while the data is transmitted by the interrelating applications using the internet (Alnatheer, 2014). The SSL helps to encrypt the transmission of data, and it also helps to authenticate the message integrity for TCP/IP connections.


Implementation of Secure Electronic Transaction

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) is a joint initiative by VISA and MASTERCARD for ensuring the safety of all the parties involved in the transaction of e-commerce (Sherif, 2016). SET was designed for some special functions like the authentication of the cardholder or customer and the merchants, maintaining the secrecy of the payment data of the customers and defining protocols and electronic security service.

Secure Login Screen

Every e-commerce organization have their site. The login page of every e-commerce organization should have its secured login websites. The secured login websites will help the customers to maintain privacy.

The payment security problems include encryption of data, choosing of correct e-payment partner and others have some common technical and business challenges. The e-commerce organization have to bear a huge amount of cost for securing the banking and personal data of its customers. The maintenance of the database servers needs to be done by a specialized technician who is capable of maintaining the security of the database system. The customer always wants a faster and safer transaction. The main challenge of the e-commerce organization and the e-payment platform is to maintain the speed and security of the transaction simultaneously.

Every e-commerce organization have to comply with the PCI DSS, violation of which can lead to a heavy fine. The detection and prevention of any fraud case while executing a fast transfer is the main challenge. The real time fraud checking is one of the most important aspects of maintaining security.

The payment security is reaching towards a new horizon with the massive development in the field of computer science technology.

Real-Time Security

Transactions are happening instantly, for that the merchant will have to verify the identity of the customers in real time (Isaac & Sherali, 2014). The customer will have to give the required password or authentication code in the form of thumb impression or digital signature for purchasing any product from the merchant.

MasterCard Identity Checking

MasterCard started a new initiative for securing e-payment methods. This new process is often termed as selfie pay. The customer will have to verify their identity with a photo of their face or with a digital fingerprint.

Multi-Layered Intelligence

Multi-layered intelligence is a type of software in the system of the merchant which have existing customer knowledge. Different question is asked to the customer, and the authentication of the payment would be done on the basis of answers given by the customer to the system of merchant.

Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Cryptocurrency

The concepts like AI, IoT and cryptocurrency are the new aspect of computer science technology, and they are very beneficial for authentication purposes. AI and IoT will verify the customer identification code accurately before the initiation of the transaction. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency which does not require any third-party processor (Rose, 2015). Cryptocurrency can easily transfer the money from customer to merchant safely. 

It can be concluded from the above report that the electronic transfer of money has become one of the most critical aspects of the e-commerce system. The e-commerce system developed rapidly due to the massive improvement in computer science technology and internet technology. The availability of internet throughout the globe made the concept of e-commerce system very popular. The e-commerce system is successful for three critical aspects, which are the technological, business and social perspective. The e-commerce system is laid upon the basic of e-payment. The e-payment system is the process of payment of money through the internet using various online servers and databases.  Different types of technology which helps in electrical transfer of funds in credit or debit cards, third-party payment processors and smart cards. Anything on the internet is vulnerable and can be tampered by malware. Thus there is some obvious risk of e-payment which includes fraud transaction and lack of anonymity. Payment security issues can be solved by implementing various procedures like applying proper encryption to the data present in the database system or by implementing secure electronic transaction and secure socket layer. Proper verification of the customer account should be done to control the fraud in e-payment. There are some business and technical challenges for implementing the procedures to neutralize the risk of e-transfer.

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