Those of you who read my little adventure in getting my Scotia VISA Debit Card in my last article ScotiaBank’s VISA Debit Card – Jamaica’s Online E-Commerce Renaissance, may have noticed that I had mentioned using my new best friend to shop online as well as received payments online using PayPal.
“How do I do that”, you may be asking, nose wrinkled in consternation? Even better query: “how do avoid being robbed on the Information superhighway?”
You are indeed correct to be concerned. Using Payment methods online, be it a Credit or Debit Card, is fraught with the same level of danger, as both can be stolen and your funds used by unscrupulous hackers or phishers to purchase items or withdraw funds without your knowledge. More on such hacking methods in another tightly tailored article. For now I shall speak on the Defense against the Dark Arts of the Online Hackers!
ScotiaBank official Company Release at the time of the launch of the product back in August 2011 laid out the security features of the product, quote: “Visa [Debit Cards] offer security protections that help prevent, detect and resolve fraud, including continuous fraud monitoring and coverage by Visa’s zero-liability policy, which protects cardholders from unauthorized charges, the Bank promises.”
Good to note too that transactions using the Scotia VISA Debit Card are easily traceable, making calls to your Bank to check on purchases a snap, again quoting ScotiaBank’s Company Release: “Transactions are automatically deducted from a Bank or checking Account and typically posted within 36 hours of purchase, helping cardholders track and manage expenses, all with the same protections that consumers enjoy on Visa Credit cards.”
ScotiaBank’s website stacks up its defenses straight too:
- Transaction limits can be set to limit the amount of money spent per transaction or per month
- You can select to receive monthly statements to keep track of your online expenses, which are identified on your Bank Statement
- Scotia VISA Debit Card will be monitored for fraudulent activity or unusual purchasing activity and you the Cardholder will be alerted immediately
For your personal protection, however, there are a few simple common-sense and tech centric tips to observe whenever using a Credit or Debit Card:
- Make sure to use the most up-to-date Browser to do your online transitions, preferably Mozilla FireFox or Google Chrome or IE8 (Internet Explorer 8) for computers running Windows XP or IE9 (Internet Explorer 9) for Windows 7.
- Have the latest versions of JVM (Java Virtual Machine), .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.0 installed on your Laptop or Computer. The later versions are more secure.
- Make sure your Laptop or Computer has an up-to-date antivirus. BitDefender is the IT Technician or Network Administrator’s friend, but I personally like Avast Antivirus or Avira Antivir Personal because of its no-brainer ease of control, Virus Quarantine feature you can control and they can BOTH work together, if you so choose. Not to mention Avast Antivirus talks to you like the Apple iPhone 4S Siri Voice Assistant, a really nice feature and BOTH are Freeware
- Make sure the section of the website that you are using your Scotia VISA Debit Card to purchase items has a SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
- Make sure you regularly scan your Laptop or Computer for hidden malware and Trojan. Here again is a recommended Freeware pair tag team is MalwareBytes and Spybot Search and Destroy.
- Clean your Browsers Cache regularly. For that a nice little Freeware called CCleaner does a pretty decent job as per Kelroy’s review in CCleaner – Keep your Computer Optimized and Sparkling but I personally like IoBit’s Advanced System Care as it does this and all the above in one nice Freeware package
- If the website you are purchasing from accepts PayPal as a Payment all the better. Best to use PayPal than to have to repetitively be re-entering your Credit Card information every time you have to make an online purchase.
If you are really as paranoid as I am, then try installing a Linux Distribution (…or flavours of Operating Systems if you prefer!!) on a partition on your harddrive or a bootable Linux Distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora, my personal favourite which I use quite often. When you go online, boot up in the Linux Distribution and you can surf and shop securely using Mozilla FireFox or Google Chrome, both of which are compatible with these Linux Distributions.
Better yet, get an Apple Mac and you can just trash the first part of my article, as Apple Mac OS 10 on their line of Macs as well Apple MacBook Air, the Apple MacBook Pro as well as iOS on the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and other members of the Apple ecosystem of products never get viruses!
Now that we got the security stuff out of the way and you have your Defence against the Dark Arts lesson in hand, it’s off to the interesting stuff: using your PayPal Account as a means of receiving funds. This can be very useful if you have a Blog or website and wish to accept payments from:
- Other persons online who have a Credit or Credit Card as sales or donations
- Sales of your wares on eBay as an EBay Merchant
- From other websites or services e.g. Google Adsense
These payments can be accepted from any of the leading four (4) Credit Card Merchants worldwide:
- Discovery Card
- American Express
You can also request payments via:
- PayPal Email Payment
- PayPal Express Checkout option for people who have a PayPal Account
- PayPal Payment Button on customized to your website or Blog
PayPal offers the option to add a customizable PayPal Payment Button to your website or blog to accept Payments online. This can potentially turns your website or Blog into an online store, Amazon style, with the following Amazon-esque options:
- Selling Multiple Items
- Selling Multiple Items in a shopping cart
- Setting up subscriptions for products from your website e.g. e-magazines
It’s especially useful if you’re the Developer of apps or thinking to get in on the act by forming your own Developer Team and writing Freemium Gaming apps as described in my article Smartphones and Apps – Freemium Games are No. 1 and want to enable customers with the power to use their Credit and Debit Cards in your Games to make 1-click in-app purchases.
A great example of this trend towards Freemium Gaming on Mobile Devices is EA’s Tetris as per my article EA’s Tetris on a US$30 yearly subscription: VIP for Casual & Smartphone Gaming Addicts and Microsoft Flight Simulator, which Microsoft plans to re-launch as Microsoft Flight in the First Quarter of 2012AD as per my tech ditty Microsoft Flight Simulator goes Freemium – Phoenix takes Flight in the Spring of 2012
For setting up your PayPal Account to receive online payments to your Website or Blog:
- Set up a PayPal Account. Have your Scotia VISA Debit Card to add the 16-digit Scotia VISA Debit Card code as well as the 3-digit CVV Code at the back of the Card as your Payment Method ready!
- Make sure the Scotia VISA Debit Card has at lease US$2.00 in the Account. This is to allow PayPal to verify the Scotia VISA Debit Card as being a valid Payment Method that is able to send and make payments
- To receive funds from PayPal once a customer has made a purchase and PayPal alerts you via email, you have to opt to receive funds from Credit Cards or Debit Cards in either your US Bank Account or via a Cheque. This is set under the Request Money Tab in your PayPal Account.
- Since most Jamaicans may not have a US Bank Account or be unable to afford one, the second option is the only other option available to receive fund from online transactions.
- After the Verification process is completed, usually in seven to ten (7 to 10) working days, you can begin to use your email address associated with your PayPal as the Payment Method as opposed to entering the 16-digit Scotia VISA Debit Card code as well as the 3-digit CVV Code every time you shop. Hint: go with a brand new Google email Account; more features and separate from your regular email Accounts to avoid cluttering your personal email Accounts
- You then set up the Payment Method for potential customers from the Products and Services Tab in your PayPal Account that you wish to use, be it a PayPal Button on your website or Blog, PayPal Express or PayPal Email Payment options.
- Once all of this is set, you’ll eventually receive the cheque via air mail from PayPal in about two to five (2 to 5) business days, depending on how the USPS (United States Postal Service) sends their International airmail. Make sure your address is correct in your PayPal Account and matches EXACTLY TO THE LETTER AND CASE the address and name that is on your Scotia VISA Debit Card.
- Cheques from US Banks take about seven to ten (7 to 10) working days to clear, depending on the US Bank Cheque disbursement policies and ScotiaBank’s Policies as it relates to verifying funds in the cheque are from a valid source.
So folks, get your Developers Teams together and start coding some Freemium Gaming apps and represent Jamaica on either of the following relevant Platforms:
- Apple App Store (for Apple iPhones, Apple iPad and other iOS enabled devices)
- Amazon’s App Store (for the Amazon Kindle Fire)
- Google Marketplace (for Google Android smartphones and Tablets)
- Blackberry App Store (For Blackberry phones!!)
- Windows Phone 7 (for smartphones!!)
- Windows 8 (for Tablets, PC and Ultrabooks)
Why? Because in my next article, I’ll be dealing with:
- Common Hacking methods use to steal your Scotia VISA Debit Card (beware)
- Scripting for Gaming apps so as to allow customers who download your app to make 1-click in-app purchases via PayPal.
Here’s the Links for the programs listed above in alphabetic order:
Avira Antivir Personal
IoBit’s Advanced System Care
Spybot Search and Destroy
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