Protect Your Credit Cards: What to Do to Keep Your Cards Safe

Card Security

Cyber fraud is a serious problem that many consumers and industries are struggling with. Millions of people are affected by credit card fraud each year. The number of fraud victims and losses due to fraud all over the world keeps increasing, and credit cards are prime targets. That is why you should learn how to keep your credit cards safe.

In 2016, the Nilson Report estimated that losses due to credit card fraud topped $24.71 billion, a 12% increase from the previous year. In 2017, consumers in the US alone lost $905 million USD to fraud, which is 7% higher than in 2016, with credit card fraud being the most common form of identity theft; 33 million Americans were victims of card fraud in 2017.

Earlier, we presented tips on how to stay safe on your smartphone. Now, we want to help you protect yourself against credit card fraud by offering you 6 tips on how to keep your credit cards safe:

Keep an Eye on Your Card

When you receive a new card, the first thing to do is sign it on the back and make sure you destroy the old card.

Never leave your card unattended anywhere, and when making a purchase don’t take your eyes off the card. If you do, make sure you’re getting the right card back. If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately. Fraudulent use of cards normally occurs within hours of the loss or theft.

Don’t Store or Share Your Confidential Information

Always keep your confidential information private. Do not write down your PIN anywhere, memorize it, and do not store information such as passwords or your credit card information in browsers or anywhere where they are unprotected. Be sure to turn off your browser’s autocomplete settings to avoid it storing your confidential information.

Also, do not share your personal information with anyone via telephone or email. You should never give out your card number by phone, unless you know that you are dealing with a reputable company.

To keep your personal information safe, you should always shred old receipts and statements before throwing them away. Shredding documents with your personal information is the best way to protect yourself from identity theft, as this will make it harder for a fraudster to find any information about you that they can use.

Beware of Phishing Scams

Common online scams today include the phishing emails, where hackers attempt to obtain personal information such as credit card details, usernames, and passwords by pretending to represent reputable organizations such as your bank or telephone company. Fraudsters are getting better every day at tricking someone into clicking on a link in one of these emails. These links either bring you to a website that looks like one you frequent often, where your information can be stolen, or they infect your system with malware that collects your data, including PINs and CVV authentication numbers when you shop online. Never click on a link in a suspicious email.

If you receive an email that appears to be sent by a legitimate company but asks for sensitive financial information and you are suspicious of it, always contact the company directly to verify the authenticity of the email. Banks will not ask you for confidential information via email.

Regularly Verify Your Bank Activity

Check your financial statements regularly. You should visit your bank or credit card website at least once a week to check that no unauthorized withdrawals or charges have been made. Keep your receipts so you can match them with the charges on your credit card statement. If you see anything suspicious, contact your bank or credit card provider immediately to report any charges that weren’t made by you.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

You should turn on two-factor authentication wherever possible, such as for your banking and credit card accounts. Two-factor authentication means that you cannot log in with only your username and password. Instead you will receive a one-time code that you must use to be able to log in. This guarantees an extra level of protection as it makes it more difficult for fraudsters to access your accounts.

Did you know that Payza offers you two-factor authentication to protect your account? Read about it here: Keep Your Payza Account Secure: Payza Security Settings Explained

Be Careful When Using Public Wi-Fi Network

Do not use any websites where you enter your card information when using a public Wi-Fi network. It is also recommended to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that lets you send encrypted communications through a separate and secure private network while using a public Wi-Fi network. Also, when shopping on a mobile device, you should use your cellular data instead.


Always be careful when using your credit cards. By following these precautions, you can ensure the security of your cards and protect your personal information.

Payza has security and fraud prevention in place to stop problems before they happen, so you can be assured that your funds in your Payza Account are protected. Also, when making an online purchase using Payza, our payment system adds an extra layer of protection between you and the merchant as your payment details are not revealed to the merchant when you pay.

For more security news and tips from Payza, visit the Online Security section of the Payza Blog and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Keep Your Payza Account Secure: Payza Security Settings Explained

Payza Account Security

Helping our members keep their Payza accounts secure is one of our top priorities. To give you all the necessary tools for protecting your Payza account, we have several security settings, letting you choose the right level of protection for your account.

Here is a summary of each security setting:

Password & Payza Transaction PIN

The default security setting for your Payza account protects your account with a password and a transaction PIN. You will create your password when you sign up for your Payza account. Your password must consist of:

  • Minimum 8 alphanumeric characters.
  • At least 1 capital letter.
  • At least 1 special character.

Along with a password, you will also choose your 4-8 digit Payza Transaction PIN when you complete your Payza account profile. Your Payza Transaction PIN is used to confirm and authenticate most of the actions taken within your account. Be sure to choose a secure PIN and do not share it with anyone.

Level 1: Suspicious Login Alerts

When creating your Payza account, Level 1 of the Advanced Security Levels will automatically be enabled. For this advanced security level, you will receive an email alert whenever your account is accessed from an unrecognized device. This email alert will include details such as date, time, and place of login.

If you receive an alert without logging into your account yourself, you should immediately change your password and contact Payza Customer Support to report an unauthorized login.

For those that want even more protection for their account, we have two other Advanced Security Levels to choose from. Before you can enable these, you are required to set up a Payza Avatar and custom message:

Payza Avatars & Custom Message

The Payza Avatar and custom message are security features that will greet you whenever you log in to your Payza account and confirm that you are on the authentic Payza login page.

How To Create an Avatar and Custom Message

  1. In your Payza account, click on your name in the top left part of your account.
  2. Select “Advanced Security Setup”.
  3. Build your avatar using the options available.
  4. Edit your custom message to the right of the avatar.
  5. Enter the Transaction PIN you created when completing your profile.
  6. Click on “Set Up Security” to save.

After you set up your Payza Avatar and custom message, you can either keep Level 1 of the Advanced Security Levels or choose one of the two other Advanced Security Levels:

Level 2: Suspicious Login Authentication

The second advanced security level generates a one-time use authentication code that will be sent to your email whenever you attempt to log in from an unrecognized device. You will need to enter this code to log in to your Payza account within a specified time frame.

For many people, this is the right amount of protection they need, but Payza also has one higher level for the strongest security:

Level 3: Two-Factor Authentication

This security level sends a code to a paired smart device such as a smartphone or connected tablet every time you try to log in to your account. To access your Payza account, you will need to enter this code along with your username and password.

For Payza’s 2-Factor Authentication, you must use the Google Authenticator (GA) app.

Here are the steps for setting up 2-Factor Authentication:

  1. Install the Google Authenticator (GA) app on your mobile phone or tablet.
  2. In your Payza account, click on your name in the top left portion of the screen then select Advanced Security Settings.
  3. Select “Level 3: 2-Factor Authentication” and click “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication”. Instructions will appear on screen to help you complete the following steps. After completing this step, you will be presented with the following window:
  4. Scan the QR code you received to pair your Payza account with the GA app. This QR code can be scanned through your mobile device or you can enter the code manually.
  5. Upon completing step 4, you will receive a verification code in the GA app. In your Payza account enter the code where it says “Verification Code” in the Two-Factor Authentication Setup window. This step will synchronize your smart device with our system.

With 2-Factor Authentication enabled, whenever you try to log in to your Payza account you must first open the GA app to view the login code. Enter this code in the login screen along with your username and password to access your account.


Payza is dedicated to protecting your information and your account, but you also have to do your part to keep your account secure. Always keep your login and account details confidential, never reveal any personal information publicly, such as on social media platforms, and do not share your avatar image or welcome message.

If you need any further help or if you have any questions concerning Payza’s security settings, feel free to contact our customer support.

For all the latest Payza tips and news, be sure to subscribe to the Payza Blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Payza Introduces New Advanced Security Levels and 2-Factor Authentication

Payza Advanced Security

At Payza, security for our members is very important. One of our top priorities is to keep your Payza account safe and completely protected. We have our unique Payza Avatars that protect against so-called “Man-in-the-browser” attacks and to protect against hacking we provide different security levels for our customers to choose from. To ensure the best security against threats such as phishing and hacking we regularly update our security settings.

We are proud to announce that our advanced security options have become even more robust – you now have even more security levels to choose from.

These enhanced security features give you as a Payza member three additional advanced security levels to choose from to help protect your Payza account. If these settings are more protection than you need, you can always stick with Payza’s standard security setting.

Here’s a look at how each of the different security levels work to help protect your account.

Payza Advanced Security Levels Explained

Payza Advanced Security includes a Payza Avatar and three different security levels. When you create your Payza Avatar, you will be asked to choose an Advanced Security level. If you would like to keep the standard security setting, you will not need to create a Payza Avatar.

When setting up your advanced security you must first select your Payza Avatar and then choose one of these three advanced security levels:

  • Level 1: Suspicious Login Alerts. You will receive an email alert that informs you when your account was accessed from an unrecognized device. In this email alert, you will find details such as date, time, and place of login. Note that if you already have a Payza Avatar, this will be your default Advanced Security setting.
  • Level 2: Receive Authentication Code. Upon logins from unrecognized devices, you will receive a one-time use authentication code sent to your email. This code will be valid for 15 minutes. You will need to enter this code to log in to your Payza account.
  • Level 3: 2-Factor Authentication. This security level sends a code to a paired smart device such as a smartphone or connected tablet. To access your Payza account you will need to enter this code along with your username and password. You must have your paired smart device with you whenever you log in to Payza.

Setting Up 2-Factor Authentication

To set up 2-Factor Authentication, the highest security setting Payza provides, you must use the Google Authenticator (GA) app. Access the advanced security settings within your Payza account to get started.

Here are the steps for setting up 2-Factor Authentication:

  1. In your Payza account, click on your name in the top left portion of the screen then select Advanced Security Settings.
  2. Select “Level 3: 2-Factor Authentication” and click “Set Up Two-Factor Authentication”. Instructions will appear on screen to help you complete the following steps. After completing this step, you will be presented with the following window:
  3. Install the Google Authenticator (GA) app on your mobile phone or tablet.
  4. Scan the QR code you received after completing step 2 to pair your Payza account with the GA app. This QR code can be scanned though your mobile device or you can enter the code manually.
  5. Upon completing step 4, you will receive a verification code in the GA app. In your Payza account enter the code where it says “Verification Code” in the Two-Factor Authentication Setup window. This step will synchronize your smart device with our system.

From now on whenever you try to log in to your Payza account, you will receive a code from the GA app. Simply enter this code in the login screen along with your username and password to access your account.

If you need any further help or if you have any questions concerning Payza’s updated advanced security settings, feel free to contact our customer support from your account or via the Payza Support Page. For more information and to stay up to date with the latest Payza news, be sure to subscribe to the Payza Blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Traveling Money: The Prepaid Card Advantage

Payza travel card

Whoever coined the phrase “cash is king” probably wasn’t talking about international travel. There are so many reasons NOT to carry cash internationally that an entire industry has been built on providing alternatives – with the downside that, once you’ve booked your flight, it can be hard to decide what the best form of travel money for your trip is.

While cash is arguably the easiest option, major credit cards are accepted all over the world, and traditional traveler’s checks were developed for precisely this reason, these days the secret weapon of the savvy traveler is prepaid cards. Prepaid card technology isn’t new (the first prepaid cards became available around 30 years ago) but they’re finally reaching their potential: for the past few years they’ve been the biggest growth story in the payments landscape, topping 10 billion annual purchases as of 2015, and showing impressive 67% growth since 2009.

Let’s compare the most popular options and see how prepaid cards stack up:

Cash

The quickest way to have money on hand when traveling is to take it out of an ATM. But unless you can accurately estimate how much cash you are going to need during your trip, you may find yourself returning to the ATM often and incurring hefty currency exchange fees from your bank as well as foreign withdrawal fees from the machine. Withdrawing a large amount in order to avoid this problem raises issues of its own, you run the risk of having your cash stolen or losing it in your travels.

Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks were designed as an early replacement for cash – simply put, these are checks that can be used in the same way as cash, but which requires you to provide proof of identity and signature verification in order to use it. Traveler’s checks let you carry a high value of “cash” without the same risks. But there are still other drawbacks; it can be hard to accurately estimate how much you are going to need for your trip and, depending on your bank, this method may come with high transaction fees of its own.

The biggest drawback for traveler’s checks though is that they are rapidly becoming obsolete. The seasoned traveler will find that traveler’s checks are not as universal as they used to be; just like a regular paper check, fewer and fewer businesses are accepting this form of payment in the age of more modern payment schemes.

Credit Cards

The classic solution, as exemplified by the fact that most major hotels will require it as a form of payment, is credit cards. A major advantage of credit cards is that, because you pay them back later, you don’t have to worry about budgeting ahead of time or running out of money. Credit card providers are also highly competitive when it comes to the travel money segment, so many cards will offer a combination of travel insurance, travel discounts and loyalty points as incentives.

But even credit cards come with drawbacks: there is no protection from debt, as you can easily spend well above your intended budget; there are usually high foreign transaction fees when using a credit card away from home; and if you lose your card, there’s a chance that almost anybody can use your it to buy whatever they want, giving you a headache to sort out with your credit card company.

Prepaid Cards

That brings us to prepaid cards – the increasingly widespread, highly effective solution to your travel money concerns. As “closed loop” cards limited to a defined group of retailers fall out of fashion, general purpose re-loadable (GPR) cards, are growing rapidly in popularity. These cards can be used almost anywhere credit cards are accepted, making them just as convenient for travelers. Young adults are using these cards strictly to limit their budgets and in the post-recession world, many people of all ages are finding them to be an ideal solution for making card payments without accumulating credit card debt.

Specifics vary depending on the issuer, but prepaid cards are generally purchased, activated and then loaded with the amount of funds you’re going to need. Typically, you can reload them remotely via online banking or e-wallet and they offer the same liability protections as traditional credit cards.

Prepaid cards provide all the same advantages as other travel money options while eliminating the downsides. It’s still recommended to carry a small amount of cash for cash-only transactions such as coffee and cab fare, and to have a credit card for hotels and others places that may only accept credit, but for everything else, prepaid cards are the solution to all your travel money needs.

The rapid growth of prepaid card adoption shows the appeal of this product. For your next trip, consider using the a prepaid card to help you budget for your expenses and keep your money secure.

For all the latest Payza news and updates, be sure to subscribe to the Payza Blog and follow Payza on Twitter and Facebook.

Review Your Online Security: Large List of Hacked Email Accounts Being Sold Online

Payza Security

The internet can be a dangerous place, so we want to make sure you are protected. Payza takes your security very seriously and we take all the necessary precautions to protect your information and your money, but there are things you can do as well.

A new report came out last week detailing how 21 million Gmail accounts and 5 million Yahoo accounts are being sold online, all for less than $500 USD. It’s a scary reminder of how easily and freely sensitive information like this can flow through the internet.

It’s also a reminder about how important it is to use techniques that will help you protect yourself against these data breaches, even if your information is compromised.

How hackers use your data

When hackers get a hold of usernames and passwords they will often try them on lots of different websites. Hackers know that most people use the same password for all, or most, of the websites they log into.

This is why you should always choose a unique password for your Payza account. If one of your username and password combinations has been compromised, don’t put your Payza account at risk. Keep it safe by using a different password for Payza than you use for other online accounts, especially your email account.

Most of the passwords that were discovered for sale were compromised in breaches from 2016 or earlier. If you haven’t updated your passwords in the last three to six months, it’s a good idea to change them as soon as possible.

This type of security breach is unfortunately becoming more and more common. That is why we recommend updating your passwords regularly.

Payza’s tips on good password practices

At Payza, we’re always looking for ways to keep your data secure. We have procedures in place to protect your information and your money, and we are constantly reviewing and improving our security practices. We do our part, but the most effective way to protect your account is in your hands: using a strong, unique password and updating it regularly.

Here are some tips on how to make sure your account is as secure as possible:

Use a unique password for your most important accounts: Ideally, you should use a unique password for every website you use. We understand that can sometimes be difficult, so we’ve already written about a good password formula that will help you accomplish this.

If you do end up deciding to use the same password for multiple websites, you should still pick a new password for highly sensitive accounts, like your email accounts and e-wallets. This will help protect your accounts if one of the sites you used is ever compromised.

Update your passwords regularly: Hackers can’t use your old passwords against you if you’ve already changed them. Even when a big security breach occurs, it usually takes time for attackers to use the information they’ve collected. By changing your passwords regularly, and always picking new passwords that you’ve never used before, you will make it very hard for attackers to do anything with your information even if they do get their hands on it.

Check if your accounts have been compromised: There are online databases that keep track of security breaches and that can help you discover whether or not your accounts have been hacked. You can use sites like https://hacked-emails.com/, https://www.hacked-db.com/ and https://haveibeenpwned.com/ to check if your account has ever been compromised. If it has, be sure to update your passwords right away!

For more security news and tips from Payza, visit the Online Security section of the Payza Blog.

What are E-Currency Exchangers and why are they so Important?

Payza Exchangers

If you use online payment platforms and e-wallet services, you might be familiar with e-currency exchangers. These companies will help you transfer money from one e-wallet service to another, or let you use the money in your Payza account to purchase other quasi cash items such as mobile credits.

Using an exchanger is a great way to make the most of your Payza account, but be careful, not all exchangers are created equal. These days it seems like just about anyone is willing to take your money from one service and pay you on another, but can they really be trusted?

At Payza, some exchanger services have been integrated directly into our platform. In most countries, members are now able to exchange their Payza money directly for Bitcoin right in their accounts by using the Withdrawal by Bitcoin feature. U.S. members are also able to buy eGift Cards at over 80 of the largest retailers and restaurants in the country. That is just a couple of examples of how exchangers are being used at Payza to give you more options.

For other services, we have a list of Authorized Exchangers that you can use to help you add money to your Payza account from outside our platform, or to move your Payza dollars into another account.

The best part about Authorized Exchangers is that these companies have all been reviewed by Payza so you can rest assured that they can be trusted to follow through on their services. If you want to exchange your Payza funds, you should only use one of the exchangers in your country authorized by Payza. You can find the list of Authorized Exchangers here: Payza Authorized Exchangers

How to Become a Payza Authorized E-Currency Exchanger

Do you offer exchanger services or do you have a great exchanger to recommend? Let us know! We’re always looking for quality companies to partner with. Contact our Business Development team at [email protected] to get started.

Payza is eager to work with innovative companies that can provide outstanding regional or international services that will give our members more choice when it comes to using their Payza dollars.