Image Alt Text

What is a Secure Payment System?

A secure payment system, or SPS, refers to payment processing and information services that provide users’ security online. An SPS is a type of payment processing that ensures a user’s financial and personal information is protected from fraud and unauthorized access. These systems must provide reliable services as billions of dollars are transferred through them every year.

There are various services that businesses use to provide secure payment processing for their customers across Canada.

Digital payments are changing the way we do business across the world. E-commerce technology is furthering the ability of businesses to receive and accept various types of payment methods. The use of an SPS as a payment processor is required to do this securely and safely.

More people pay with a credit card, debit card, or online and mobile apps, over cash these days, making secure payment systems a must for all businesses. To learn more about these systems, and why they matter to your business, keep reading below.

Next: How to Process Payments

How Do You Know if a Payment is Secure?

Online payment gateways must show users that their platform is secure for sensitive financial information. These platforms are able to do this by illustrating their encryption technology.

To find this information on any website, you will need to right-click on the payment page of a site, and select “properties” and then “details”. These details will list the type of encryption security the site possesses. If it shows ‘SSL’, you know it's secure. Learn more about SSL encryption below.

What is the most secure method of payment?

Credit cards offer users a high-security level, as financial institutions protect their account holders. However, when it comes to online payment types, precisely, PayPal is one of the safest forms of payment today. The platform offers reliable and safe checkout capabilities from millions of websites where your card information and account details are never stored.

Payment Processing vs Payment Gateway

Payment processing is the method by which transactions are facilitated. Payment processors include card readers and point of sale systems that communicate the financial information between a merchant and the customer’s bank account. As a business owner, you will need to know how to use payment processors to accept credit card payments for successful card processing.

On the other hand, payment gateways are the services and tools used to communicate the transaction’s status, whether a payment has been approved or denied for online and e-commerce payments. These two methods of facilitating payments are similar; however, one focuses on in-store payments, while the other covers online commerce.

These systems are able to process all types of payment methods, including your business’ gift card transactions.

SPS Examples

Examples of Canadian payment systems that offer users secure services include such platforms as PayPal and Square. PayPal is probably one of the most well-known gateways out there today. There are over 325 million users currently taking advantage of this platform’s secure payment services.

In recent years Square has also become one of the top SPS providers. It offers businesses a secure way to process all forms of payments, protecting financial information from online to in-store activity.


For a payment system to be secure, the gateway must operate with cryptographic protocols, known as TLS and SSL. These protocols guarantee that information passing between two systems is fully protected from outside threats and security breaches.

Digital communication security is paramount to SPS, but what exactly do SSL and TSL stand for and do?

What is SSL?

As mentioned earlier, SSL is an essential aspect of an SPS and is the standard technology for safeguarding online information. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which is a layer of encryption that guarantees the security of information passing between two systems.

What is TLS?

TLS, known as Transport Layer Security, is an updated version of SSL, offering further security. In many instances, when companies refer to SSL, they are actually referring to TLS technology.

Benefits of Having a Secure Payment System Certificate

For a payment service to offer security and protection to its users, the proper encryption must be used. SSL and TLS encryption have become a key player in protecting online data and personal and financial information. 

Obtaining an SSL certificate shows your customers that your online site and payment services are safe to interact with. Without this certification, you could be compromising your customers and their banking details. 

Therefore, obtaining one of these secure payment system certificates is the best way to protect your customers and show them that your services are safe to use.

Many online shoppers will only purchase goods from a site that shows such certification. This means, if you don't have an SSL certificate, you could be losing businesses and putting the business you do have in jeopardy. 

PCI is a security standards council; an independent, third-party organization that ensures global payment security. This organization offers training and certification to help businesses keep up to date with secure payment services and data security. 

Independent issuing agencies provide these certificates, which cannot be falsified, and act as a reference for the knowledge and ability to use and understand SSL encryptions.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a security guideline your business must follow to ensure the protected coverage of your customers’ financial information while it is being processed, stored, and transmitted.

QuickBooks Online is a Secure Payment System

Ensuring secure payments for your business and your customers is an essential responsibility as a business owner. With QuickBooks Online, you’ll know your services are in good and safe hands. This software can ensure your customers are protected with safe and reliable payment options. Try it free today!

Next: How to Process Payments

Related Articles

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Firm of the Future

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.