In any case, we must always be very careful when buying online: even on famous sites it is possible to find people and sellers who require different payment systems than usual, which can hide real risks of scam.
In the guide that follows we will show you in detail the best services with which make secure online paymentsso you can always have a traceability of the payment made and, under certain conditions, also request refunds and returns in case of problems.
READ ALSO: How to buy online safely and with guarantee
PayPal is a very safe payment system for online purchases, also as a money exchange system in case of private negotiations or with third party sellers. The interlocutors exchange only the email address associated with PayPal, the latter will manage the money transfer in a safe and traceable manner. To pay with PayPal we need to add a bank account or a credit card (also prepaid).
Those who are registered with PayPal cannot cheat or cheat anyone: in case of problems, we can always solve them brilliantly with a phone call or via email, requesting a refund if necessary (if we have respected certain conditions).
The only problem is that both seller and buyer must have PayPal and that there are handling fees for authorized sellers, who must give up a small percentage of each collection. On sites like eBay PayPal is the standard payment system and this is also why eBay remains a reliable shop, with the full guarantee that if something goes wrong you will still get back the money spent.
PayPal is also accepted by numerous online e-shopping stores, Chinese stores and is the preferred means of payment even in the exchange of small sums of money between individuals or in confidential negotiations.
If we don’t have a PayPal account yet, we can fix it right away by reading our guide on how create a PayPal account to pay and receive payments online.
If we want to use PayPal on Amazon we cannot do it directly, but only using third-party services as seen in the guide how to pay on Amazon with Paypal or current account.
2) Credit / prepaid card
As seen in the previous chapter, the PayPal account cannot be used as the main payment system on Amazon, forcing the users of this e-commerce site to enter their credit card or prepaid card details.
Despite the absence of PayPal, payments on Amazon are very safe also thanks to the presence of Amazon’s guarantee, which reimburses the money spent in case of problems or scams. Unfortunately, not all sites are like Amazon and, to avoid scams, we will have to pay special attention.
I refer to two other specific articles to find out which are some of the best prepaid cards to pay online and how you can use the free virtual credit cards.
Avoid credit / prepaid card scams
If we visit other sales sites that only require a credit card for purchases (so no PayPal), there are still some precautions to be taken to avoid scams or deceptions.
- The site where you buy online must have the connection encryptionso as to prevent credit card data from being intercepted while we are connected to the Internet.
- In the information of the site (usually at the end of the Homepage) there must be an indication of a really existing address, a telephone number and a VAT number or, if foreign, something equivalent.
- We always use a prepaid card such as PostePay for sites without PayPal: even in the rare event of a cloning or scam, you do not expose your bank account and only lose the money prepared for the purchase. The only flaw with Visa Electron or MasterCard prepaid or debit cards is that topping them up comes at a cost.
- We use a premium antivirus such as ESET NOD32so as to protect us from scam pages, malicious websites and phishing links.
- We protect our line’s public IP address by making purchases over a premium VPN connection such as CyberGhost.
- Let’s avoid using Windows for online purchases, but rely on safer operating systems such as Linux distributions.
If we carefully follow all the suggested points we will be able to make purchases in complete safety and, in the event of a scam or data theft, we will avoid losing all the money we have earned.
In another article we have also seen how it is possible, under certain conditions, make untraceable or anonymous online paymentswhich can be a great solution when you want to hide a purchase.
3) Bank or postal transfer
Payment by bank or postal transfer it is very safe, tracked and guaranteed and among the best if we want to leave a trace of the payment made in case of problems or scams (especially for large amounts).
However, it is not the ideal payment system for online purchases (especially those with time-limited offers or limited stocks) because the transfer always takes a few days to complete the transaction (usually 24 hours, but if there are holidays in between the times lengthen) and consequently the shipment will be moved only upon actual payment.
Precisely for this reason, in the event that we sell an object to someone who wants to make a transfer to us, it is important do not send anything until the money arrives at the bank. If we are the buyers instead and we want to pay with bank transfers, we make the payment and wait: as soon as the seller sees the payment on his account, he will proceed with the shipment.
A rather common type of scam concerns payments by bank transfer: a scammer interested in the item for sale sends, via email, a false (but faithful to the original) bank transfer receipt requesting that the item be sent immediately: as soon as the object leaves and is received, the guy disappears with his object obtained for free with a scam. If, on the other hand, the problems occur by paying lawfully with a bank transfer, just contact your bank and ask for a reversal, perhaps with a report to the scammer.
We recommend use bank transfers only for payments over € 500using online banking services at no cost for wire transfers (such as those seen in the AI guide best current accounts to activate online).
4) Cash on delivery
The mark it is the preferred payment system for those who do not trust credit cards, PayPal and shipping, but it is rather inefficient and less and less used.
Cash on delivery is paid directly upon delivery of the goods by the courier, thus using banknotes and coinswithout electronic steps and it is payment of the precise amount requiredeven to the cent (if we have to pay € 45.34 for example, we will also have to get 34 cents to be able to complete the payment).
With this method it is required that the buyer be at home at that time and with the money ready. In addition, the mark has a considerable cost (5 € usually) to be added to the price of the product and shipping and is always charged to the buyer: this makes it almost impossible to return products and return money in case of problems or scams. .
While paying cash only on delivery may seem like the best method, it is currently the slowest and most inconvenient way to pay for your online purchasesalso considering the safety level of the other proposed methods.
Amazon gift card
On Amazon and other shopping sites we can pay in cash buying one Gift Card or Carte gift. These cards can be bought at the betting shops and it is possible to find these shops all over Italy starting from this page.
In this regard, we invite you to read our guides on how to give an Amazon voucher e how to pay on Amazon without a credit card.
5) Payment systems via smartphone
In addition to the most common methods to pay online, there are also other systems created to exchange small sums and pay bills, purchases and products directly from the smartphone by exchanging codes, contactless, fingerprinting, unlocking with a face or entering email addresses. The best quick payment systems via smartphone that we can use are the following:
- Samsung Pay: the payment system integrated on all Samsung portable devices, with which to virtualize your credit and debit cards so you can pay contactless in physical stores and through codes in online stores, without having to remember the card numbers every time.
- Google Pay: payment system designed by Google and very similar to the solution offered by Samsung since it allows you to virtualize credit cards, prepaid cards and debit cards to pay for Google services, other compatible services and via contactless in physical stores.
- Apple Pay: the intelligent payment system, also offered in conjunction with current accounts, allows you to pay quickly and quickly in physical stores (with contactless) and in compatible online stores.
- Satispay: with this fast and quick payment system to spend small amounts in physical stores, to pay bills and other compatible services online, to make phone top-ups and to transfer money between users. It does not use credit cards but is recharged weekly through current account charges.
On these alternative payment methods we can read our article on Apple Pay and Google Pay security for payments.
6) Payment systems to avoid
Pay online using the recharge on PostePay and the best way to get scammed: it is no coincidence that most of the products “in the smell of scam” use only this payment method, since it is difficult to trace, the money is recovered very quickly and the scammers can disappear before we even realize that they have been scammed.
To avoid online scams we also avoid money shipping methods such as Western Union or similar services: nothing prevents the scammer from withdrawing the money and disappearing, without leaving a trace and without sending anything.
On this topic we invite you to read our guide to deceptive websites with online scams.
There are various methods we can use to pay for goods purchased online without suffering scams and scams: in most cases it is enough to rely on PayPal, except on sites like Amazon that don’t accept it as a payment method (while remaining very safe). We avoid like the plague sites that do not accept PayPal or sellers who only want PostePay top-ups for the purchase: the risk of scam is really too high.
To learn more we can read our guides on how check reputation of sites to buy online without risk and which apps to use for collect money for collections, gifts and share expenses.