Here’s What Happens When You Shop Online With Your Credit Card

The internet has revolutionised the way we shop. On Amazon’s peak day, the retail giant sells up to 320 products per second. But have you ever wondered what happens when you click ‘complete your order’ at an online checkout? Here’s a breakdown of the process that goes on behind the scenes… 

1. Security Checks 

First, checks are carried out for your protection to verify that the card and the charge are valid (good to know!) 

2. The Journey…  

  • Payment gateways format the data and pass it on to the merchant’s bank
  • The bank sends these details to the credit card network (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover), which then transmits the transaction to the card issuer (your bank)
  • The issuing bank approves or declines the transaction and passes the result back to the credit card interchange (the virtual space where card details are passed through)
  • The interchange sends the results back to the merchant bank’s processor, which in turn sends it to the payment gateway (a merchant service provided by an e-commerce application which authorises card payments) 

3. Depositing The Money  

Once payment is successful, the online shopper will be notified and the transaction will be viewable for the shop owner (who will then think about dispatching your stuff). The issuing bank sends the funds to the credit card network, which then directs them on to the merchant’s bank. It’s at this point the merchant receives their payment! 

4. Out For Delivery! 

Whilst a lot of technology is involved, humans (at least for now), still play a role in getting your order to you. As soon as the customer’s payment is accepted, her postcode is checked and the order is sent to a warehouse closest to that location. A human ‘picker’ then scouts the warehouse for the correct product (though Amazon and other retailers have started using the help of robots for this job). The item is then packaged and posted to your door!

Here are some tips for shopping safely online:

Watch out! Not all sites are safe… 

  • Only shop from websites you trust. Avoid clicking on unknown links in spam emails, because these could be fraudulent pages designed to steal your credit card information.
  • Avoid public wifi and computers. These are less secure and there’s a greater chance your information will be stolen. Remember that it’s not just you using the public wifi – hackers could be using the exact same signal and intercepting your log in details. So if you can bear it, try to hold off making that ASOS order until you’re home (easier said than done)… 
  • Make sure your computer is protected from hackers with trustworthy anti-virus software

Follow all these steps and online shop with peace of mind. Did you know that With Curve you can earn money as you spend online?

With Curve Cash, you can select your favourite retailers from a list of more than 100 brands – including – including Tesco, TFL, Uber, Netflix, Amazon, Pret a Manger – and can enjoy 1% instant cashback on all purchases you make there. With Curve Blue, you get Curve Cash as a 90-day introductory offer, or if you choose Curve Black or Curve Metal, you get it for an unlimited period*.