Date:
1 June 2021
Author:
Phillipa Martin

Online financial transactions

Online financial transactions are essential for the delivery of many government services. The Victorian Government’s add a financial transaction - digital guide outlines the steps and standards its agencies and departments must follow when adding financial transactions to their websites. This helps to ensure government online services’ financial transactions are secure and meet users’ expectations.

What standards must be met?

Standards that must be met in relation to adding this function include:

  • Payment Card Industry security standards
  • Data security
  • Branding
  • Privacy
  • Accessibility
  • Managing public records
  • E-payment

Payment Card Industry security standards

Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards are set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. These are technical and operational requirements that help protect cardholder data.

The standards apply to all merchants and organisations that store, process or transmit credit card data, and include specific standards for software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in the transaction process.

The PCI Standards include:

  • PCI Data Security Standard — technical and operational standards

  • PIN Transaction Security Requirements — for manufacturers in relation to usage of personal identification numbers (PINs)

  • Payment Application Data Security Standard — for software developers and builders of applications that store, process or transmit cardholder data

Data security

Capture and storage of data from online financial transactions must be kept secure in compliance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Branding

The Brand Victoria guidelines must be followed to ensure standardised use of logos and fonts.

Privacy

Data captured through the financial transaction must comply with privacy standards.

Accessibility

The site enabling the financial transaction must be accessible for users with a disability.

Managing public records

Information captured from the transaction must be properly managed

E-payment

Online payment procedures must comply with a financial management standard called the Standing Directions 2018.

Approval

Any actions must be approved by a Digital Management Committee (DMC) or similar.

Best practice guidelines

The add a financial transaction - digital guide outlines best-practice principles, which include:

  • Creating a logical flow for the user completing the financial transaction

  • Making systems efficient to make the transaction as easy as possible for the user

  • Creating helpful systems, for instance including visual and functional aids

  • Helping customers keep records, such as previous transactions

User and payment preferences

The Vic Gov’s research user experience - digital guide provides advice on researching user needs and preferences. 

The guide suggests developers should:

  • Build an understanding of payment types and their functionality within the service being built

  • Use statistics from the site or app in which the transaction is built

  • Refer to user research on transactions and refer to the Vic Gov’s research user experience - digital guide (complete with several templates)

Service providers

When researching service providers, the guide recommends investigating whether service providers have:

  • Skinnable options that can create a seamless transaction across websites

  • Guaranteed uptime and redundant servers with strong security

  • Logos and branding that may impact citizens’ perceptions of trust, privacy and security

  • Detailed reporting and data information

  • Meet regulations

Personalisation features

Online financial transactions can also be personalised, based on previous behaviour (such as preferred payment types) or for efficiency (information from the existing account).

Salsa Digital’s take

Online financial transactions are essential to delivering government services. Good design will create e-payment options that are trustworthy, secure and easy to use.

Salsa works with governments to help create digital solutions that optimise and consolidate platforms, leading to better online experiences that include secure financial  transactions between government and citizens.