Accepting credit and debit cards at your place of business is an absolutely essential part of managing your customer’s requests for a fast and easy checkout experience, increasing efficiency in your operations, and driving revenue. Not only does accepting credit and debit cards provide your customers a choice of payment in an increasingly cashless society, but customers that are paying with credit card spend on average 35% more than a customer paying with debit or cash. That means by providing tap-and-go, Interact flash, pay-at-table, or easily accessible payment solutions at checkout, you are encouraging those customers to use their credit cards, which is driving more revenue for your business.
However, the more credit card transactions that you accept, the more you risk costly chargebacks and fraud against your business if you are not prepared and educated on best practices for accepting credit card payments.
The following tips will help increase your payment processing security and reduce annual chargebacks and help mitigate credit card fraud.
Being Payment Card Industry compliant is an absolute necessity. It is greatly important to make certain that your payment software is current, and EMV certified. As a merchant, you have a responsibility to protect your customer’s credit card information, just like you should be protecting all of your customer data. Make sure that when you are signing up for your payment solutions with your payment processor you look into your obligations for PCI compliance, and how they can help to educate you on your responsibilities.
The depth of the required PCI audit will depend on your business volumes and payment processing systems that being use by your business. As a best practice, do not store customer credit card data. If you have a business that requires billing your customers monthly, you must have a payment solution that is secure and properly store card data with your payment provider. Click here to find out more about PCI Compliancy.
PAYMENT SYSTEM LOCATIONS
Most credit card fraudsters and scams are due to the location of the payment processing equipment. Individuals that are trying to scam or fraud credit card information could try to tamper with payment processing equipment in an effort to steal vital credit card data and information, especially in high traffic areas. Altering payment processing equipment consists of external hardware that is inserted into the equipment, more typically the card swipe or pin insert. It is important to keep all payment processing equipment in well-lit, protected areas that are either under surveillance or managed by a responsible and trained employee.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
Educating your employees is the first step to ensure proper transaction processes. Knowing how to spot tampered equipment, checking cardholder signature consistency, and asking the right security questions to the cardholder, will greatly reduce your risk of fraud and chargebacks. Also, ensuring proper transaction processes and educating employees on all payment processing equipment functionality will promote fewer mistakes and increase cardholder security. As the merchant, it is right to refuse the business of a customer if you suspect that they are trying to use a stolen credit card.
KNOWLEDGE OF CURRENT EVENTS
Keep track of current credit card scams that may be prevalent in your area or industry. Being up to date with what may be the next big credit card scandal will keep you ahead of the pack. Also, technology changes quickly, and best practices may not be enough if your payment processing equipment is dated. Get in touch with your merchant services provider and inquire into newer payment processing equipment that continues to introduce innovative secure equipment designed to protect your business and cardholder data. It is important to ensure that your business has equipment that does not put you or your customers at risk.
BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PROVIDER
I have continued to stress the importance of building a relationship with a trustworthy merchant services provider. Payment processing is a complicated part of your business, and your merchant services provider should answer any questions that you may have quickly and effectively. Also, in case of fraud or costly chargebacks, you should know what the process is to rectify that issue. Working with a merchant services provider that has the knowledge and desire to ensure your business is secure will make the biggest difference in protecting yourself and your cardholder’s data.
It is imperative to take the necessary steps to protect your business’ assets. If it means posting signage around your place of business or instituting morning equipment inspections, nothing is more important than protecting your business and your customers.