Accepting credit and debit cards at your place of business is an absolute essential part of driving revenue, managing your customers requests for a fast and easy checkout experience, and increasing efficiency in your operations. Not only does accepting credit and debit cards provide your customers a choice of payment, but customers that are paying with credit card spend on average 35% more than a customer paying with debit or cash. That means that by providing pay-at-table, or easily accessible payment processing solutions, 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 if you are not secure.
The following tips will help increase your payment processing security and reduce annual chargebacks and fraud.
1. Maintain PCI compliance
Being Payment Card Industry compliant is an absolute necessity. It is greatly important to make certain that your payment processing software security 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. The depth of the required PCI audit will depend on your business volumes and payment processing systems that are being used by your business.
2. Payment System locations
Most credit card frauds and scams are due to the location of the payment processing system or equipment. Individuals that are trying to scam or fraud credit card information will try to tamper with payment processing equipment in an effort to steal vital credit card data and information. 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 an employee.
3. Education and awareness
Educating your employees is a fantastic way 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 card holder security.
4. 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 continue to introduce innovative secure equipment designed to protect your business and cardholder data.
5. Build a relationship with your providers
We 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 protected yourself and your cardholder’s data.
It is imperative to take the necessary steps to protect your business' assets and security. 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.