How to address security issues and customer preferences with your credit card processing system
Businesses have always taken measures to protect their establishments from theft. The emphasis has traditionally been on protecting physical goods, but today’s security concerns are more complex. Merchants must now consider theft of non-physical assets including sensitive digital data. Selling more safely today means having a credit card processing system that not only employs the proper security solutions, but also meets the evolving preferences of consumers. Here’s what you need to know.
Credit card processing security started to gain significant momentum when the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was introduced in 2004. And things really ramped up with the EMV fraud chargeback liability shift in October 2015, with merchants now bearing more responsibility for fraudulent payment card charges.
While EMV chip cards are one of the biggest disruptors in credit card payments in recent years, it’s not just the security technology that merchants should be thinking about. Rather, they also need to consider how consumers are changing their behavior in light of new available payment types like mobile wallets and their associated security protections.
Consumers are taking proactive measures to protect themselves from fraud, and 61 percent of consumers believe that any extra time needed to process an EMV card is worth the added security. (March 2016) Tapping into the desire for increased security and other payment preferences offers new opportunities to connect with customers and cultivate long-term loyalty.
What do consumers think about payment card security?
While merchants now bear a bigger burden for chargebacks, they aren’t the only ones thinking about data security. According to Vantiv research, the majority of consumers feel they are as equally responsible as the card companies for protecting themselves against credit and debit card fraud. Considering that nearly half of consumers have experienced some form of card fraud, it’s not surprising that consumers are becoming more vigilant about their own credit card data security. (January, 2016)
This sense of responsibility is driving the types of payments consumers use when they shop. Nearly two-thirds of consumers consider traditional cards to be the least secure payment method, opting for their chip-enabled payment cards instead—more than half rate chip cards as the most secure payment form.
Consumers have slightly greater trust in the security of digital payments (e.g. PayPal) with 30 percent rating this payment method as the most secure. This could be due to the fact that they are taking matters into their own hands by keeping software up to date, using SSL sites and PayPal, not storing card info on sites, and implementing a personal firewall. (January, 2016)
What does this sense of personal responsibility mean for business owners in the context of selling safely?
To begin with, EMV-enablement must be a given for in-store purchases. As chip cards become more commonplace, consumers will become increasingly skeptical of the security of businesses that are not using EMV-enabled terminals.
Secondly, business owners must consider the types of payments they are accepting in an online environment. Since PayPal has a generally solid reputation among consumers for secure transactions, eCommerce merchants would do well to include this payment type among the acceptance methods offered.
Thirdly, merchants must keep in mind that one of the primary caveats for consumers using mobile payments is feeling their transactions are safe and secure (see below).
Why you still benefit from accepting mobile payments
One out of four consumers believe mobile wallet payments are the least secure payment type (January, 2016), citing reasons such as losing their phone and compromising their financial information, moments of vulnerability such as Wi-Fi and transmitting credit card information, and fear of the business being hacked. (May, 2016)
Still, merchants should not disregard mobile payments altogether since these concerns aren’t preventing all consumers from using mobile payments, and security experts agree that they are a secure payment type. Vantiv research shows that one out of three consumers have used mobile wallet payments within the past three months, and four out of five users rate their mobile payment experience as quite positive. (February 2017)
While the majority of mobile payment users enjoy a positive experience, those that are not happy with it report frustration with cashiers, credit card terminals, and an inconsistent experience among different retailers. Consequently, merchants that want to ride the wave of mobile payment acceptance must set time aside to train staff to help customers feel comfortable and confident about remitting a mobile payment.
3 ways to protect credit card data now
With these things in mind, here are three things you can do to meet your customers’ payment security preferences:
- Get EMV. For in-store transactions, implement EMV-enabled payment devices with NFC capability for chip cards and mobile payment acceptance.
- Let your customers know you are serious about data security. Display signage indicating that you accept chip cards and mobile payments, and train staff to let customers know their payment information is secure in these types of transactions.
- Offer preferred payment types. For online transactions, add PayPal and other options consumers are looking for.
As you navigate the myriad options in payment and security solutions, a reputable payments partner should be a trusted advisor. Give yourself peace of mind and contact us to learn more about Vantiv’s security solutions.