Choose the right provider for secure payment processing
No matter how secure your payments systems are and how committed your processor is to data security, accepting credit cards always carries some degree of risk. But, there are certainly ways that your payments provider can help you protect your business from fraudulent charges and data breaches. Read on for more information on how to bolster your payments security.
Reduce your risk of fraudulent charges
Your first line of defense against in-store card fraud is a POS system that is set up to accept EMV chip cards. While relatively new technology in the United States, EMV chip cards have been in widespread use in Europe, Asia and other areas of the world for many years. Their use has helped to dramatically decrease card-present fraud. Soon to be mandatory for all merchants, upgrading your POS terminals to accept EMV chip cards is a security measure your business should absolutely take.
Another way that your credit card service provider can help you decrease in-store fraud is by helping you and your staff understand and recognize some of the common signs of fraudulent payment cards. Here are some red flags to look out for:
- Cards with printed card numbers that look uneven or aren't printed straight across the card
- Cards with magnetic stripes that appear to have been deliberately tampered with
- Cards that are unsigned – Your staff should always require photo identification from anyone before accepting a payment card to validate that the name on the card matches the name on the ID
Your payment processor should also offer security measures to help reduce the likelihood of fraud occurring in your online store. Here are some security features they may offer:
- SSL (Secure sockets layer) certification. This certification ensures that the link between your eCommerce website and your shoppers’ web browsers is secure from prying eyes. Today’s shoppers have come to look for SSL certification on trusted websites, which is often indicated by a padlock icon next to the address in the URL bar of their web browser.
- AVS (Address verification system). If you accept credit card payments online, you should always require the customer to enter the billing address associated with the card. AVS checks the address entered against the card network’s records. Oftentimes, a fraudster will not have access to the billing address and so will not be able to proceed with a fraudulent transaction.
- CVV or CVV2 verification. Similar to checking the customer’s billing address, you should also always require the shopper enter the 3- or 4-digit CVV code on the card. This is an extra layer of security that checks what the customer enters and what the card network has on file for that card. Again, fraudsters will oftentimes not have this information associated with a stolen card number.
Reduce your risk of a data breach
These days, it seems like data breaches are everywhere in news headlines. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re a small business, you can’t fall victim to a breach. Businesses of all types and sizes must take precautions to protect themselves from a breach. Your credit card service provider should be committed to helping you reduce your risk of a data breach, and may offer the following:
- Encryption and tokenization technologies to protect your customers’ transaction data while data is both at rest and in flight through the networks
- Support in securing your networks with firewalls that protect against a breach
- Support in installing and maintaining anti-virus software on your payments processing systems
- Support in achieving and maintaining PCI compliance – required for all businesses that accept, transmit or store sensitive card data
- Financial protection in the event that a breach does occur
While you can’t completely eliminate your risk of falling victim to fraudulent charges or a data breach, there are a number of measures that you can take to greatly reduce that risk. Choosing the right merchant services provider will go a long way in having the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to protect your customers’ sensitive payments data.