Strong Security On A Budget For Merchant Card Services

Merchant card services and strong security go hand in hand and it is possible to obtain both on a budget with the help of Vantiv.

As a small business, budget is important to you. In the search for merchant card services, it is critical to focus on strong security. In the effort to save money, it’s important not to open yourself up to possible fraudulent activity.

Your merchant account should support focus on a number of security measures ranging from in-store payment security to fraud protection at the point-of-sale.

What Happens During a Data Breach

You may have heard about data breaches and how they can cost small businesses a significant amount of money, and potentially cause the business to close, but do you really know what goes on? Understanding the real side effects of a data breach helps you understand the important need for sensible security solutions within your merchant card services.

If there is a data breach, it could affect your reputation. Your reputation is your most prized asset because it builds and maintains the integrity of your brand. Even if you have the best reputation within your community, a data breach can ruin everything. 46% of the organizations that have experienced a cyber security breach identify a damaged reputation and decrease in brand value as additional outcomes.

Part of the problem is that due to the Internet, stories are likely to spread faster. A person can disclose the security breach on social media and it can spread like fire. This can lead to a loss in customer trust as well. You need customers to trust your business and everything that you do. If there is any kind of security breach, that trust is compromised – and you may never be able to get it back. Any time that you handle consumers' card transactions they trust that the information is going to be processed and then deleted. If it falls into the wrong hands along the way, they are going to come back to you.

You need to consider solutions that allow you to prevent data breaches or the negative effects of them. Your credit card processing at the point-of-sale is the place to start. It can help you as a retailer ensure that your customers are well protected. Making sure payment security is built into your card processing helps you to hold onto your reputation.

How are You Doing?

Vantiv recently asked 500 consumers to share how they think retailers are doing in terms of providing a seamless shopping experience. Surprisingly, it seems like no one is getting it right entirely in all areas, which means that there is improvement across the board, including for your small business.

Most people are satisfied with price accuracy between online and in-store experiences – which means that if you have goals, you want to make sure that the prices are accurate. It is also important to be able to check inventory, return items in-store when purchased online, and maintain consistency of account information regardless of whether it’s in-store, online, or on a mobile device.

Understanding where you stand in terms of consumer demand is critical. You want to make sure that you see eye to eye with your customers.

As consumers are moving faster than ever across channels, there's an unspoken expectation that everyone cares about the integrity of their personal information. This includes retirees, boomers, generation Xers, and millennials. This means it doesn’t matter who your target demographic is. Security is a big part of the shopping experience and it doesn’t matter how you take your payments, it needs to be done in a secure manner that takes into consideration fraud and security.

Budget Isn’t the Only Focus

The reality is that you need strong security in place for your merchant card services. Not all companies allow you to focus on both security and budget. While it can be tempting to focus on budget alone because you are a small business and you want to contribute as much to the bottom line as possible, this can be extremely dangerous.

In your effort to save money, you could be putting your reputation and overall brand value in danger. If you experience a data breach, everything you have worked for could come crashing down.

This can be avoided easily enough by taking advantage of payment security solutions with small businesses in mind, both in-store and online and considering data security and fraud. You can protect your customers more heavily and establish a higher level of trust. Customers will be more apt to purchase with you because you are giving them the confidence to use the payment options.

Look for budget friendly merchant card services that deliver strong security. Payments should be smarter, faster, and easier, and more secure,  and allow you to provide more options for people to pay for the products and/or services that you offer. This can help to boost business and contribute more to the bottom line, it is ultimately your goal.

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Patty Walters is the senior vice president of Merchant Products and Security at Vantiv—a role that gives her responsibility for all EMV strategy for the Vantiv Merchant business.
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