Accepting Credit Cards: Pointers for Preventing Data Breech Hacker Horrors

You want to accept credit cards, but you don’t want to accept the risks of fraud associated with those payments. You may or may not already know that credit cards are a major target by crooks, and they account for millions in lost revenues by businesses. What’s more, businesses face two threats: crooks stealing information from them after a legitimate transaction has occurred and dishonest customers doing chargebacks to get free stuff. Here’s how you fight fraud and keep your customers happy.

How Damages Affect You

About 60 percent of fraudulent charges are eaten up by the issuing bank. That means the bank takes responsibility for the loss – but only up to a little more than half of the total charges. Customers are rarely responsible for more than 2 percent of all fraudulent charges. This means that businesses almost always end up being responsible for the remaining 40 percent of the charge, sharing the risk with the issuing bank. This is why it’s so important to protect yourself.

Always Swipe Transactions When You Have The Options

Always swipe transactions when possible. Keying in, or taking web orders, are more risky. Now, with the advent of tighter PCI compliance and more secure websites, web payments are becoming more common, and more secure. Still, you get the lowest rates by having the card swiped at the terminal.

If you’re not sure whether your employees are actually swiping every transaction (you’d be surprised by how many don’t), it might be worth it to get a review by on the integrity of your current transaction processing.

Always Keep Your Website PCI Compliant

If you own and maintain a company website, then keep it updated and secure. Always comply with PCI guidelines – they’re not optional. If you run your website through Paypal or, you still may have obligations under the law, so always check to see what they are. If you’re caught in the middle of a lawsuit or customer complaint, you can be fined thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars for non-compliance if you did not take steps to protect your customers beforehand.

Train Employees On Proper Handling Of Customer Data

Train employees to swipe cards. This might sound a little silly, but many employees don’t understand the importance of this, the risk they impose on you by keying in card information, and the extra fees you pay for this type of transaction.

Establish Firm Refund Policies

Sometimes, unfortunately, the problem is the customer. Yeah, “the customer is always right” is a motto born out of the rosy 1950s when marketing agencies were perceived as truthful and customers never lied. Those kinds of fairytales just don’t exist anymore, if they ever did.

Today’s customer is basically honest, but there are wolves amidst the sheep, and they’re ready to take you for everything you’ve got. Establish firm buyback and refund policies so that you’re not taken advantage of. Be ready to fight a dispute with a credit card processor if you think you’re being scammed, and don’t ship out merchandise until a card transaction has cleared. Even though the customer has 30 days to dispute most charges, you can reduce your risk dramatically by waiting for the initial payment to go through. That way, if they fight you, they have more hoops to jump through.

Chad Hembree is a business man who is always looking for safer and more secure ways to accept payments. When he finds something he thinks is helpful, he likes to share it with others. You can read his informative posts on many of today’s websites and blogs.

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