Entries tagged with “Data Security”.


The more you do to make things easier for your customers and clients, the more likely they will become loyal users of your products or services. Whether you are a small startup firm or a major company looking to improve your bottom line, one area where you can really offer them convenience is in the payment process.

If your business has been relying on traditional payment methods, such as one or more cash registers in fixed locations with lines of people queuing up to pay, you should know that mobile payments are a superior alternative that will save your customers time. Implementing a mobile payment system will reduce your transaction costs and improve security.

Mobile is Always Where You Are

Traditional payment systems slow down the purchasing process. Mobile payment capabilities make it easier to finish the sale. When a salesperson is done assisting a customer in making a selection, he or she can finish the transaction on the spot instead of having the customer walk over to the cashier.

If you’ve been running your business on a cash-only basis, such as at a farmer’s market or food truck, you can easily use mobile payment technology to process credit card transactions, noted a recent article at American Express.

Improved Attention to Security

Identity theft and other forms of cyber crime are a growing problem and companies that address the security issues in their payment system can advertise this fact to their customers to ease their safety concerns.

ProPay’s secure payment options give you the ability to accept credit card and debit card transactions and ACH payments without having to store, process or transfer the data. ProPay’s ProtectPay® service provides encryption and tokenization of sensitive customer data to ensure it is secure.

A single security breach can spell disaster for your business, leading to a public relations nightmare and the exodus of your customers as they look for a company that is able to properly manage their financial details.

Savvy business owners looking to improve their customer experience will want to take advantage of mobile payments with the ProPay swipe device. You’ll speed up each transaction and will enjoy improved security, while also keeping better track of your inventory and the purchasing trends of each of your valuable customers.

More than ever, it seems that individuals have either had their credit card information stolen or knows someone who has had their credit card information stolen. It is vital that you protect your credit card information and identity in today’s technology-based marketplace.

Pitfalls of Old Security Methods

For many credit and debit card users, it wouldn’t be reaching to guess they have been using the same cards for years. And, while their credit cards are remaining unchanged, hackers are using technology to find more advanced methods for stealing private information from consumers.

It isn’t just the credit cards which remain the same, security measures have been inconsistent, outdated, and faulty, putting card users at risk of having the information stolen. We have seen the consequences of faulty security measures in retail security breaches, which have left many with the responsibility of trying the mend the damage done to their credit.

Implementation of New Methods

New security methods are currently in place or just around the corner, with big changes expected as soon as 2020. What can we expect with the impending credit card security transformation?

  • Tokenization: In the future, all credit cards with use a smart chip instead of the traditional magnetic strip. This chip uses tokenization, meaning the chip creates a one-time transaction code for each payment. Tokenization removes the account number from the equation, and chip-enabled cards are expected to be much more secure.
  • PIN as standard: Debit cards require the use of a PIN for transactions already, and new credit cards are beginning to require consumers to use a PIN to make a payment as well. It is believed that use of a PIN will quickly become a global standard for debit and credit cards alike.
  • One card for multiple accounts: With time it will become common to use one card to manage multiple accounts. This change is expected to reduce risks of loss, theft and fraud. Additionally, it will simplify card management for users and reduce costs for credit card companies.

How You Can Prepare with EnsureBill

With so many changes to credit card security in the not-so-distant future, it is important that individuals and businesses are prepared to protect credit card information. The use of a payment facilitator through ProPay, which takes advantage of the advances these credit card security trends have made, is an excellent way to make sure credit card information remains secure. Payment facilitators are used to compiling credit card information on a secure server, which will prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands.

ProPay uses point-to-point encryption and tokenization to guarantee that credit card information is safely transmitted from the merchant to the payment facilitator. Point-to-point encryption simply means that credit card information is immediately encrypted at the point of input and is not decrypted until the payment facilitator processes it. Tokenization replaces sensitive data with non-sensitive data, so that only those who have token access can gain access to sensitive information.

EnsureBill is a service provided by ProPay to companies with customers who make automatic payments. EnsureBill is a secure and streamlined system for storing customer credit card information for recurring payments. Use of EnsureBill is shown to reduce declined transactions by maintaining customer credit card information.

Conclusion

There may never be a guaranteed way to keep credit card information safe 100% of the time, but payment facilitators have multiple credit card security measures in place which keep customer credit and debit card information secure. As credit card security measures are transforming over the next few years, make sure you choose a company that makes keeping your or your customer’s information secure its top priority.

Identity theft: Just the thought of those two words is enough to make any one of us break out in a cold sweat. Keep in mind, sometimes the first step towards assuming your identity and ruining your credit is to get your credit card number and it may be easier than you think for unscrupulous people to obtain your credit card data. Stop and think about these five methods thieves use to steal your credit card information.

1. Malware – the last time you opened an email from someone you did not know and it had an attachment did you open it? This could be software designed specifically for infiltrating your computer and stealing information. Malware is also found on websites that offer products for sale with lower levels of security than would be ideal for those making online purchases. Make sure you know who you are doing business with online and make sure they have the right security in place to protect your credit card numbers.

2. Restaurant thieves – chances are the last time you went out to eat your waitress brought the check and you willingly turned over your credit card for processing. Today, there are countless numbers of inexpensive gadgets that can fit in apron pockets or pants pockets that can read your credit card data. Wait staff can duplicate your credit card when you turn it over and use that card later to wreak havoc.

3. Eavesdroppers – shopping by phone or providing a trusted creditor a credit card number for payment can cause you an endless amount of grief. You can never tell who is listening to your conversation, they could be writing down your credit card number complete with security code. If you must give your credit card information by telephone, make sure you are in an area where you cannot be overheard.

4. Drive through surprises – you innocently go through a drive through at your favorite coffee shop or fast food restaurant and hand your credit card over to the cashier. The cashier duplicates your information by using a hand-held device or they simply write down the credit card number with the security code from the back. Before you know it, there are purchases you did not make on your card.

5. Card skimmers – most of us think that gas pumps and ATM machines are safe places to use our credit or debit cards. They may not be as safe as you think thanks to the availability of card skimmers. These devices are swapped into card swipe devices on gas pumps and ATM machines and the information is pulled through to a thief’s computer exposing you to credit card theft.

In today’s technological marketplace, it is becoming more important than ever before to protect both your identity and your credit card information. One way to ensure that your credit card information stays private and does not fall into the wrong hands is to use a payment facilitator who can store your information on a secure server and make sure it never falls into the wrong hands.

Real-time payment processing systems have already been successfully implemented in multiple countries around the world and will soon be implemented in the U.S.  According to an article by Tom Gorenfeldt in Forbes, “The Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve Board are evaluating potential strategies for collaborating with the industry to achieve real-time payment capabilities. The final consultation report, ‘Payment Systems Improvement Roadmap,’ has been delayed repeatedly but is expected out before the year’s end. It will define action plans to achieve faster payments capabilities in the U.S.”  Customers, businesses, and banks alike will need to learn about the benefits and potential pitfalls of real-time payment processing.

Benefits

In an increasingly digital world where a company might exist totally online, a person could theoretically buy something, have it shipped, and receive it all before their payment is completely processed. Lag in payment processing time can mean that customers could easily overspend their accounts. Lag in payment could also severely hinder some businesses, particularly when they are crossing time zones. “Merchants like to restock once they sell, and the time it takes to get the proceeds of their sales can create cash flow management issues for them. The impact of that latency just moves up the supply chain,” said Rich Koehler, Director of Product and Marketing at Amazon, “When we look at payments in the future we should look at it as an enabler for new business models.” Real-time payments can help eliminate some of the issues that come with that lag in payments. While online businesses operate 24/7, banks don’t, which may have to change as real-time payment processing in the U.S. starts to become a reality.

Making the Change

While some businesses are completely ready for a more reactive payment processing system, some banks just can’t justify the cost of switching to a real-time payment process. However, with new direction from the U.S. federal government and so many other countries already operating with real-time payment systems, their philosophies could soon change. According to the same Forbes article, The Clearing House “plans to undertake a multi-year effort to build a real-time payment system to better meet consumers’ and businesses’ expectations in an increasingly digital economy. The real-time payment system will be designed to address gaps in payment processing and will enable consumers and businesses to securely send and receive immediate payments directly from their accounts at financial institutions,” and banks will need to keep up.

Pitfalls

Although a real-time payment system has a lot of benefits, businesses need to be aware of potential pitfalls. As businesses and banks begin developing a real-time payment system, they’ll need to develop a real-time fraud prevention system. The way fraud prevention operates now, banks and credit card companies rely on the day or two it takes to fully process a transaction to help identify and rectify fraudulent transactions. But if real-time payments truly are the future, then real-time fraud protection that could stop an unauthorized transaction in its tracks needs to be developed as well. The U.S. implementation of EMV cards will help decrease the risk of fraudulent transactions, but that doesn’t mean companies can completely abandon their fraud detection and prevention measures. They’ll need to evolve to encompass every new change.

While the U.S. might not be totally ready to implement real-time payments, businesses, banks, and customers alike can start preparing themselves for the changes real-time payment processing will mean.

About ProPay

Since 1997, ProPay has provided simple, secure and affordable payment solutions for organizations ranging from the small, home-based entrepreneur to multi-billion dollar businesses. ProPay is a leading provider of complete end-to-end payment security solutions that reduce, and may even eliminate, an organization’s risk of having sensitive payment data compromised. ProPay can help you:

  • Enable merchants to quickly begin accepting credit and debit cards through instant underwriting
  • Secure payment data
  • Reduce compliance obligations
  • Reduce overall transaction costs
  • Enable companies to ACCEPT and MAKE payments in multiple international currencies

As a small business owner, you need to know about every little thing that happens in your company. You need to know about inventory, profit margins, marketing, and employee retention to name a few. Whether you accept payments online, with a smartphone, or in a brick and mortar store, accepting payment from customers is a vital part of becoming profitable. Here are three payment terms you should know.

1. Chargebacks

Chargebacks happen when customers file a dispute with their bank or credit card provider about a charge they disagree with. The disputed charge might be a result of technical or clerical error (being charged twice or charged the wrong amount) or it might be a quality issue, where the goods received are not what was purchased. The most common reason for a chargeback, however, is a fraudulent transaction. Chargebacks can protect customers from fraud, identity theft, and error, but if they are abused they can cause problems for your business. To avoid chargebacks you should gather detailed information from the customer, (billing address, shipping address, etc.) and be as accurate as possible in all your record keeping. Providing fantastic customer service and making your customers fully aware of your return policy can also help prevent chargebacks.

2. EMV/Chip Cards

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa who banded together to set standards for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. Together they formed a company called EMVCo that promotes the use of “smart cards”. Smart cards contain a micro-chip that can hold far more information than a traditional magnetic stripe. Because a smart card can hold more information, they can support multiple methods of authentication, making them more secure than a magnetic stripe alone. Instead of relying solely on matching a signature with a card, EMV cards require the use of a PIN. This PIN can be authenticated either online, with the PIN being encrypted and verified in real time, or offline, with the PIN being verified by the EMV card itself. While EMV cards are far more secure than the standard magnetic stripe cards, that doesn’t eliminate the need to have data security. EMV cards are common in Europe, and are becoming more common in the U.S. In October 2015, several major credit card providers including American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover will be implementing a liability shift for point of sale terminals. This liability shift means that merchants and card issuers not using EMV compliant cards assume liability for all fraudulent transactions. If you want to be on the cutting edge, you might consider figuring out how to accept multiple payment methods, so you can still accept magnetic stripe cards as you and your customers upgrade to the more secure EMV cards.

3. Magnetic Stripe Cards

Magnetic stripe cards are the most common type of card in the U.S. However, since these cards rely on a visual authentication via a small hologram and the cardholder’s signature, these cards are far from secure. These cards are easily counterfeited and far more likely to result in security breaches so it is vital to secure your financial information to protect yourself and your customers. A good payment processor will keep customer financial data secure, even with the less secure magnetic stripe cards. While magnetic stripe cards are far from the most secure method of payment, they are still the most common payment method, so you can’t just default to accepting only the more secure types of payment. New payment methods like the EMV card, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet are becoming more and more common. Being able to accept these newer, more secure forms of payment while still accepting magnetic stripe cards is becoming a necessity.

Knowing these three vital payment processing terms can help you protect yourself and your customers’ financial data. It will also keep you on the cutting edge and help you know how you need to prepare for the future.

About ProPay

Since 1997, ProPay has provided simple, secure and affordable payment solutions for organizations ranging from the small, home-based entrepreneur to multi-billion dollar businesses. ProPay is a leading provider of complete end-to-end payment security solutions that reduce, and may even eliminate, an organization’s risk of having sensitive payment data compromised. ProPay can help you:

  • Enable merchants to quickly begin accepting credit and debit cards through instant underwriting
  • Secure payment data
  • Reduce compliance obligations
  • Reduce overall transaction costs
  • Enable companies to ACCEPT and MAKE payments in multiple international currencies