Entries tagged with “identity theft”.

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.

“You get what you pay for.” You’ve undoubtedly heard that phrase before and have possibly learned through personal experience that it is in fact true. When it comes to merchant services, this saying is no exception. With the industry buzz about “Free Accounts” or “Free Card Readers”, more and more companies are falling for this trend without fully understanding what this so-called “free” really entails.

In order to better define these free services, the following sections offer a comparison between ProPay’s services and a competitor offering a free merchant account and reader.

Secure Card Readers


Free Service

  • All of ProPay’s approved card reader devices encrypt sensitive credit and debit card data “on the head” of the device as information is collected off the magnetic stripe.
  • ProPay’s ProtectPay enables merchants place customer’s credit card data on file for repeat billing.
  • Additionally, ProPay over 10 ways to accept payments.
  • Competitor offers no ProtectPay equivalent.
  • Competitor offers no “clip” to secure the reader in the audio jack permitting it to spin around and risk damage to the audio jack. Also requires the merchant to awkwardly hold the phone and reader while attempting to swipe the card.

Competitive Rates


Free Service

  • 2.60% on all swiped (Visa, MasterCard, Discover; AMEX is slightly higher).
  • 3.40% on all keyed (Visa, MasterCard, Discover; AMEX is slightly higher).
  • ProPay provides multiple tier pricing options that offer better transaction rates based on merchant’s needs.
  • 2.75% on all cards swiped.
  • 3.50% + $0.15 on all cards keyed.
  • One size fits all.
  • No data coverage, no ability to accept payments.

Fund Accessibility


Free Service

  • No bank account is required.
  • Easily transfer money to your own bank.
  • Access funds immediately through Enhanced SpendBack.
  • Funds should be available within 24 hours.
  • Process up to $1,000 per week. Any amount over $1,000 is held in reserve for 30 days.
  • Limited to “banked” customers with a Smartphone and a data plan.
  • Bank Account is required.

Customer Service Capabilities


Free Service

  • Phone, Email, Chat
  • U.S.-based customer service representatives.
  • Representatives that speak the following languages: English, Spanish, French.
  • Available Monday-Friday 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM MST
  • SMS, Email, Phone Monday-Friday 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST.
  • SMS, Email, Phone Monday-Friday 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST.

Payment processors set up through your merchant services account are meant to help your small business make money. However, accumulating fees simply for processing payments will cause you to lose more money in the long run. Small businesses can’t afford to lose even a percentage on a payment without raising prices. Instead, a little research can go a long way toward protecting yourself from hidden fees.

Here are 6 tips to help you keep the money you make:

1. Be highly selective when choosing a payment processing company. Even companies who advertise “no fees” may have some caveat such as no fees for certain credit cards, additional fees for debit cards, etc.

2. One of the most common “hidden fees” is charging extra, as much as 20 cents per transaction, for credit cards that are entered manually versus “swiped”. When setting up a merchant account, remember part of the overall cost involves investing in hardware that can “swipe” a card. Mobile card readers may be a good investment if this fee can’t be avoided.

3. Most payment processing companies require a “monthly minimum”, usually hidden way down at the bottom of your contract in the very fine print. How much business do you expect? Can you reliably meet the minimum requirement? Remember, the minimum is counting credit/debit card transactions only – not cash or check sales.

4. Payment gateway fees refer to how sales are made, typically online or at a brick-and-mortar location. E-commerce sales may have more hidden fees for providing connection services.

5. Almost all processors will have an extra fee for paper statements as opposed to receiving your statement via e-mail. On that same token, they may offer small discounts for setting up “auto-pay” options.

6. Some credit cards have higher fees than others. Weigh the risks and benefits of accepting all major credit cards or deciding not to accept one or two in order to avoid those fees.

Ultimately, your decision affects not just your bottom line but your customer experience as well. Some small businesses are forced to pass on fees for credit cards or require a minimum purchase in order to use a credit card. With credit and debit transactions becoming the norm, small businesses have a tough choice to make. The moral of the story here is to do your research, ask questions, and examine the contracts closely.

Contact us to learn more about global payment solutions that are simple, secure and affordable.

Recently, an online dating service was compromised affecting some 20 million customers. The breach affected usernames and emails of visitors for the Russia-based site.

The company, luckily, does not store any customer financial data, however there is still reason to be concered regarding the access of emails and usernames which can be used to traced to other online financial transactions by the customer.

The difficulty in tracking where these hacks come from and what will happen to the data makes protection from an attack the best method to avoid issues within the company and frustrations of your customers.

In order to maintain your company’s protection and on-going cybersecurity strength it is vital to optimize your IT infrastructure. Frequent updates and tests of the entire system and checking for flaws in the network will help companies large and small avoid costly and time-consuming issues.  To learn more about options for network security, contact us.

The key to finding the right payment processor for your small business is to locate businesses that have the kind of security that you’re looking for. The current age is one where cyber security breaches are common, so it’s important you find only the most secure payment processing companies to ensure the security of your customers’ data.

High BBB Rating

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) represents a non-profit entity that provides a neutral, third-party assessment. It’s important to not just look for the BBB seal when you’re assessing payment processing companies, but to actually click on it as well to make sure the seal really goes to a BBB website.

Once there, it helps to check the grading scale. If a business gets an “A+” rating, this usually means that they are dependable and that the BBB has determined that they go the extra mile to solve disputes and complaints customers lodge against them, including security issues.

This page should also give you a phone number and an address for the business so you can further confirm they are legitimate.


Another important feature to look for is that the payment processing company has end to end encryption. This should include an encrypted method for collecting sensitive data. This data collection could occur either in-person or at an online portal.

The main point is that your organization doesn’t have to store the data personally, and all of the customer’s data is stored and protected by the payment processing company itself. This makes it so that breaches that occur into your company won’t have any chance of leaking customer data to hackers.

For more information on finding the best payment processing companies, please contact us today.