Entries tagged with “Payment Security”.
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Jul 30 2015
It’s no surprise that customers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to buy goods and services. They crave the speed and convenience of making these secure, digital transactions, which means that prudent merchants will want to adopt new payment systems to accommodate these on-the-go smartphone shoppers.
The volume of in-store mobile payments is predicted to rise from $1.8 billion in 2013 to $189 billion in 2018, according to a report from the Financial Brand. Consumers are already growing accustomed to using their mobile devices to make payments, just as they are used to using smartphones to exchange emails and visit websites.
In fact, about 83% of 1,000 executives surveyed by KMPG said they believe mobile payments will go mainstream this year, according to report from NFC World. As the mobile payment industry booms, small businesses will have to boom with it. Read on to learn how your small business can save time and money with mobile payments.
What Kinds of Merchants Benefit from Allowing Mobile Payments?
Sometimes small business owners think that mobile payments are not for them, and that this kind of service is more suitable for companies involved in technology and computers. Actually, a wide variety of companies will benefit from mobile payments, including:
* Home-based Small Businesses
* eBay Sellers
* Boutique Stores
* Outside Event Vendors
Set up and Go!
Merchants with limited knowledge and experience with computer systems, software and portable devices may avoid adopting mobile payments out of fear that it will be a burden to set up and learn how to use.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however in most cases, a merchant can set up an online account and begin accepting mobile credit card transactions the same day. In a pinch, customer service is just a quick email or phone call away.
Dealing with International Currencies
Merchants that conduct a significant number of transactions with people from other countries, such as tourists or business executives, would be right to wonder what role mobile payments could play in selling items and services to them.
With a system like ProPay, merchants can easily accept payments from major branded credit cards from around the world. Credit card associations take care of all currency exchanges for you, and the customer will be charged in the currency of his or her originating country.
Protecting Customer Data
Business owners are accustomed to using POS terminals to ring up credit card transactions, knowing that the data is encrypted to protect it and keep unauthorized people from accessing the card information.
Switching to a mobile payment scheme seems like it might open the door to more computer hackers. However, the team at ProPay developed the system to include point-to-point encryption and it uses ProtectPay, the company’s solution for tokenization. Merchants never store the customers’ sensitive information, let alone process or transmit it. These tasks are taken care of by ProPay, ensuring all payments are safeguarded.
You may be concerned that in exchange for offering your customers the ease and convenience of making mobile payments that you will have to pay through the nose for the privilege.
In fact, ProPay charges only a modest fee to cover costs, such as 3.25% on a $10 purchase along with a $0.35 transaction fee. Keep in mind that payment-processing fees depend on the type of ProPay account you choose. Once you’ve signed up for the service, you click the “Learn More” link to access details on processing fees.
Small business owners are often wary about adopting new technologies, since any change in how your organization functions could disrupt operations and inconvenience customers. It’s easy to set up a secure, robust mobile payment system and implement it. You’ll soon realize that the transaction fees are designed to protect you and your customers by keeping the network running 24/7 and maintaining the security of each purchase. Sign up for a merchant account with ProPay today, and start accepting cards anytime, anywhere.
May 12 2015
Today’s interconnected society provides consumers with the ability to research and purchase goods with just a couple of mouse clicks. A customer in Florida can have a wheel of authentic Wisconsin cheddar cheese delivered to their doorstep within days. A man in Spain can purchase a genuine Indian-cut diamond for his finance who is studying abroad in South Africa. Having no borders and working basically anonymously, the internet has become an open playground for counterfeiters and frauds. The magnetic strip on the back of a traditional debit or credit card contains an unchanging strand of data which can be used over and over once it is obtained. This makes the process simple and effective for hackers and identity thieves. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a practical way to prevent the information from being transferred without handcuffing the convenience of the card? Well there is. It’s called Europay, Mastercard, and Visa technology, or EMV. The United States will attempt to fully transition to EMV technology by October 1, 2015.
What is EMV Technology?
EMV technology is designed to protect buyers from the hackers and identity thieves lingering in the darkness. Instead of a magnetic strip, which stores unchanging information that is consistent with every purchase, EMV uses a small, metal chip inserted inside the card. This chip produces a different code for every transaction, limiting the potential amount of funds a thief could obtain when stealing the cardholder’s information.
How Does it Work?
Instead of quickly swiping a card, consumers will perform a process calling “dipping.” The card is placed in a scanning machine that sends and receives data to the bank associated with the card. The dipping process is not as time-efficient as the traditional swipe, but the security benefits of having a unique code with every purchase will ultimately prove to be worth the wait. Developers are currently working on a process called near field communications, which would allow the customer to tap the card against a terminal to complete the transaction. Both of these methods may require either an entered PIN or signed receipt to verify the purchase.
What Does this Mean for My Business?
Certainly, a more secure EMV card means merchants will not have to pay as many charge-backs because there will be less fraud. In addition to this, the Payment Brands are working out the details of a program that will allow businesses to waive the PCI-DSS audit fee if a percentage of their transactions are made with an EMV-implemented system. When the transition to chip technology takes place, business that have not properly prepared for the change could potentially be held liable for fraudulent purchases when a counterfeited card is used on location. In a nutshell, completing the changeover to EMV processing will save you money on a number of different fronts.
How Can I Prepare My Business for EMV Technology Payment Processing?
Though it may take some time to familiarize yourself with the process, these 4 tips will help you with making the transition:
- Start learning and training your staff on the product. Though you may not be ready to make the change immediately, early instruction and education on the system and how it operates will make conversion much easier.
- Do not procrastinate. Make your move soon. It is definitely beneficial to be on the pole position with the EMV transition. Don’t wait until customers begin grilling you as to why you haven’t changed. Get out ahead of this thing before the need to convert feels ominous.
- Create a plan. Consider cost, weigh your options, and continue research. Know what you are dealing with and how it could affect your expenses, revenues, and time management.
- Consult with your merchant process provider. These companies are at the forefront of the EMV wave and have access to the latest updates in technology, procedures, hardware, and procurement options. Maintain a clear line of communication with them and they will make your transition to EMV processing easier and more efficient.
The Future is Here
The United States is among the last of developed countries to convert to EMV processing technology. In today’s fast-paced business market, this is the ground floor of a major change and improvement in battling credit card fraud. While the transition may seem costly and tumultuous, it will prove to be safer, less expensive, and easy to manage in the long run. Learn the product, create a plan, and keep constant communication with your process provider to prepare for the conversion.
Apr 30 2015
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.
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.
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.
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
Apr 14 2015
You’ve worked hard to keep your credit clean, and your business should be rewarded for it. One of the top credit processing trends of 2015 is for payment processing companies, a quickly proliferating industry, to offer rebates and rewards as an enticement to clients with good credit who deserve to cash in on the rebates and rewards. It’s similar to the way personal credit card companies monitor and reward clients with good credit who pay on time. This may come in the form of an initial rebate, or a percentage back at the end of a pay period. Personal credit card offers can suck people in with point systems that dupe some customers into rationalizing overspending because they are earning points or airline miles. There’s not the same risk with payment processing providers since your rebates and rewards are contingent on transactions you were already processing; it’s simply a smart way to capitalize on your system for accepting payments and processing cards. There’s no reason not to take advantage of these offers. With so many options in the payments industry vying for your business, there’s also no reason to compromise. Find a rebate and rewards program that works for you.
Capitalize on Rebates and Rewards
Savvy businesses are capitalizing on opportunities such as rebates and rewards to create new revenue streams. When you’re looking for a payment processor, choose one that offers rebates and rewards that help you maximize your investment. Use a payment processor that gives you something in return for your business and rewards you for being conscientious about your credit. If you’re managing a business, you know that being scrupulous about your financials is its own reward. Payment processing rebates are just a way to cash in on smart business practices.
Picking the Right Card
It’s essential to do your homework and find the card that’s right for your business. Pick one that’s easy to use and fits your financial style. Check the interest rates and the fees. Make sure you know what you’re getting in return for your business. Do the math—obviously, if the fees are more than the rewards, it’s not a good fit for you. For most businesses, a slow-and-steady approach wins the race. Consistent rewards for paying on time and staying within processing limits are usually the best way to go. Watch out for enticing deals that come with your initial sign-up, but peter out before they provide much of a benefit to you.
ProPay offers a nice rebate in the form of a processing credit, which you can earn after the first 90 days of activating your account. When you sign up for a ProPay account and process $600 in credit card sales in the first 90 days you’ll earn a processing credit worth $29.95. This processing credit covers all of the fees you would normally have paid to ProPay as you process credit cards or transfer funds from your account after receipt of this rebate. It’s a handy way to take care of some of the fees associated with processing cards.
Targeted Reward Programs
As the payment processing arena gets more competitive, expect to see rebate and reward programs becoming more and more specific to customer needs and spending patterns. Strategy& observes the following:
“In the technology sphere, we see opportunities for companies in the payments industry to mine customer data and create analytics that can support increasingly sophisticated merchant-funded rewards programs. These programs are becoming more and more pervasive, offered by an ever-broader assortment of national and local retailers, and their success in an era of ‘big data’ is determined by how well they are integrated with the consumer’s path to purchase. The customer’s location — physical store, mobile computer or desktop, smartphone or tablet — as well as recent purchase history, browsing habits, checkout completion rate, response to marketing impressions, and type of credit card used are among the many data points that payments providers can help retailers evaluate to make rewards programs more relevant to individual consumers. This, in turn, should increase sales per active customer and improve retailer marketing ROI.”
This is a promising trend for business owners who rely on the payments industry for their day-to day credit card processing. As their offers are fine-tuned to meet your needs you’ll best be able to capitalize on a rebate and reward program that recognizes and appreciates your good credit.
Feb 20 2015
Fraud prevention can seem like an overwhelming subject for those who run small businesses, especially if they’ve just opened up shop. Fortunately, there is no need for the massive layers of security or huge teams that are often associated with giant companies. Instead, fraud prevention for small businesses is best done by using common sense and a careful eye.
Find Out What Country Orders Really Came From
This is a big help for preventing fraud. Sometimes, an order will come through that seems to be from a legitimate location, but something might seem just a bit amiss. Perhaps the order is for more items than are usually sold, or there’s a comment in broken English, or there’s some other tip-off that all is not what it seems. That’s when you need to use the IP address of the customer to see where the order really came from. If your shopping cart software provides this information, just copy it and paste it into a reverse IP lookup site. A Google search will reveal plenty such sites. Once you enter the IP into the lookup site, the site will tell what country it’s located in. Don’t ship if it isn’t the country the customer gave in the order.
Check Your Records
If someone irately writes you demanding a refund, do a simple record check and make sure that the person ordered anything from you. Sometimes it’ll turn out that they did not. Of course, a dedicated criminal won’t just go away when you tell them that, so your next step is to tell them that you don’t give refunds until you have the item back. Don’t let them wear you down on that policy. Refunds given before items arrive are nothing but gifts for criminals.
Use a Merchant-Friendly Payment Processor
Many criminals work their frauds by demanding refunds from their credit card issuers instead of from you. Some payment processors always mindlessly side with the “customer,” and crooks take massive advantage of such policies. Look for a processor that is not so “customer-centric” that they end up becoming your adversary. Of course, you’ll still need proof that you upheld your end of the deal, so be sure to use trackable shipping.
For more tips on fraud prevention, just contact us. We’ll be glad to help you thwart criminals and ensure that all of your merchandise is not only bought, but paid for.