Whether you are doing business online or you have a physical store, payment security is a must for you. Credit card payment is one of the popular ways for customers to pay for the goods or services that they are availing.
It is essential to your business to make sure that the credit card payment you are taking is free of fraud. Consumers who are victims of fraud purchases can file chargebacks through their credit card companies, leaving you on the losing end, especially if you have already shipped the goods.
On the other hand, you have to secure your payment system as well, so the cardholder’s information will not fall on the hands of cyber thieves.
Here are some credit card safety tips for you to minimize business’ losses:
1. Verify the issuing card company
If you are taking payments over the phone and you are unsure of the issuing card company, try a BIN lookup. Just enter the first 6-8 digits of the card number, and it will tell you the issuing card company.
Knowing the issuing card company will help you if there is a need for you to report a suspected fraud. Do not even think twice in calling the issuing bank. Fraudulent transactions will do you no good. It may look like money, but it will be reversed anyway.
2. Take advantage of an Address Verification System (AVS)
Credit card companies and issuing banks cooperate with merchants to check whether the submitted billing address by the customer matches with the address on their end. Major card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card support AVS.
If you are using a payment processor, talk to them on how to integrate and implement AVS on your payment processing.
Briefly, though, this is how AVS works:
- When you make the AV request, the first 4 to 5 digits on the street address and the zip code will be checked against the address on file at the bank. For instance: 1238 Main Street, Main USA 98763. What will be checked are “1238” and “98763.”
- There will be six return codes for the check namely: full match, partial match address, partial match zip code, no match, international, and unavailable. You will receive one of these codes.
A full match is ideal as it comes with less risk. If the shipping address matches with the address on file at their issuing bank, then it is harder for the customer to dispute the transaction.
- Maintain a secure network
Invest in high-grade encryption especially that you are processing payments. In doing this, you are not only protecting your business but also your customers’ information.
Apart from encryption, there are other ways to secure your network:
- Install anti-malware software especially those that can run in the background.
- Update your tools regularly so weak spots will be fixed.
- Utilize layered security measures like using strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
Always be watchful of the different fraudulent schemes of these con artists.
- Be PCI Security Compliant
The Payment Card Industry has set some guidelines on how to secure cardholders’ information. You can read the details of these guidelines on the PCI Security Standard Council’s website.
Take some time to read the guidelines so you can implement the security measures recommended. These measures suggested will keep the acceptance and transmission of cardholders’ information safe. Being compliant to these is one of the best ways to combat credit card fraud.
5. Be critical of customers’ purchasing behavior
As it is essential to secure your payment system technically, it is equally important for you to be vigilant on customers’ behavior.
These are few things to be watchful of on your customers:
- Multiple items in an order especially if it doesn’t make sense.
- Multiple orders on the same day.
- Orders coming from countries you unusually get orders from.
- Big items such as tv’s or laptops.
You can require additional identity verification for unusual purchases. Customers will appreciate your effort as you explain to them the purpose of what you’re doing. After all, it is for their own safety, too.
Maintaining the safety of credit card payments and making sure that you are taking payments from the legitimate cardholders will not only ensure that your business is profit-wise, it will also safeguard your reputation.
As an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to lose some profit to con artists and tarnish the reputation you are working hard to build. Carefully examine your current payment system and make the necessary changes if needed.