As a business, your ability to act in your customers’ interests is paramount for return business. Obviously, the first level of this is to provide honest, dependable and high-level services or products. But, in today’s world of growing fraud, that isn’t enough.
It seems almost like every other day there is a data breach attached to a big name business. But data breaches don’t just happen to the large targets. Even small businesses run the risk of letting customers’ payment information or details get into the wrong hands. And this can cause lasting damage to your reputation and business if you don’t go to the necessary lengths to protect the information that patrons have entrusted to you.
Whether you own a hotel, restaurant, store or gas station, there are three easy steps that you can implement to improve your security.
Have a Secure Point of Sale System
Starting where the payments originate is a solid tactic. Opting for an out-of-date payment system that may be inexpensive upfront could cost you big later down the line. When looking for a point of sale system, try to find one that provides secure payment features.
End-to-encryption and certified PCI compliance should top your list of priorities. Your system should also be able to accept EMV chips and contactless payments, which can be more secure than traditional payments.
Other features such as staff management, data reporting, and mobile access can be added bonuses, but putting the safety of your customers first will also help secure your business.
Understand Fraud Tactics
Understanding how fraud occurs can help you take steps to prevent it. Being familiar with the following credit card fraud schemes can help make it harder for fraudsters to get away with them.
Credit card skimming. This is important to be aware of if you have self-service payment options, such as at a gas station or check-out kiosk. Fraudsters will place a device on the machines that will record payment details and send it to the criminals. Stay vigilant with your transaction devices and keep an eye open for anyone lingering too long.
Transaction fraud. This can be conducted in a few different ways, but the end goal is that the fraudster obtains customer information and uses it to make fraudulent purchases. Sometimes, they will return their purchases and have refunds given to a different account or placed on a gift card. In order to fight this, your systems should be up-to-date with security software to detect this type of fraud.
Identity theft. This is when a fraudster steals information such as social security numbers, contact information or payment information to use in place of the victim. When receiving sensitive information from customers, it’s important to safeguard it. Don’t leave paperwork sitting about or in the care of employees that are below a certain security level.
Have Secure Systems in Place
The biggest part of combatting fraud is prevention measures. Any system that transfers payment information or other sensitive data should always send it encrypted or through tokenization. Both of these methods renders the data unreadable to any outsider trying to access it.
Accepting EMV chip payments is also a good idea. This payment type is more secure than older methods and will keep payment information safe.
If your business allows for online purchasing, two-factor authentication can help limit fraud. This requires patrons to authenticate their identity through two separate methods, such as submitting a code that has been texted or emailed to them in addition to filling out their information. This ensures that the person making the transaction is actually the cardholder.
You should also limit the number of employees who have contact with customer information. While you should have trust and respect for your employees, some people might take advantage of that. Even if they’re not taking advantage of you, someone might be taking advantage of them.
Staying current with fraud tactics and security systems and procedures to combat them can help keep your systems safe and prove to your customers that they can depend on you.