Credit card fraud is a significant problem for businesses, especially as the increase in digital payment technologies increases. In fact, an American report from Javelin Research found that incidences of credit card fraud had risen by an incredible 87percent in the last three years and had represented a business loss of around $6 billion! However, despite this alarming trend, many businesses are still unsure about how they can protect their operation from fraud. Certainly, businesses must increase their knowledge and awareness about the threat of credit card fraud and know the simple steps to protect themselves. Here are our four top tips for getting started.
Maintain full compliance
If you are not compliant with Payment Card Industry terms when you take debit or credit cards, you will be contravening brand regulations and payment legislation. Ensure that your business’s payment processing security software is up to date and PA-DSS certified and ensure that you receive your certification for this; it’s called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and shows that you are compliant. In having this certification, you show customers that you use robust best practices when dealing with their payment data. The process for obtaining this accreditation will depend on your individual circumstances but will usually involve auditing your payment systems and environment, including other integrated back-off applications and systems, with the provision of improvements and recommendations by the auditors.
Use encryption for sensitive data
This is vital and begins from the point of payment capture via digital devices through to transaction authorisation. This technology will prevent the data on the card being electronically stolen. You should ensure that this technology is built into all of your business’s software applications, credit card terminals, mobile payment devices and any online payment systems. Also look for a partner that is technically advanced and which supports E2EE technologies. Balance cost with service by all means, but don’t skimp on service quality at the risk of security breaches.
Avoid tampering risks
Make sure your customer services staff understand what payment processing devices look like and can identify any tampering instances. These often take the form of small hardware additions which are physically added to the payment device itself. Well trained staff members are your front line of credit card fraud avoidance.
Don’t store card numbers
This is a significant obstacle to PCI compliance and your business must work hard to avoid storing credit card numbers. Use a payment provider that never stores this information on their platform or on your software. Instead, opt for a service that processes payments in a secure ‘cloud’ environment, using an encryption ID. This ensures that no one in your company ever comes into contact with any stored customer credit data and again reduces risk and liability.
These steps will help you to obtain compliance and begin your on-going journey to dealing with the threats of credit card fraud. As one of the biggest threats facing business today, it is something that you cannot afford to put off. Consider setting up a data compliance and internal audit team too, with the support of your leadership team. Ensure that data security issues are high on every operational meeting agenda to make sure that all the staff understands their role and responsibilities.