Identity theft is on the rise, according to the research firm Javelin Strategy and Research, with 12 million cases being reported in 2011. As a small business owner with a merchant account, how are you protecting the personal data of your customers? Some shoppers may be reluctant to hand over their plastic, because they’re not sure their credit card information will be safe. If you can assure them that you value their business and you’ll take the necessary steps to guard against fraud, you can easily grow a loyal customer base.
It makes good financial sense to partner with a credit card processing company that has a plan in place to guard the personal information of your clients. Some steps these agencies take to prevent fraud are:
Payment gateway. Whether you have an e-commerce website or a traditional brick and mortar, a payment gateway anti-fraud service has a set of protocols in place to protect the credit card information of your customers. Once the shopper initiates a purchase either online or by phone, the payment gateway fraud management system makes sure the data is secure, most likely through encryption technology, and then sends it safely on the way to the payment processor.
Address verification service (AVS). This fraud deterrent ensures that the info a customer gives you matches the data the bank that issued the card has on file. If this information doesn’t match up, the transaction will be declined. AVS is a boon to the small business owner, because if you ship merchandise paid for with a stolen card, you’re not only out of the cost of your product and shipping expenses, you also have to face chargeback fees.
Tokenization. We’ve all seen tokenization before when placing an order online. The fraud protection process replaces personal information with symbols that shield the shopper’s information and cut down on the amount of data a business needs to keep on file. Hackers beware. Tokenization makes sensitive credit card data and bank account information much more theft-proof.
Fraud prevention is key for giving your customers peace of mind and for protecting the bottom line of your small business. Speak to a credit card processing or merchant services company today to see what anti-theft measures they have in place to guarantee identity theft doesn’t hit you in the wallet.