Protecting Your Business Against Payment Card Fraud

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Accepting card payments is safe, simple and secure. While some payment card fraudsters may try to take advantage of small businesses because they think they’re easier targets, you can protect your business with prevention, prediction, detection and resolution.

Preventing Payment Card Fraud
The best way to protect yourself is to put in place measures that will prevent payment card fraud from occurring at your business in the first place. There are some effective measures you can put in place to secure your business from fraud:

  1. Take advantage of mobile wallets, contactless payments and other systems that authorize payments without storing sensitive information on your local system. Contactless payment isn’t just secure, it is desirable among consumers. In fact, 79% of consumers are now using contactless payment.
  2. Invest in accepting chip cards (EMV). Chip cards are far more secure than magnetic stripe cards and chip-enabled terminals automatically limit your liability on chargebacks. Plus, 80% of consumers expect to use their chip cards where they shop.
  3. For non-chip cards, check the security features on any physical card you accept – hologram, embossed numbers, signatures, etc. – to make sure the card is legitimate.
  4. If you are making sales online or on the phone, confirm the Card Verification Code (CVC) to make sure the purchaser has the card in hand.
  5. Make sure you know your options and have instant communication from payment networks, processors and banks when a potentially fraudulent payment authorization is requested.

Predicting Payment Card Fraud
Having an idea of when and how fraud can occur for your business can help you stay alert to potential criminal situations. Some ways to think critically and predict possible fraud situations include:

  1. Use your common sense – keep in mind customers’ usual purchase patterns and double-check when something seems amiss.
  2. If you are taking sales online or on the phone and receive a large or unusual order, call the customer to confirm the purchase before shipping.
  3. Explore the Electronic Monitoring Solutions (EMS) that payment networks like Mastercard provide. To learn more about these electronic monitoring solutions, visit Mastercard In Control.

Detecting Payment Card Fraud
Detection measures do the work of identifying fraud for you. Set your business up for success with fraud detection solutions:

  1. Card technology will deny or flag as problematic suspicious transactions. Trust those warnings and communicate with the card networks before allowing customers to receive goods and services.
  2. Text and email fraud warnings are available for business credit cards. Sign up for them to ensure you know immediately if there is suspicious activity on your account.

Resolving Payment Card Fraud
Being proactive about resolving fraud issues immediately after they happen will help protect your business. In the resolution phase, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. To reduce damage after fraud is discovered, call the payment network or the cardholder’s issuing bank. The bank will communicate directly with the actual cardholder and open a fraud protection investigation.
  2. When a customer’s bank issues a chargeback against your account, make sure your processor or bank advocates for your rights and contacts them when appropriate.

It is important that your small business becomes and remains PCI compliant to reduce your likelihood of a costly compromise. To learn more about PCI compliance, click here. To learn more about keeping your finances safe, click here.


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