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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Top tips to help your business deal with credit card payment fraud

Business credit card payment fraud
Credit card fraud negatively impacts business branding
Many small businesses put off installing credit card payment methods. So if you are in this position, there’s no need to feel alone. However, you must question why you are putting it off. Some businesses fear the cost it will add to their outgoing bills whilst others simply fear the change or possibly even the technology.  

Others, who have yet to embrace credit card payments, are worried about the security side of things. In this, they are quite right to worry. It is a fact that credit card payments carry somewhat of a risk. But this is a risk to both the customer and the business accepting the payment. Credit card fraud has been around for a long time, even without the internet. We just hear about it a lot more now.

You should not let the fear of fraud stop you from embracing new technology, for without technology we cannot progress further. Without new payment technology, you will not be able to compete with your competitors, who you can be sure will be doing their utmost to steal away any custom they can from you, even if it means embracing a technology they’re a bit unsure of.

If credit card fraud is affecting your decision to start accepting credit and debit card payments, then you need to consider ways you can protect your business from fraud and stop the possibility of it having such a negative impact on your decision making processes.

So, what can you do to protect your business from credit card fraud?

If you are not yet selling your services or products online, then for starters all you need to worry about are the transactions that are taking place when someone is present and using their card. Make sure you and all of your employees follow the steps below:

1. Check that the details match

Whenever you or a member of your staff processes a card payment through your card terminal, you should double check the card number that is displayed on the receipt (that you keep) matches that which is on the credit card. If it differs, there is a problem and you need to stop the transaction to check the card and the person using it are not fraudulent.

2. If it doesn’t work first time

Many employees tend to panic slightly if the card payment does not work first time; likewise the customer is probably panicking too, whether they’re innocent or not. However, just because it doesn’t work first time does not mean fraud is occurring. Indeed, sometimes the magnetic strips on credit cards get a bit worn out, in which case you may need to type the credit card number in manually.

If the card still fails to work, then it is time to stop the transaction and query the failure of the card with the customer. If they are happy for you to make a call through to the card supplier, it will normally mean they are innocent; however, you can never be too sure. It is better to query a transaction rather than take someone’s word for it because it will be you who loses out if it is a fraudulent transaction.

3. Keep an eye on the customer

It is really important to be able to read people when you work in customer service, especially when you are accepting payments via card. More often than not you will be able to tell if someone is acting a bit dodgy or not; they may be nervous or they may try distracting you. Whatever the situation, you should never let your guard down. If in real doubt at any point, you have the right to refuse that method of payment or to check that the card and the customer are for real.

About the author: James writes for FIS Merchant Payments. When not writing, he can often be found fighting fraud in a mask and long cape.

Image license: Purple Slog, CC BY 2.0