The US Department of Commerce unveiled its February retail sales report a couple of weeks ago, and the numbers look promising: a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales when compared to January. This growth is great to see, and marks the largest one-month increase in US retail sales since September.
In the wake of budding growth, however, there is almost a nearly universal increase in the amount of credit card fraud that is afoot. Protecting your business not only helps keep your loyal customers’ information safe, but also helps guard your business against fraud and financial ruin.
Whenever a fraudulent attempt to gain access to credit card data is discovered, it must be dealt with immediately in order to restore fiscal stability for your business and peace of mind for your customers. Having access to all credit card transactions is vital in determining just when and where the breach happened. While taking action to ensure that the funds are returned is definitely needed, many companies make the mistake of stopping here. Be proactive, gather all related financial information and consider having it reviewed by your bank to see if there are any other potential schemes going on at the moment.
As a business, you should never put yourself in the position to hang onto your customers’ financial data. Keeping records of transactions is smart, but keeping records of credit card numbers, PINs and the like is a disaster waiting to happen. Instead, collaborate with your payment processor on storing any financial information in a secure, cloud-based solution. This will allow those with proper access (you) to configure and otherwise handle recurring customer bills, while also preventing those with prying eyes from snatching the information directly from your business. It also helps reduce – if not eliminate – any direct liability in a potential theft.
Train Your Employees
One of the most common ways in which thieves gain access to credit card information these days is through the use of skimmers and software designed to steal the information directly from your point of sale. By making sure you and all of your employees know what to look for, you can drastically reduce any likelihood that this will occur – or at least reduce the number of people who are exposed to the scam before detection. By having your employees perform periodic checks of both hardware and software on your points of sale you can eliminate one of the most common ways credit card information is stolen.