Nearly $8 billion is lost in the United States every year to credit card fraud. Meanwhile, there were about 1,540 data breaches across the globe in 2014. This represented a 46% increase from the year before. This means that more than one billion data records were compromised. Identity theft was at the heart of 54% if these data breaches. Nearly 17% were looking for financial access and about 11% were looking for account access. All of this means that companies that have to manage the card not present transaction process have to be especially vigilant with these sales.
If your business takes payments via the card not present transaction process, there are safeguards you can take to protect yourself and your business from nefarious people who are looking to perpetrate fraud.
Always check the billing address. One surefire piece of information that every credit card owner should be able to provide is their billing address. If you sell goods or services online or on the phone and cannot always have the person present you with the card, you can always verify their billing address. Address verification system (AVS) software is available to most merchants who accept credit cards and is a widely accepted and anticipated method of secure payments. When people are trying to use credit cards that they do not own or have permission to use, they often do not have this information. On the flip side, people rarely mind giving their billing address and appreciate it when online or phone merchants take the time to ask for it. Experts say that this is one of the best methods to protect yourself when handling the card not present transaction process. This does not mean that everyone who wants to buy an item to be shipped to a different address is doing something wrong. Also, most people who want to use a card that is not theirs will ship the items to a major port city such as Los Angeles or Miami.
Ask when the shipping and billing addresses are different. If you have customer call and want to order a lot of big ticket items but they live in Indiana (home of their billing address) but they are shipping to Portland, you can always ask. This is not possible right away with online purchases. Some people do try to take advantage of the card not present transaction process to get away with fraud and this sometimes can be caught this way. Again, some people do buy gifts for people so not every purchase like this is fraud. Sometimes asking the question is enough to prevent the fraudulent sale.
Keep your liability in mind. When you sell items online, you make your company liable for fraudulent purchases. E-commerce is big business. Every 30 seconds it generates about $931,490 in sales from desktop computers and another $269,683 from mobile devices. That means that not doing business online is not an option for many companies. This also means that increased vigilance is needed when managing the card not present transaction process.
Know your rights and responsibilities. If you have to deal with the card not present transaction process, you have to understand all of the rules of the payment card industry (PCI) data security standard. There are very specific rules that you need to adhere to when you take credit cards. It will never help you or your business to say “I did not know” when it comes to PCI compliance. These rules exist to protect merchants and consumers from fraud. Learn these rules and comply with them. One real consequence to having a lot of complaints about bad credit cards is that you an lose your right to take them as payments. It may not seem or even be fair but most companies that issue credit cards always come down on the side of the customer when there is a question about a credit card purchase. That means your credibility begins to look less reliable when a lot of people question charges from you to their credit cards.
Accepting credit cards is an essential part of modern business but you can protect yourself.