Consumers don’t think twice about swiping a credit card through your terminal or keying in their card information on your website. That is not a criticism, because all of us are consumers and with few exceptions, we accept the common method of payment as safe.
Whose Job is it to Keep Customer’s Personal Information Safe?
There are billions of credit card transactions each year involving trillions of dollars. Keeping those transactions safe requires several layers of protection.
- The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council sets and maintains the security standards worldwide for data, payment and pin transactions. They work to devise new technology to maintain security for card holders. The challenge is to stay one step ahead of the relentless activities of credit card thieves.
- The credit card issuer keeps your data safe by securing the sensitive information they have collected from you. Most will generally not hold cardholders accountable for fraudulent transactions initiated by a third party. They will absorb the loss and issue a new secure card to the cardholder.
- The cardholder bears great responsibility for protecting his credit card account:
- Keep it safe;
- change the password and/or pin frequently;
- Always take your receipt;
- Never share your password;
- Check your account for questionable activity;
- Check with credit reporting agencies for inaccuracies.
- All businesses that accept credit cards as payment for goods and services are responsible to protect their customers’ personal information.
- The Merchant Service account that processes credit card transactions for businesses must meet Payment Card Industry Security Standards.
Your Business and Charge.com Merchant Service Protects Your Customer’s Personal Information
Charge.com Merchant Service uses secure equipment for processing credit cards through your dedicated merchant account. We comply with the high standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). When a customer swipes their credit card, inserts a chip card, or keys their info into a virtual terminal on your website, the same procedure to access payment is used.
Your Charge.com terminal or software will contact the card issuer to confirm your customer’s information and then release the funds into your account. In seconds, the process is complete with military-grade 128 bit SSL encryption.
Terminals and software issued to new merchants by Charge.com are upgraded as technology finds new and better ways to protect the personal information of each customer. The chip card is an example of improved security. Information stored on chips is more secure than information stored on a magnetic strip.
Businesses Have a Responsibility to Safeguard Their Customers Personal Information
Businesses that accept credit cards for payment from their customers have a responsibility to keep their customers personal information safe. Your reputation and your trustworthiness depends on it. Point-of-Sale credit card theft can have negative implications for your business. Here are some steps you can take to help protect your customers’ credit card information:
- Choose Charge.Com as your merchant service because Charge.com is the most highly recommended credit merchant service in the industry. Charge.com’s security is second to none and that’s the safety you want for your customers.
- Install a Point of Sale chip card reader terminal.
- Check your card terminal for tampering frequently throughout the day. It only takes a few seconds.
- If you have sensitive customer information including credit card information on site keep it where employees cannot access it. It is quicker to check out if the customer’s phone number brings up all their information for the employee to view; but don’t include customers’ credit card information in a form where employees can read it copy it down. That is not a safe business practice. If your employee later uses any of that information you could be liable.
- Screen your employees thoroughly before hiring them. Maintain security cameras in your service area and be sure your employees know they are there. They are a good deterrent to crimes of opportunity.
- If you have a web store, credit card numbers should only be stored in a Payment Card Industry approved system, such as a PCI certified payment gateway or online shopping cart, such as the ones provided by Charge.com.
- Never leave your Point-of-Sale terminal unattended when customers are inside your store.
The responsibility for keeping customers’ personal information safe is the responsibility of all involved in the credit card transaction. You can count on Charge.com to do their part for your customers.