Tips for Safeguarding Your Customers’ Credit Card Data

Allowing your customers to pay by credit card makes life a lot easier for them. It’s convenient, it improves their credit score, and it makes a great avenue for loyalty plans. However, it also puts them at risk. If unscrupulous people get hold of someone else’s credit card details from you or your business, the criminals could misuse your customers’ credit cards. They can then use this information to rack up huge bills for your customers who probably won’t be too happy with your business about that.

Keeping customers happy is always good for business, so do your best to assure customers they’re safe with you. The first step is to ensure that your business is PCI compliant. First, this compliance puts Visa at ease, so they will allow their card holders to do business with you. If you’re not compliant, any card transaction may be blocked. PCI compliance is a pretty good solution, because its twelve recommendations cover various levels of card safety.

Physical protection

When a credit card is outside its owners hands, it’s a t risk. All a criminal has to do is look at the back, read the CVV / CVC, and they can use the card without your permission. This is most applicable online. If the criminal has your account number and CVV / CVC, they can make any purchase and the bill will go to the card owner. That’s why it’s really important to limit the number of staff that physically hold customer cards.

Whenever possible, have the customer swipe the card themselves. If your staff must swipe on their behalf, they should do it quickly and in full view of the customer. Each card processor must be thoroughly vetted, and they should have their own username and ID. That way, if anything goes wrong later, it’s easy to identify who was involved. On the digital side, access to customers’ card data should be strictly need-to-know.

Mobile options

Processing card payments via mobile app is becoming more and more popular. It’s 20% faster than swiping on a keypad, and the card typically gets to stay in the customer’s hand. Plus, it costs you less as a business, because you don’t have to buy additional equipment. You simply download the payment app onto your staff members’ phones. For online purchases, make sure your web store has multiple layers of data security measures. SSL/TLS certification isn’t enough.

Get an eCommerce package with an integrated shopping cart, so you can be sure it will work safely with your merchant account. Also, ensure all your card transactions are encrypted from end to end.

For more information on safeguarding your customers’ credit card data, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to


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