U.S. Gas stations have until October 2017 to begin accepting EMV chip cards. If they do not upgrade they face a drastic increase in fraud liability. Although, most gas station owners are choosing to implement their own fraud prevention which my be a huge mistake. WEX has taken the role of encouraging gas station owners to upgrade their fuel pump payment terminals although efforts have been futile. The problem being that the major fuel companies have been selling individual stations to private owners, choosing to reduce risk by moving to the franchise business model. These individual owners are not yet sold on why EMV is such an importance to their business. The upgrade cost for making pumps EMV compliant is roughly $10,000 USD per pump. This is an expense most small gas station owners are not willing to take unless they see a real reason to do so. Sadly, some gas station owners will not upgrade and will be hit with fraud liability charges and the lesson will be learned. If you own a gas station and are not planning on making this upgrade to your gas pump terminals you had better think twice! With 30 million Americans paying at the pump each day you must assume that this will be a magnet for fraud once the deadline has passed. Gas pumps have been common targets in the past by fraudsters due to the fact that the terminal is outside and usually left unattended.
Credit card fraud is shifting rapidly to the eCommerce elements of US top credit card processing companies are reporting. This is due to the rapid shift in POS technology to be EMV and chip card compliant. This technology greatly reduces the amount of fraud at the point of sale. In the past criminals were able to easily skim card holder data but this is not the case any longer now that EMV has been introduced to the US market. Therefore, fraud has now taken a major shift to the rapid growing eCommerce segment of US credit card processing services.
Apple Pay is here and it's poised to be a big hit among consumers based on the initial buzz of the press release and the new iPhone 6 with built in Near Field Communication technology. Apple Pay is a mobile wallet that works by simply using short wave radio frequencies, this technology is called NFC (Near Field Communication). NFC works by allowing users of Apple Pay to upload their credit cards into the secure iPhone 6 app. which then allows the user to pay for a product by simply waving the iPhone in front of a NFC enabled terminal and accept the transaction with a thumb scan. This is much more secure than the traditional mag stripe swiped method and consumers are already showing major interest in Apple Pay. Consumers also like the fact that with Apply Pay they no longer need to carry credit cards with them.
It's a sure fact that if you operate a small business you will encounter customers preferring to use NFC technology more and more as time goes on. Apple Pay is not the only mobile wallet on the market either. Google and other companies have created similar products but none have quite taken hold like Apple Pay is set to. We believe this is due to the loyalty iPhone users have to it's products and apps. Apple is also leading the way in data security standards which is another attractive reason consumers are choosing to embrace this newly released technology.
In order to accept Apple Pay and other Mobile Wallet applications as a form of payment at your place of business you most likely will need to upgrade your Point of Sale system to one that is NFC enabled. It may also help to make sure your new POS System can handle EMV chip cards as well. 2015 is projected to be one of the most pivotal years in the payments industry to date. Reason being is that so many new emerging technologies and disruptors like the popular SquareUp and now Apple Pay have come into the marketplace.
Additionally, there will be much more scrutiny by governmental agencies over the way businesses handle card holder data security and the liability of who is at fault when a data breach occurs. Bottom line is that as a business owner you need to protect yourself and make sure you offer your customers their preferred payment method or you're basically doomed to go out of business (or) lose a huge chunk of revenue due to a fraud loss. Look at Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot to name a few. Many smaller data breaches are happening every day we just don't hear about them in the news.
Many business owners are hesitant to adopt new technologies although time and regulation will eventually force all businesses to conform to these new standards.
Bravertek can make the transition to a new POS System easy. We will train you and your employees on the latest credit card acceptance technologies including Near Field Communication and EMV "Chip Card" acceptance. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable advisors.
Home Depot is now the latest victim of a large scale data breach targeted at stealing customers credit card information which results in identity theft. Home Depot publicly revealed on September 8th that it's payment data systems were breached in both the U.S. and Canada. Although, it appears that Home Depot has not yet confirmed that customer credit card information was comprised. Home Depot apparently found out about the breach from banking partners and law enforcement on September 2nd.
Bottom line, if you are a retailer of any size now is the time to take action to prevent a possible data breach. Believe it or not identity thieves are employing all kinds of methods to obtain your credit card and personal information at the point of sale. If you are using an outdated credit card machine you are the primary target of these thieves. They seek out businesses with old legacy technology and point of sale equipment. In addition, if you are storing credit card information in unsafe ways you could be putting your customers at risk. New legislation being passed through the government will soon place the liability of payment system data theft on the party which has the most outdated technology. For instance, if a fraud was committed from a card that could have been processed in a more secure method with more up to date equipment the liability automatically falls on the person with the outdated equipment. Banks are setting this up so businesses take the responsibility of updating old payment systems to adequate means of protecting card holder data and security standards.
Contact Bravertek to get more info on our low rate, no cancellation fee merchant account processing and eCommerce programs. We have a free equipment program for any type or size of business! From individual sellers just going into business to franchises and corporate partnerships Bravertek will give you the same personalized services that are necessary to growing your business.
Opertaion Choke Point is a new initiative by the US Government to uncover and literally choke the financial life out of questionable businesses that have been known to engage in fraudulent or morally reprehensible services that could be legal fronts for an illegal operation. Many payment processors have been held accountable for processing credit card payments and offering merchant account services to illegal operations. In the past, payment processors or banks would not be held accountable for turning a blind eye to questionable business practices or high levels of chargeback activity. With Operation Choke Point in affect this is all about to change!
Bravertek does not condone illegal activities in any way and we would never knowingly help a fraudulent applicant obtain business financial services! Before we submit any merchant application to a payment processor we do our own 10 point examination to make sure that no red flags come up and that the business has a good online history with no signs of fraudulent activity or excessive complaints. This is for our organizational protection and reputation as well as the protection of consumers and our payment processing partners. We don't want to deal with any business that hops from one processor to the next as well as businesses with excessively high levels of chargeback activity. It's not only a waste of our time to deal with these applicants, it actually endangers consumers and our processing partners!
On the other hand, although Operation Choke Point has hindered many businesses Bravertek understands that many honest businesses do exist in high risk industries and are feeling the pressure from this new initiative. Only a small percentage of high risk merchants take part in shady criminal activities. At Bravertek all applicants are considered and we promise to give you an honest and fair chance to get a merchant account regardless of what industry you operate in.
Technology for payments processing has never moved at a more rapid pace than we are seeing right now. With the introduction of smartphone payments and rapid e-commerce technology, mobile wallets and NFC (near field communication) most hackers and data thieves are now targeting physical POS environments with very noteworthy data breaches occurring at major retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus (just to name a couple.) What you do not hear about are the smaller data breaches that occur daily at the local businesses we all frequent. Odds are that if you have ever been re-issued a credit or debit card it means that your personal data has been compromised and is most likely being sold to the highest bidder. The information stolen by the thieves not only includes your credit card numbers but also your name address and sometimes date of birth. This is scary stuff! You could literally pump gas at your local station and by the time you finish filling your tank all of your personal information could be stolen.
Why are hackers and data thieves targeting brick-and-mortar businesses?
Most retailers have severely outdated technology and the adaptation of new technologies has been slow due to costs and reluctance to change something that seems to be working. Having outdated technology makes it extremely easy for the hackers and data thieves to steal information from these systems which were most likely created in the 1980's, WHOA! Most credit card processing providers have chosen to invest money in e-commerce and alternative payment systems and leave older legacy systems as is with the old saying "If it's not broke don't fix it." Well, we have finally come to a point that these older systems and terminals are broke in the sense that the data stored on them is not securely stored. By using outdated payment processing equipment you may be placing your business and your customers in the disconcerting position of knowing that your data is available to anyone that simply has the technology to extract it. Remember, your terminal sits on your countertop and can be accessed by almost anyone physically or through a remote signal. Investigators working on data breach cases commonly say that the hackers were able to access the breached systems from the businesses parking lot using the companies WiFi system to penetrate the terminal.
What processing equipment is needed to protect my customers personal data?
EMV chip card technology or a credit card machine that is at lease PCI 2.0 compliant is a good place to start. If the machine on your countertop is currently covered in dust and grease and you can't really remember when you purchased it, maybe sometime last decade, you can be assured that your machine is most likely out of date. Yes, the old reliable machine has worked for many years but now is the time to give it a retirement ceremony and make way for a new system that is better equipped for the changing times.