Credit and Debit Card Skimming Continues to Grow


 

  

We continue to warn about credit card skimmers because it has become big business. As a merchant, you have an obligation to protect credit card data entrusted to you. This includes protecting and monitoring your credit card equipment and online processing. The latest trend is for thieves to install micro cameras allowing the thief to easily see the PIN code being entered into a keypad.

 With this in mind, we will focus on sharing tips on what you should be looking for as a merchant as well as being a consumer that likely uses ATM's and other electronic payment points. It really only takes a quick inspection to look for things that might be amiss and cause you to become a victim of identity and credit card theft. Skimming works by retrofitting card readers such as an ATM or gas pump card reader with a camouflaged counterfeit card reader. The counterfeit reader records all of the information from the magnetic stripe on the back of your card. The thief can then duplicate your card onto a new blank credit card or simply capture all the data needed to sell on the black market.

You may wonder where a person might get such sophisticated equipment to do this. The truth is, skimming gear is readily available online at a cost of about $400. In most cases, the companies selling card readers are legitimate businesses that sell the readers to companies for use with point of sale systems. However, the sale of such equipment is completely unregulated. Since there are no regulations, skimmers can also buy them. A typical bundled package includes a card reader and a card writer.

A thief will usually buy a card skimmer that matches the type of device type he plans to attack. As an example, he might by a gas pump style reader and then connect it to the circuitry of the real card reader in a gas pump. The card skimmer has a magnetic stripe reader and local flash memory that stores the card data. Newer advanced skimmers are equipped with 3G radios that transmit skimmed data back to the thief in real-time over a cellular network. This eliminates the need for the thief to ever come back to collect the skimmer and data. It also reduces the chance that law enforcement will catch the thief by setting up a stake out and waiting for the thief to return.

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Signatures – Do You Need Them or Not?


 

 

Signatures – Do You Need Them or Not?

Earlier this year the four major credit card brands, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover all made announcements that they would no longer require customers to sign for credit card transactions. The dollar amount didn’t matter anymore. You may remember that grocery stores stopped asking you sign for small purchases quite some time ago. Yet, everywhere you use your card, from an airport parking lot to restaurants, we are still asked to sign the credit card slip. You may wonder why. Here is some information about signatures.

#1 – You Don’t Need a Signature

The message was poorly delivered to merchants and they simply lack the knowledge. We would like to think that Chosen Payments merchants all know because we delivered the message to our clients in many different formats. However, many people don’t take the time to read our newsletters (which are chock full of information) or they simply are stuck in their ways.

In case you missed it, let us tell you about it again. Attention merchants, you no longer need to ask customers to sign for purchases. Yes, even if the transaction is $1,234.56. Our largest merchant transaction last week was $85,000 in a single transaction. No signature was required. This should speed up the checkout process.

#2 – You Think You Need a Signature 

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Accepting Checks Using ACH


 

 

Accepting Checks Using ACH

One of oldest forms of payments to a business is the paper check. For years merchants have accepted paper based checks and hand carried them to the bank for depositing into their bank account. Fingers crossed that the check doesn’t bounce. The use of Automated Clearing House payments or ACH for short has improved cash flow by drastically shortening the time it takes the money to actually be in your bank account.

Benefits of Using ACH

For starters, using ACH gives you an edge of convenience for you customers. The payment is quickly processed without the need for an actual paper check. Merchants  receive funds faster and easier than waiting for a paper check to process through the slow moving process between banks.

How Does ACH Work?

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Accepting Credit Card Numbers by Phone


 

 

Accepting Credit Card Numbers by Phone

Accepting credit cards by phone is risky business to begin with. Almost all fraud involves taking a credit card by phone. Unfortunately, accepting credit cards over the phone is a common practice so we must recognize the risks associated from your point as a vendor as well as the risk to your customer.

Safety First

Fraud isn’t the only risk from a phone order. Never accept a credit card from someone when you know they are driving a vehicle. Ask them to call you back when they are no longer driving. The sound of metal crunching is an awful sound that more than one merchant has reported hearing while accepting a credit card by phone.

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