Best Practices in Preventing Credit Card Fraud, Part 1


Best Practices in Preventing Credit Card Fraud, Part 1

As a responsible merchant, the best way to protect your business and your customers is to be alert for credit card fraud at all times. Here are some of our recommended best practices to help you check your operations and keep thieves  away from your cash drawer.

Learn about the industry

The payment processing industry, like so many others, wraps itself in jargon and confusing terms. Get familiar with the basic concepts, players and terminology so the service providers you decide to use don’t intimidate you. Look for these red flags:

          Long term contracts – don’t get locked into a lengthy contract; the industry average is three years and you will find some processors (such as Sales Sense Payments) that never ask you to sign a contract.

·       Leasing equipment – most equipment leases are four year, non-cancellable leases. If you’re just starting out, see what other options (mobile devices, etc.) may be more cost-effective.

·       Unknowledgeable/unethical sales people – this is a complicated industry and if you sense you’re not getting the full story or the story changes from time to time, contact someone else. There’s never any harm in getting multiple quotes, you’ll learn something new from every one of them. Get referrals from fellow merchants in your area as to what processor they are using.

·       Unbelievable pricing – every credit card processor starts with the same basic pricing structure. Get acquainted with tiered and interchange plus pricing structures and do the math on any quotes you get to understand exactly how much you will be paying for the privilege of taking credit and debit cards.

·       Overpromising, under delivering – unless your business is doing millions, you probably do not need the latest and greatest (caveat: unless it saves you money up front and immediately as you start) technology. Don’t let the sales person dazzle you with whizz bang technology when all you need is something basic.

·       Support after the sale – how do you get the equipment? Who does the installation? Who do you call if you need help later? What type of customer support is available? Look for a reputable company that is still there for you after the sale.

·       Security standards – Any business or store that processes, transmits or stores consumers’ credit and debit payment data must be compliant with the payment industry’s security standard, known as PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard). Understand these requirements and what you must do to adhere to them.

Next: Part 2, Preventing Credit Card Fraud During and After A Sale

For more information about preventing credit and debit card fraud and economical payment processing, contact Mike Krause at Sales Sense Payments, Inc., 585-704-6453, email: Please visit

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