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Tablet credit card processing has become a hot topic these days, more and more merchants are turning their tablets into instant credit card terminals with the help of PaymentMax, the ROAMpay app, and ROAMpay Swipe.
One big advantage tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, have over mobile phones is the screen is much bigger. Customers are able to get a better look as the credit card transaction is taking place. It is a win-win situation with tablet credit card processing: the credit card never leaves the customers sight and they can watch as the merchant enters and swipes their credit card!
I have received many inquires to the availability of a mobile credit card reader (swiper) for the Droid X. As of today, the card reader is not available. The anticipated release date is before labor day. However, Droid X users can manually process credit and debit cards using their phone and the ROAMpay mobile app. Once the swiper is released, PaymentMax can upgrade existing Droid X merchant accounts with no extra costs. PaymentMax will also be offering a free Droid X swiper for free for a limited time after its release.
Credit card skimming is a real problem in the U.S. today, and a big worry for consumers, merchants, and Card Associations like Visa and MasterCard. Visa states that a reward of up to $1000 will be paid to anyone who gives information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the manufacture or use of counterfeit cards.
Credit card skimming is the illegal means of electronically obtaining account information from the magnetic stripe of the card. Once the account information has been obtained, counterfeit cards are produced, or the information is used to purchase goods over the phone or Internet.
Skimming devices are small, portable-card swiping devices that are about the size of a pager. They can be attached to ATM’s, or used by employees in a retail location.
Here are some tips to help prevent credit card skimming.
1. Never let your credit card out of your sight in retail situations. Watch employees closely at the point of sale to ensure your card is not double swiped.
2. Business owners should be on the look out for employees using devices that are not part of standard operating procedures.
3. Never use ATM’s at night. Most ATM skimming happens after the sun goes down.
4. Use ATM’s that you are familiar with. ATM’s located in very public places with no obstructed views are the best bet. Never use an ATM that looks funny, is malfunctioning, or has unusual signage.
5. If anyone is loitering around an ATM, find a new one. Red flags are people asking for assistance, taking pictures, or just hanging around.
6. Never give your credit card to anyone over the phone, unless you initiated the call.
7. Watch statements, credit reports, and other banking notices carefully for unusual activity.
8. Report malfunctioning ATM’s promptly to the bank. If your card is not returned after a transaction, or your transaction could not be completed-Alert the bank immediately.
9. Guard your PIN. Shield the pin pad when entering your PIN number, don’t write it down and carry it in your purse or wallet, and never give it to your bank over the phone (they will never ask for it). Choose a random PIN number, and remember it. Do not choose your birth date or SS# as a PIN.
10. Alert authorities if anyone offers you money in exchange for account information.
Card skimming is a serious crime. We can all help prevent credit skimming by following a few precautions, and reporting any discrepancies to the authorities.
Prominently display Visa credit card acceptance in retail exterior windows, on marketing materials, and at the point-of-sale to let Visa cardholders know that your business establishment accepts their payment card.
Merchants can obtain free Visa signage and decals at:
PAYware Mobile Security Features
By Emily Shap
Protecting customer’s sensitive cardholder data is of paramount concern to merchants today. Recent data breeches have made everyone handling credit card information start to question their own security measures. Mobile merchants looking at accepting credit cards through their iPhone equipped with the PAYware mobile application can rest assured. VeriFone states that their PAYware application will protect cardholder data and lower liability of risk from fraud. Here are PAYware mobile security features.
Card Encryption Sleeve
PAYware mobile card encryption sleeve provides, “end-to-end” security. Security begins the moment the credit or debit card is swiped into the reader. Cardholder data is instantly encrypted preventing sensitive information from ever entering the iPhone, or being intercepted in transit. Credit card data remains secure through the whole transaction process.
No Data Storage
PAYware mobile security conforms to the same stringent encryption protection used in ATM’s and retail point-of-sale devices. This ensures that sensitive data is never stored on the iPhone, where it could possibly be stolen. Customer’s account information is truncated on all data fields and reports.
PAYware mobile application is PA DSS 1.2 approved by the PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council). All VeriFone products are 3rd party tested and validated against PCI SSC’s strict regulations.
Protecting cardholder’s sensitive data in the mobile credit card processing arena is easy with the PCI compliant PAYware mobile application and card encryption sleeve. Credit and debit card information is protected from the moment the card is swiped, all the way to the processor, and back. Important data is never stored on the iPhone, where it could be compromised, lowering the liability of risk from fraud. For more information on iPhone processing visit: http://www.paymentmax.com/my-business/mobile/iphone-credit-card-processing.aspx
How to Identify a Counterfeit Check
By Emily Shap
Counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Counterfeit checks have become harder to detect with criminals producing high quality “look-alikes,” equipped with authentic watermarks and real bank account numbers. Some look so real that bank tellers have reported being fooled. Counterfeits make up the largest amount of bad checks passed each year, around 27%, followed by forged at 24%. Federal law requires banks to make funds available to their customers within a few days, whether the check has been authenticated, or not. This leaves unsuspecting merchants responsible for a counterfeit long after the check has been cashed.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Under Federal Law, banks must make funds available to you from U.S. Treasury checks, official bank checks (cashier checks, certified checks, and teller checks), and checks paid by governmental agencies at the opening of business the day after you deposit the check. For other checks, banks must similarly make $100 available the day after you deposit the check. Remaining funds must be made available on the second day, after the deposit, if payable by a local bank, and 5 days if drawn on distant banks.”
Forged checks can take weeks to be discovered. Merchants must remember that they are responsible for any funds withdrawn against counterfeits. Just because the funds are available, does not mean the check is good. Business owners can protect themselves against scams by following some check cashing guidelines.
Ask for Identification
Before accepting a check for payment, ask for proper identification. Compare the name and address imprinted on the check to the name and address on the I.D; they should match. Ensure that the driver’s license has not expired. 50% of forged checks are passed with an expired driver’s license. Make sure the check is signed, and the signature name matches the name on the I.D.
Establish Check Dollar Limits
Determine the largest dollar amount you will accept via check, and stick with it. Criminals passing a bad check will try to write it for as much as they can. Having a set check dollar amount reduces your risk. Always compare the written and numerical amounts on a check. The written amount always overrides the numerical amount.
Personal Checks Only
Limit your exposure to counterfeit checks by refusing to accept 2nd or 3rd party checks. Personal checks should come from a local bank, or a bank with a local branch. Call the bank directly if you have any questions about the validity of a check. Counterfeit payroll checks continue to be a favorite among criminals.
Look at the Check Numbers
Only accept checks with check numbers greater than 500. Even though banks can assign higher check numbers, 90% of all bad checks have check numbers less than 500.
Familiarize yourself with check routing numbers. The first two digits represent Federal Reserve Bank locations; take note of the numbers you see frequently. Many times, counterfeiters will change these first two routing numbers to elude banks. The alteration buys them additional time before the counterfeit is revealed.
Be Aware of Overpayment Scams
Never accept a check that is written for more than the purchase amount. Overpayment scams have become popular where merchandise is being sold on online auction sites and classified ads.
Take a close look at the check being presented. Never accept a check that appears to have been altered. Counterfeit checks may seem different, a little off, in their color, feel, perforation, and MICR line ink.
· Color: Counterfeit checks may have a slightly different color than the other checks in your drawer. Checks that have had original information removed, or “washed,” may have faded areas.
· Feel: Fake checks may have a lower-quality feel than authentic checks.
· Perforation: Checks should have at least 1 rough, or perforated edge.
· MICR line ink: The account and bank numbers printed on the bottom of the check should appear shiny or glossy. A glossy look is characteristic of the magnetic ink banks use. Many forgers lack the ability to encode with magnetic ink, substituting regular ink instead. Account and bank numbers printed in non-magnetic ink will appear dull and reflective.
Bad checks cost business owners and consumers approximately 12 billion dollars a year. Half of this is directly linked to fraud. Protect yourself and your business by following some check cashing guidelines: check appearance, overpayment amounts, check numbers, type of check, creating dollar limits, and requiring proper identification. Remember that you are always responsible for any funds you withdraw against a check, no matter what. Just because a check has cleared does not mean it is valid. It can take weeks for certain counterfeit or forged checks to be revealed. The bank will hold the person who deposited the counterfeit check accountable. If you suspect a check scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help.
Turn Your Cell Phone Into a “Sell” Phone
Now you can turn your cell phone into a wireless credit card terminal that processes credit card transactions with real-time authorizations and even instantly emails a receipt to your customer. Take credit card payments securely and easily wherever you are.
No Need to Buy a New Phone
ROAMpay works with virtually any mobile device (400 and counting) and on all major carriers.
No need to buy an expensive wireless terminal — your cell phone is your terminal
Customer service and tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Eliminate risky checks and manual credit card imprinting, while enjoying higher per-ticket sales than checks or cash
Enjoy the freedom to do business no matter where you and your customers are
Email receipts to customers and build your customer email list for future marketing
Log cash orders for reporting and receipts
Secure PCI-compliant double encryption of customer data — sensitive data is never stored on the phone
Easy setup — just click a link from an SMS once you are approved and the app loads in 15 seconds
Automatic software updates at no extra charge
Voice to text and reverse phone lookup to make inputting customer info easy
Check your transaction history from your phone
Virtual terminal for PC or MAC at no extra charge
Software automatically updates with no upgrade fees
Getting Started Is Easy
Call PaymentMax at (800) 979-0210 or click link below for more information.
Protecting your Business from Physical Data Theft
Guidelines for Business Owners
By Emily Shap
Think of data security breeches for a moment. Chances are you thought of a computer hacker tucked away in some dark basement trying to break through computer firewalls. While a majority of data security breeches arise from inadequate electronic security measures, such as encryption, many come from the physical files, paper, and orders lying around any typical office. Threats to data security come from within companies through employees, technicians, and guests. Threats also can come from criminals intentionally stealing your information for illegal activity. Anyone with access could potentially steal sensitive information leaving your company vulnerable to a data breech and fraudulent activity. Companies must protect their sensitive physical data with the same vigilance they protect their electronic data. Here are a few measures companies can take to ensure their physical data is protected.
Know What Information you Have and Scale Down
Data security protection plans should begin with knowing exactly what information is being stored and how far back it goes. What information do you need? What information is merely collecting dust? Go through all of your stored information and decide what is vital to your business. Information that is not needed, get rid of. The less information you have stored the better. Properly dispose of all personally identifying information by burning, pulverizing, or shredding.
The information you keep must be organized into two categories: sensitive data and non-sensitive data. Sensitive data is any information that is personal, confidential, or could be misused causing an adverse effect.
Know Where Sensitive Information is Stored and Secure it
Compile a sensitive data storage list. Many companies are surprised to find that they are storing confidential data all over the place. By knowing what information is being stored and where, business owners can take the appropriate protective measures. Confidential information should be stored in a single location with lock protection or access restriction to limit unauthorized access. Authorized personnel must be limited and on a “need to know” basis only. Require employees working with sensitive information to secure it before they leave for any reason. Employees working from home must also follow data security protocol.
Limit Sensitive Information
Only store needed information vital for record keeping. Data such as credit card information, personal identification numbers, credit reports, financial information, medical records, and legal records are considered sensitive and storage should be limited. Avoid storing credit card information for longer than is needed for business matters. Keeping it longer raises your risk of a data breech. Credit card numbers on receipts must be truncated. Avoid storing social security numbers at all costs. Do not allow employees to use Social Security numbers as login information.
Protecting your business from physical data theft begins with taking protective steps to secure it. Know exactly what information you are storing, how long it dates back, and what data is sensitive. Properly dispose of information that is no longer needed. Limit the storage of sensitive data to vital business record keeping only. Ensure this sensitive information is stored in a single location and has access restriction measures. For more information on protecting personal information visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/idtheft/bus69.pdf