Small Business Owners' Guide to Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

Accepting all forms of payments, including credit cards, is a crucial component in the quest to running a successful business. It gives business owners an opportunity to sell more products and services to a wider range of customers. Accepting credit cards can allow you to expand your company to include online sales and make you eligible to receive a merchant cash advance, which can be essential in promoting the growth of your business.

Though the benefits are numerous, accepting credit cards can also turn merchants into potential victims of credit card fraud, a type of fraud that occurs all too often in the United States.

As a merchant, it is important to be on the lookout for consumer credit card fraud which is committed by the use of fraudulent credit cards or by the purchase of products and / or services using a valid credit card that does not belong to the consumer ( formally known as identity theft). But it is also important to keep an eye on employees, ensuring that they do not commit credit card fraud using a customer's credit card.

For consumers, there are various laws and guarantees to remedy the situation if credit card fraud does occur. Unfortunately, merchants are not provided with that same protection. Therefore, as a merchant, preventing credit card fraud altogether is vital.

So how does one reap the benefits of accepting credit cards without encountering the problems that may arise as a result? There is no way to completely safeguard your business against credit card fraud, but there are certain precautions that you should take as a merchant to promote non-fraudulent transactions and secure the stability of your business by reducing its chances of becoming a credit card fraud victim .

If a customer would like a refund, do not allow the refund as a credit to another account. Credit card refunds must only be granted to the same card that was used to make the initial purchase. Also, only allow refunds if the customer has the receipt for the product they wish to return.

Frequently changing the password to your credit card system may help as well. You may also purchase credit card fraud insurance for your business. If your business is insured, and fraud occurs, the insurance company will go after the parties responsible for the fraud.

Although it can be difficult if your business processes multiple transactions per day, it may be helpful to print a daily transcript of all credit card transactions.

As a restaurant owner, it is particularly easier for an employee to commit identity theft due to the amount of time that the employee spends with the customer's credit card out of the customer's sight. In this case, you may want to consider purchasing a portable credit card terminal. A waiter / waitress can bring this portable terminal to the customer's table, allowing the customer to swipe their own card, so the card never has to leave the customer's hand.

If you can not purchase a portable credit card terminal, make sure that your restaurant's credit system does not print credit card numbers and expiration dates on receipts. This way, employees can not copy these numbers while away from the customer. If your system does not mask these numbers, contact your POS system provider and inquire about credit card masking.

Source by Gaston Castro

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