The TRUTH About Gift Cards
If you have ever thought about getting gift cards for your business, there has never been a better time now! The Holidays are just around the corner and will be here before you know it. The deadline for ordering those gift cards is NOW if you want to reap the rewards this season. Fortunately, you have another option. You can deploy gift cards “virtually” through your website, in a requested email link or on your social media site today. Here’s another great way to market to your last minute customers.
The reason I say there has never been a better time is that, of all the changes that have taken place in the gift card arena. Not only has the cost come down considerably on plastic cards but there is a whole new approach to accepting gift cards in your business. Online sales which will become break sales records again this season. There are so many wonderful things gift cards can do to build your business.
- Statistics show that people spend approximately 61% more when using a gift card (Consider your own spending patterns when using a gift card)
- Gift cards are the #1 gift given during the Holidays
- Gift cards build brand awareness
- Gift cards increase cash flow by collecting money upfront for future delivery.
- Gift cards reduce fraud experienced with paper gift certificates
- Gift cards can create a great marketing strategy to get someone in your store that normally wouldn’t shop there
- Gift cards can design a loyalty program for your business, getting your customers to come back time and time again for those perks you offer (Investing in your existing customers is much more cost effective than reaching out for new ones)
- Sell and send gift cards from your store, mail, text, your website, email or even your Facebook page. It’s never been easier
Now the disadvantages:
Don’t let this opportunity to increase your sales this Holiday Season pass you by. Invest in your business’s future today!
Visa’s security on Friday (08/12/2016) issued a security alert warning companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale units to double-check their systems for malicious software or unusual network activity. Visa highly recommends that companies should immediately change passwords on their systems. Visa also published a list of Internet addresses that may have been involved in the Oracle/MICROS breach that are thought to be closely tied to an Eastern European organized cybercrime gang.
In addition to Visa’s recommendation, Card Systems also strongly recommends the following:
- Conduct another PCI scan to identify any security vulnerabilities (even though you may have recently conducted a PCI scan and passed, internal changes to your network and/or firewalls could have affected security protocols).
- Have your IT Department or IT vendor familiarize themselves with the information being disseminated by Krebs Security and Oracle to better understand the nature of the attacks, and apply that knowledge to your circumstance.
- Review your current breach protocols to ensure they are up to date. (If your company doesn’t have a protocol, it is imperative to have one. It is a PCI requirement.)
- Consider obtaining “breach” insurance. Most breach insurance can offset the devastating financial damage.
- Consider installing a device that takes the card number out of the MICROS environment so that even if a hacker stole the card number, it is a useless 4 digit number.
2016 ETA – Las Vegas
At the 2016 ETA in Las Vegas today, it was announced that VISA plans to offer the “Quick Chip”. This will reduce those 20-30 seconds for customers using their EMV chip card at checkout down to possibly 2 seconds or less. For the consumer, seconds saved for every customer in line means happy customers. Happy customers are repeat customers.
This upgrade is expected to happen before the end of 2016 and could be adopted by all card brands in the future.
This is great news!
Merchants need to be aware that not “dipping the chip” is a costly mistake. It is frightening that barely 1/8th of the Country’s businesses are taking this seriously. We understand that the larger POS Systems were not prepared and are still behind in deploying their solutions with the chip peripherals. Merchants can easily add an inexpensive chip-enabled device in the meantime to protect themselves and their clients. It is well worth the minimal cost and peace of mind…..which is a rarity these days. Read the entire NBC2 News article.
Our Bringg app optimizes every aspect of your delivery operations for the on-demand era. It enables businesses to manage deliveries and drivers intelligently, assign orders to drivers, plan their delivery route and see the location of drivers and deliveries. It also enables you to notify customers when their delivery is on the way via an SMS that opens a web application and a real-time map with their driver’s location. Customers are empowered because they can communicate with the driver (ie., don’t ring the doorbell because the baby is sleeping) and even know what he or she looks like before they arrive and ring the doorbell because the baby is sleeping.
Take control of your business on the road and watch your business grow.
Imagine what this app can do for you!
Here we are at the end of December and all we have been talking about since August is EMV (European Master Card and Visa). The news has been chocked full of situations where credit cards are still being skimmed and fraudulently used. Here is an NBC2 News Report where a local Cape Coral woman watched her email and text alerts as her Pay Pal Debit card was racking up transactions at a Toys R Us, Best Buy and local merchants. There wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Crooks aren’t stupid. They pounce and prey when they know the time is right. In this case it was Christmas, so she was unable to stop these fraudulent charges. It’s a shame this woman had to spend her Christmas worrying about these transactions. Fortunately she heard back from Pay Pal and will not be responsible for these charges.
Who will be responsible? The merchants in Lee County without a chip reader will bear the loss here. What a perfect time to upgrade and protect your business and clients. Also, help your year-end tax bill with your Section 179 expenditure.
This white collar crime is on the rise and it’s more profitable and less risky than dealing drugs. We encourage not only our customers but all merchants to process their transactions securely on an EMV terminal. Don’t let your business or your customers suffer. It’s no way to bring in the New Year.
Call us today at (239) 549-5055.