Card Skimming/Shimming 101 – Protect your Business and your Customers

Card Skimming/Shimming 101 – Protect your Business and your Customers

With the advancements in technology, it’s just a matter of time before your business could become a victim.  Everyone who works with credit card and/or chip readers in any capacity should be aware of skimming threats and be watchful.  It could cost your business thousands and it may be someone right under your nose.

The card skimming wave was active this week in Oklahoma where the waitress was fortunately caught by her manager.  Read the full story here.  By the way, the waitress DID have an adverse background that would have been found had they run a background check.

The new era of thievery is now called “shimming”.  The thieves are inserting ultra thin circuit boards through any card slot to read EMV card details from inside the device.

What is the difference between skimming and shimming?

Skimming is recognized as fraud that “skims,” the information off the magnetic strip on a credit or debit card.

Shimming refers to an attack that captures data by tapping directly into the EMV chip.

7 Tips to Protect your Business:

  • Inspect card and chip readers regularly in and around the card slot
  • Background every employee dealing with credit cards and payments
  • Trust your instincts when it comes to your employees
  • Look into pay-at-the-table or mobile devices and software to take credit card data out of scope
  • If you must write down credit card data, protect it by locking it securely away
  • Inspect for hidden cameras or unrecognized devices
  • Ensure your host network is checking card verification codes of both magnetic strip/chip-based transaction authorization processes

7 things to Protect Yourself:

  • Trust your gut.  Rely on your instincts.  Know your surroundings
  • When in doubt, don’t use the ATM or hand your card over to a cashier
  • Make sure your card stays in sight. Never let anyone walk away with your card
  • Use your credit card instead of your debit card.  Don’t use your PIN unless you have to
  • Not all ATM’s are equal. Be particularly careful in a tourist areas
  • Use NFC or contact pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay (payment tokens). Always monitor your accounts
  • Be aware of transactions that force your card to use the magnetic stripe

We have your safe-guarded practices in mind always.  Remember, trust, but always verify.  For ideas to help safeguard your devices, call Card Systems now for all your POS, Credit Card Processing  and Equipment & Software needs.

A World Without Receipts – Can You Imagine?

A World Without Receipts – Can You Imagine?

Is it time you considered adding a Signature Capture Device?

It may be closer to reality than we might expect.  There are key chemical components utilized in receipt paper that are low in supply and high in demand.

Why?  An estimated 80K factories have been fined, shut down or hit with criminal offenses due to the Chinese Government’s renewed enforcement of environmental regulations.

There has been a buzz in the air that there is a global thermal paper shortage.  Paper vendors continue warning about the imminent price increases and shortages.

We know how critical it is for you to have a reliable supply of thermal paper at a reasonable price, and we will do everything within our power to assist through this paper shortage.  The reality is that there will be price increases, and paper will need to be allocated and rationed at times.

For Best Practices and help during this shortage, here are some things you may wish to consider:

  1. American Express, Discover, MasterCard & Visa are no longer requiring signatures on credit card charges. So unless you have tips to consider, turn off the credit card signature receipt, or better yet, enable signature capture on your devices.
  2. Take advantage of and emailing or texting receipts to your customers. This is a big win because you can retain your customer’s data for future promotions, and have a positive impact on the environment
  3. Remember to Offer Pay at the Table in restaurants
  4. Take advantage of guest self-pay options (apps, kiosks, etc.)
  5. Use Signature Capture PIN pads

The new signature capture devices have become more affordable in every industry. These devices save you money by empowering you to electronically accept payments at the table, through a Kiosk or even through your phone.  You also will reduce paper consumption by sending payment requests electronically through apps that automate the checkout process.  It couldn’t be a better time to adopt these simple to use technologies to go paperless and save!

Be informed, Only YOU can prevent a VPNFilter attack

Be informed, Only YOU can prevent a VPNFilter attack

Today, you are going to be an informed consumer.  Routers are weak points.  The VPNFilter is dangerous.  But we are here to help you.

It is unrealistic to expect home users and small business proprietors to become security experts.

Reputable router manufacturers do equip their devices with security features.  You have to sign up for the necessary automatic updates so your router is maintained though.

Think safety when it comes to your home and business and moving forward you will be able to easily defeat vulnerabilities from this day forward.

Even if your router was not on the released “at risk device list,” take this opportunity to realize there are mobile-management tools available and configuring your router has become easier.  Take advantage of the advanced features.  Utilize the step-by-step process and perform maintenance and you will not become a statistic.

Choose a router that offers security.  A router with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) let’s you add compatible devices with the push of a button.  For a more secure connection, use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2), which requires entering a password for EACH device. Routers with WPA-Enterprise security offer the highest level of security.

The technology currently used to assign static IP addresses known as Internet Protocol iPv4 will eventually be replaced with iPv6.  The iPv4 is a 32-bit address scheme running out of addresses due to the number of devices connecting to the internet.  iPv6 has 128-bit scheme which offers an almost infinite number of IP addresses.   Make sure you get a router that has built-in support for iPv6; and verify this so you are ready for the transition when iPv4 finally hits the wall.

Future proof your home and small business now; and pay up front for a router that is enterprise level.  Amazon is a great resource to utilize and compare prices.  Send us an email if you want to know what features to look for.

A Year to Remember

A Year to Remember

Some people say the past 12 months has reminded them of the apocalypse. Wild fires in the west, an earth quake in Mexico and Oklahoma, Hurricane Harvey and Irma leaving a wide path of destruction throughout Texas and Florida, Hurricane Maria totally devastating Puerto Rico, flooding in the west and Hawaii, mudslides in California, blizzards and multiple nor’easters, just to name a few. All this leaves desperate people in the wake of these catastrophic disasters to pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. Property owners will more than likely have to rely on out-sourcing the rebuilding and repairs.

We want to make sure you’re aware that in most states, and especially the State of Florida, there are building and compliance codes that contractors need to follow. Make sure the company you hire is licensed and bonded before they start any type of repair so as not to negate your insurance claims.

ARE YOU HIRING ADDITIONAL STAFF TO HANDLE THE INCREASED WORKLOAD?   

Do your due diligence and background the influx of new hires you plan on recruiting for the busy months ahead.

Our sister company, eGuarded can help by not only offering license verifications but also background screening for new and existing employees. Simply click on this link to get started.  No Monthly Fees, No on Going Fees you just pay for when you use it.

CONTRACTORS, ARE YOUR PROSPECTS HAVING A HARD TIME MEETING THEIR DEDUCTIBLE?

Have you considered offering a finance program? These programs can bridge the gap between insurance claims and out-of- pocket expenses. They also allow your “credit challenged” customers to finance your products and services at no risk to you. This can dramatically increase your sales by giving your customers an alternate means of payment, especially in the case of an emergency.

Finance programs give your customer a completely unsecured loan option. By offering multiple financing sources, you will increase the chance of your customers getting approved for financing the first time. This will reduce how often you have those awkward decline conversations!

Consumer Finance Benefits to your Customers: 

  • Quick loan amounts up to $60,000
  • Approvals when others say no
  • A second chance while rebuilding credit

Consumer Finance Benefits to your Business: 

  • Low merchant rates
  • Full payment made directly to your office
  • No Setup Fee, No Minimums and No Monthly Usage Fee
  • Average 6 out of 10 declines approved
  • No Collection Headaches
  • Simple website integration

Look for a program that allows for instant decisions that fund quickly to increase your bottom line.  Do what your competitors aren’t doing in your market area and see the results. Simply click here for more financing information.

Financing helps your business grow by turning your prospects into customers!

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

E-commerce sales comprised 9.1% of all U. S. retail sales in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Up from 8.2% in the same quarter of 2016. In the next three years e-commerce sales are expected to total $708 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

The big box retailers are consolidating and closing their brick and mortar stores in record numbers. They are putting their resources into their e-commerce sites to try and capture a market dominated by Amazon and primarily directed by Google. Will you follow their lead?

What can you do today to enhance your e-commerce site?

6 simple steps to boost and optimize your e-commerce site:

  1. Create a Mobile Friendly website.  First and foremost even if you are not selling your products or services online, you need to be found online today and in a mobile friendly way. 77% of American’s have a smart phone and are looking for your product or service right now. Is your site mobile friendly?  If not, stop everything you are doing and call someone who can help you create a mobile friendly e-commerce site today.
  2. Collect Customer Data.  Make sure you collect as much data as you can through your Point of Sale (POS) or on your site. It’s never been easier to collect your customer’s email or phone number at the POS. There are so many systems to choose from today that do this with ease at the cashier or checkout level. With more and more people using smart phones and going green, you can email receipts, notify of upcoming sales, and simply market your service to them with this collected information.
  3. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to collect the basic data of your clients and prospects (company name, contact, address, email and phone number). It’s time to drill down to interests, birthdays, colleagues, spouses, children, education, how and why the customer started the business or anything you can discuss. In fact, every time you talk with your customer, note their file. People love to be remembered and this is your powerful insight into your customers needs and wants. Listening to these needs not only builds a strong loyal relationship, it saves everyone time and money by not discussing or pushing out topics that have little or no interest to them or their business.
  4. Develop a strategy to engage your customers.  How do you get your message out to your valued customers.  Email, blog post, mail, phone or social media? Quite frankly, you should use all of these to connect and on a regular basis. Use the same information on all platforms as it is unlikely your client will visit all.  If they do, great because it takes 5-7 touches before you sell an item. Just begin with one and take baby steps. Remember…”A good plan … now is better than a perfect plan … next week” – General George C. Patton.
  5. Reward your Customers.  Do you have a rewards program? If not start one today.  If you have one in store, great.  If it isn’t online then talk to someone who specializes in gift cards and rewards programs that will work with your e-commerce site. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, there is something you can do to reward your clients. Even if it is just a cup of coffee, a $5 gift certificate or maybe a discount on a future purchase.  Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, are all great, but what about something more original like an anniversary with you or just to thank them for their business? Think out of the box and send an e-certificate. If they don’t use it, it’s no loss to you.
  6. Optimize your payment process. Accept Apple Pay and the many new digital wallets to speed up the check out process. Shopping abandonment is a constant battle for e-commerce clients. Make it easy and fast for your clients to buy. Check into the many credit card software systems that not only reach out to clients to pay, for example, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payments (EBPP) but give your customers the ability to finance their purchases.

All in all, e-commerce has evolved and will continue to do so in the coming years. Take advantage of the many tools available to grow your business.

What are you waiting for? Like Nike says Just do it” and do it today!

2018 is Geared up to be the Year of Technology

2018 is Geared up to be the Year of Technology

As you reflect on 2017, so much has changed in the payment space.  Are you planning a new image for 2018?  How about even a minor adjustment?

Isn’t it time you harness the power of technology?  Yes, it can be easy and fun!

With new wallets, crypto currency, kiosks, biometrics, and more, people are now using their fingerprints for more than accessing their phone.  They can pay with a touch or wave of a cell phone, skip the line at a busy takeout and even bypass security at major airports.  What does this all mean for your business? Time savings, profitability and happy customers.

It’s time for your business to embrace technology to enhance the customer experience.  

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know today it’s all about engaging your customers, making payments faster and easier along with creating a great experience for them.  How do you achieve this in your business?  First, by knowing who your customers are, what they like and why they buy from you.  How quickly can you get this all done?  These all work in tandem really.

Reward your customers with a loyalty system.  This will help you understand and collect data from your customers and track what they buy.  Then you reward them when they come back again.  Next, implement an easy to use NFC (Near Frequency Communication) technology system to make checkout a breeze, saving you, your staff and your customer time.  The new friction-less payments work by allowing clients to pay with their phone through Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet…maybe even bitcoin someday.  Another method some merchants use is the QR code scan to checkout.  This wonderful technology works through NFC which keeps their card safe in their wallet.  No more handing over their credit card to a shop clerk or server.  The newer systems even allow a Kiosk to order and check out faster, which can save you a tremendous amount in labor costs.

Not only do these systems help with collecting data from your customers about their favorite drink or pizza, they help you stay connected with them by sending out loyalty points or pings (beacon technology) when they pass by your store.  It’s all about engaging your clients and customers with what you have to offer.

Be informed with how your business keeps your clients data secure.  Learn about the many payment options for online and face-to-face sales.  Nothing in America is happening faster than technology.  It is time to embrace the new technology so that running your business is easier and more profitable all while creating happy, satisfied customers.  What are you waiting for?

By the way, if you travel to Miami, Seattle, NY, LA or any big city in addition to the TSA pre-check, look for Clear, a biometrics security check that will save you pulling out your ID for TSA.  You just look into a screen or use your fingerprint for validation, saving you hours while traveling.