Written By: Alina Shams, Mastercard Canada
Every customer matters when you are a small business. Accepting all forms of payment, including cash, credit, debit and prepaid cards, can help grow your business. While each payment option has its advantages and disadvantages, only electronic payments can instantly connect you to customers wherever and whenever they want to make purchases.
Your customers get more when you accept electronic payment cards – greater flexibility, security and confidence. But as a small business owner, you get more too. Through electronic payments, you have access to customers online, over the phone and can enable them to set up recurring payments. Electronic payment networks like Mastercard help small businesses compete for customers around the world by providing convenience in the store and secure access to goods and services from their homes.
However, you must know and understand all the tools available to fight fraud. Electronic payment card technology offers protection against fraud, allowing small businesses to eliminate chargebacks, get the lowest processing rates and maintain their reputation by avoiding fraud. Through the partnership of card networks, small businesses, customer banks and the payments processors, fraud can be predicted, detected, resolved and prevented. An open line of communication between the partners is important.
Read on for Mastercard’s advice on preventing, predicting, detecting and resolving fraud.
Prevent fraud by taking some of the initiatives below. When accepting payments in a face-to-face setting check the security features on the physical card. Some of the things you can look for are:
When accepting payments in a setting where you can’t check the physical card (e-commerce, mail order/telephone order or recurring payment), some of the things you can look for are:
It’s also important to keep up with new technologies like Masterpass, embedded chips and mobile payment platforms. Keeping up with the latest terminal technology—like contactless and mobile payments—means that you can offer your customers the safest and most convenient payment options. The latest in technology allows you to be compliant with all the latest security regulations while providing the best customer service.
Fraud can be predicted through awareness and knowing your customers. Use common sense awareness, observe customer behaviour to ensure purchase patterns are normal:
Beware of taking shortcuts at the register, on the phone or online. Cards work so fast and so often that it’s easy for employees to skip a question, grow impatient with an approval delay or fail to check a card security feature. In rushing to process a transaction, you may miss a crucial detail that could’ve prevented fraud. Missing pieces of transaction information can cost you.
Electronic payment networks offer a wide variety of services that can aid you in detecting fraud before it happens.
Let the security of card technology work for you. When transactions are denied or flagged as problematic, trust those warnings and communicate with the card networks to confirm before allowing customers to receive goods or services.
It is important to know your rights and responsibilities in case of fraud to minimize your liability. Follow the tips below to ensure due process.
Make sure your Acquirer/ Processor is providing you with the opportunity to resolve disputes if possible and not just passing it on to you.
Electronic payment technology gives you powerful tools to prevent fraud, protect profits and guard against higher processor rates. Processors typically charge lower rates for transactions and businesses with lower fraud risks. To ensure you are protecting yourself and your business to the fullest extent, don’t take shortcuts on security, update your technology, know the services available to you and understand your merchant rights. To learn more about fraud and security, visit https://www.masteryourcard.org/canada/.
About Master Your Card:
Master Your Card is a community empowerment initiative by MasterCard. It is a global financial education initiative with a local focus. The program works with various community partners to deliver customized financial education programming to small businesses and consumers.