Sekure Merchants card services advice

A sekure merchants services guide

Credit card security – A chicken and egg story

by sekureservices

America leads the world in credit-card processing security fraud. The United States accounts for 47% of global credit and debit card fraud, even though it is responsible for only 27% of the total volume of purchases. The amount of fraud based on stolen card numbers in the United States is around $14 billion a year.

Unlike European in the US we have minor reservations, when a sales clerk swipe a card at a check-out instead of doing it personally on a shielded POS terminal while keying in a PIN number. Handing over a credit card to a waiter in a restaurant, who disappears out of sight for five minutes before returning with a printed statement for signature verification, is now considered one of the most important security flaw associated with credit card processing.

America remains the only major developed country not having embraced secure “smart cards”, still relying majorly on antiquated magnetic stripe credit cards that encode their sensitive data in magnetic stripe. Copying data embedded in a magnetic strips is easier and quicker than ever with a majority of office supplies distributor offering a compact and very cheap card strip readers  making it extremely easy to duplicate and scam credit cards.

Inevitably, credit card fraud has dropped dramatically where payment process involve the  “chip-and-pin” cards. As tougher security measures have come into effect around the world, fraudsters have begun to focus their credit-card scams more than ever on the United States where there are still many store owners who haven’t migrated there POS devices with the new one that support  the chip and pin.

Hacking into a credit-card processor’s database is another profitable approach for criminals. Meanwhile, fitting clandestine magnetic-stripe skimmers on petrol pumps and ATM machines has become increasingly common. And the old standby of using “phishing attacks” over the phone or the internet—to con individuals into parting with their card’s security details—remains as widespread as ever.

Stolen credit-cards details are sold in bulk, ranging in price from ten cents to nearly a dollar per card. According to Symantec, a major supplier of security software, published that by far the most popular category of data lifted from data hacking was credit-card data where the individual’s name, the 16-digit account number, the expiry date including the 3 digit number printed on the back intended to validate the card holder online allow to duplicate the credit card.

The answer, of course, is for American card companies to do what Europeans have deen doing for over ten years and start issuing chip-based credit and debit cards replacing the vulnerable magnetic strip cards at a faster rate. Unfortunately, the stores have had little incentive to replace their POS payment terminals with smart-card readers while banks have been reluctant to issue smart cards while the stores are refusing to accept them.

The problem is compounded by the fearsome competition in America between card-issuers for free-spending customers. Few banks are willing to force card-holders to change their habits for fear of antagonizing them. For their part, merchant’s fear it would take years to recoup the investment needed to upgrade their terminals and build new communications infrastructure. We have a classic chicken and egg scenario. Till the banking industry gets their act together and unit in this effort to enforce merchants in the required investment for accepting the “Chip and Pin” cards America will remain the haven for credit card fraud.


Sekure Merchants Card Services Statements

by claudiusb

Merchant credit card processing statements are always difficult to understand and many are confused by the way information seams voluntarily laid out in a confusing pagecopy. It is a part of the business that is unclear, confusing, and downright frustrating so many businesses just take for granted and trust what is told to them by their sales rep. This ignorance can end up costing you, the merchant, hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.

As merchant services providers like Sekure Card services, we find that businesses are misinformed about what can and can’t be controlled when it comes to processing credit and debit cards. It`s all about the risk in a transaction, for example, did you know that there can be up to a 2% difference in what you are charged for swiping a credit card versus a debit card? Or that many businesses, when manually punching in the number as opposed to swiping the actual card, without entering in a zip code, costs up to 2% of the sale because you get a “non-qualified” rate. Also did you know, that you, pay the customer’s 1% cash reward or frequent flyer miles on behalf of the card issuing bank?

Taking the time to understand does makes a difference

Sekure Card services wants you to be comfortable with there services. Our initial goal is to evaluate your statements, and show you what you are being charged, and more importantly, why you are being charged it. We discuss with you and your staff how to ensure you get the best rates possible, which cards or more expensive to run, and what you can do to decrease costs. When you get a monthly statement from us, and don’t quite understand why you are being charged certain amounts, we come out to your location and go through the statement line-by-line, explaining the various fees that are assessed, and show you what you can control and how.

Sekure Merchant Services – Read your contracts fine print

by claudiusb

Be wary of merchant payment services companies who alter their terms and conditions on their terminal rental agreement without informing their customers or sellers, basically what some are doing is adding another 2 yrs contract to a 3,4 and 5 year lease agreement where in the fine print they indicate that the customer must provide a 12 months written notice (which they’re not told about) in order NOT to automatically renew otherwise the customer is locked in for another 2 yrs. So this means when a customer signs up for what they think is 3 yr term if they don’t give the customer is locked in for another 2 yrs meaning it’s a 5 yr contract. If the customer signed a 5 yr deal them it turns to a 7 yr contract and so on.

This is certainly not ethical even if it is legal so be careful of the fine print and read carfully the contracts for contract with payment service providers. Most wont resort to these deceptive tactics in order to maintain their customers but some do and will hold you to the signed contract.

Sekure yourself avoid the scams when shopping payment providers

by claudiusb

Merchant service providers are a critical partner so it is advisable to give yourself the tools to evaluate and understand them before moving forward with one. You don’t want to rush and lock yourself into an account and contract that is unfavorable. Understand the entire agreement and don’t be afraid to ask questions on the items you are unclear about.  A  service provider who is unwilling to spend the time necessary for you to feel comfortable with what you are signing up for should be avoided.

Be weary of the cheapest provider, it is usually a good indicator for a bad  provider. No merchant service provider can provide wholesale pricing lower than another. Basically every one is facing the same costs so the pricing should not vary between them. If a provider is offering rates that are significantly lower than the current market rate they will make it up somewhere else. It’s simply a fact.

An unscrupulous merchant service provider will be pushy with the sale and inevitably try to lease equipment or charge a huge mark up. Never, lease processing equipment, you end up paying upwards of 10 times the actual cost of the equipment. Check prices for equipment on the internet so you know about what the equipment should cost. If you are being charged significantly more, you have an idea that the provider is not acting in your best interest.

An honest provider will take the time to help you understand what you are signing up for. The rates for the service are clearly outlined and explained.

The merchant services credit payment industry is extremely competitive and in order to stay in business a provider must offer good service and rates. Make sure to check the age of the company you are considering.

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