Merchants should be highly aware of malicious acts of data hacking and know that if the bank account information is left unsecured, it can lead to major loses for the business. Merchant account security is important to create a credible reputation for your business and ensure customers that your credit card processing system is safe. Here is some insight to secure your merchant account data.
Importance of Merchant Account Data Security
The prime concern for any merchant accepting credit cards is to secure all the personal data and protect it from crooks that use sly tricks to access this information via credit card processing or employee's data. Merchant account security determines the credibility of the payment services and an unsecured system leads to:
- Abstaining the business reputation
- Losing customers to other reliable competitors
- Providing an easy way for robbers to steal money
- Permanently revoking your business operations
To Start With: Secure the Most Sensitive Data
A bare merchant account type is the most alluring for robbers who look for certain key information to succeed at clearing the account. As a first crucial step, all businesses should be highly sensitive to the following information and strive to secure this data in all ways. Most of this information is customer related hence merchants must take crucial steps to protect the information.
- PIN number, CVV and expiration date of credit card
- Name, address, social security number i.e. physical details on the credit card
- Account numbers
- Encoded data on the microchip/magnetic strip of the credit card
Addressing the 5 Key Areas
Merchant's accepting credit cards are liable to secure this crucial piece of information, failing which they risk their own accounts and those of the customers. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to secure the merchant account. The entrepreneur may not be a technical expert but complying with these five vulnerable areas will ensure considerable security for the business.
- Consulting Software and Hardware Vendors
To ensure safety of consumer data, verify with your software vendor if the operating system stores sensitive information from the magnetic strip of the credit card. Discuss with your hardware and software vendors or ATM merchant services provider about the various ways to ensure data security.
- Taking Additional Protection Measures
It is always preferable to take additional measures and ensure data safety at all times. Keeping a tab on your consumer purchasing habit is one way. However, ensuring full security of your credit card processing machines on your side will never let you disappoint customers and give you a better opportunity to win a reputation as a trustworthy merchant. Simple practices such as hashing, truncation and data encryption can help reduce risk considerably. It is advantageous to learn from credible sources about consumer data that can be stored legally and securely.
- Limited Access to Sensitive Information
A good way to ensure data security is to practice vigilance on all communication channels such as phone and paper conversations and allowing access to sensitive information only after authentication. Keeping limited access to your business data not only ensures security but also alerts those with malicious intentions who want to hack into your account.
- Ensuring System Security
Computer systems are a convenient mode of accessing all your business information. Protecting your data with firewalls, anti-virus programs, encryption, and other security software will help you keep your data secured and trap the criminal who attempted to access your system. Also, updating yourself with best practices will help you win an edge over the tricks used by the robbers.
- Adapting Security Policies
It is wise to formulate a security policy for your business and share this information with all employees. Outline all security programs and procedures that everyone must comply with. Companies that offer custom ATM programs and merchant services specialize in providing secured ATM and credit card processing solutions to various types of businesses. You can also refer to PCI Data Security Standard to formulate your security policy as merchant.
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