Retailers and others lose out on sales by not accepting credit cards. Most people favor the convenience of credit cards and don’t carry around a lot of cash. Though some small mom and pop retailers forgo accepting credit cards because of the fees and liability, most businesses do accept them. Of course, doing so opens business owners up to some potential problems.
One of the biggest issues with accepting credit cards is the potential for fraud. Despite advances in security, credit card fraud remains a huge problem, costing consumers and businesses an estimated $16.3 billion in 2014. Half of that fraud amount, or $8 billion, occurred in the U.S., largely because the U.S. was far behind other countries in adopting chip technology, but that is changing, and card issuers are now providing chip cards and more and more businesses are starting to accept them. Despite the improved security measures, however, worldwide credit card fraud losses are expected to more than double by 2020.
Another potential pitfall for businesses that accept credit cards is the potential for chargebacks. When fraud occurs, the card company will refund the customer’s money, but it often requires the retailer to make good on the fraudulent amount. If you are involved in a fraudulent transaction, even if you had no way to know it was fraudulent, you may be on the hook for the money, unless you have merchant chargeback protection. Merchant chargeback protection is a form of insurance that uses filters to try to identify which charges may be fraudulent. It typically will reimburse you for any charges you accept that it did not flag as fraudulent if they ultimately do prove to be fraudulent.
One area that is a large point of potential fraud is online purchases. If you have a website that allows people to use a credit card to purchase items, you need to make sure you use secure payment software that protects customers’ information when it is entered in your system while also providing protection against potential fraud. Requiring password protected accounts for purchasing is one way to prevent fraud.
While you aren’t going to prevent all fraud, no matter how good your security procedures are, you can cut down on it considerably by following best practices and using up to date software.