Businesses and charities of all sizes are turning to their Smartphone to process payments. There has been an upsurge in mobile devices and apps that work as effectively as a traditional POS system, making it easier for businesses to sell on the go. Small businesses are using these systems at trade shows, fairs, farmers markets, job sites, and even as a point of sale system in traditional storefronts. However, as with any new innovation, there are risks to be considered before jumping in.
Every week there seems to be a new way for hackers to get a hold of your customer’s information. When you are swiping their credit card into a Smartphone and sending that information to your credit processing service, there are more ways for thieves to access it. Here are some tips on protecting your customers’ sensitive information, and choosing the right mobile payment provider to suit your business’ needs.
Protect your phone or tablet – How easy is it for someone to access your Smartphone? If you are using your personal phone or tablet to process payments, it needs to be protected at all times. Make sure your phone and app are password protected, and limit its access to employees. It’s also a good idea to have remote access to your phone’s apps, so in case it gets lost or stolen you can delete the app and no one can access your account. Have your payment processor’s contact information saved in several places so they can freeze your account if need be.
Confirm your transactions – Most mobile payment processors allow you to view your total transactions by the end of that business day. Check your transactions every day to make sure all are accounted for and nothing suspicious has popped up. Also, know your payment processing service’s payment schedule. If your plan is set up to receive all funds by the next business day, make sure the funds are deposited. If you are set up to receive funds once or twice a month, use good bookkeeping practices to ensure all payments are received on time.
Inform your customers – A friendly reminder to your customers to check their bank account to make sure everything went through can be an effective and easy way to combat fraud. If you hear from several customers that there are unauthorized transactions occurring, it could be a sign that there has been a data breach.
Choose the service that fits your needs – Like traditional payment processing services; there are many different plans to choose from. Since mobile payments are used in a plethora of different business types, shop around and find a plan that fits your company’s unique needs. If you don’t use your device very often, you may want to look for a plan that doesn’t charge a monthly fee but charges slightly higher transaction rates. If you rarely swipe cards but manually enter credit card numbers often, some services charge higher fees or hold your funds for longer. Find out your monthly average for credit card transactions and make sure that number falls within a services credit limit. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to a service provider regarding details of the agreement. If the company is worthwhile, they will answer all of your questions, and this also gives you a preview of the customer service you can expect to receive.
Read the Terms and Conditions - Carefully – Every company’s terms and conditions are different. BBB receives complaints of all kinds regarding processing companies, and those companies are usually protected by the terms a customer agreed to. Be aware of all fees a service will charge, and become informed of the ways they can hold your funds or freeze your account. Many services have manually entered credit card limits, monthly service fees, and conditions in which they can hold your funds for long periods of time.
Have your business documents handy – Because of the new and fast nature of mobile payments, these companies are protecting themselves in many ways from liabilities. Be ready to verify your identity and the legitimacy of your business, because they may be asking for it at one point or another.
Check with BBB – BBB issues business reviews on many mobile payment processing services. Check their complaint history and accreditation status before deciding which company to do business with.