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Considering Payment Cards and Business Use of Them

Considering Payment Cards and Business Use of Them

People use all types of payment options. With more people moving away from cash as a payment option, businesses have to accept and process more payment card transactions. Depending on your business, it could put you in a very precarious position. Today, we will look at payment card statistics, and how the increase in payment card usage could end up be a devastating problem for the modern business.

Payment Cards
How many times a week do you use a payment card? On what percentage of your transactions would you say payment is rendered via card? Some places rely on them more than others. Countries in the European Union, for example, have a lower percentage of cash usage, while some less-developed parts of the world still rely almost exclusively on cash. In the parts of the world where more people utilize payment card technology, data privacy laws tend to be more specific and comprehensive.

Other digital payment options, such as digital wallets, still haven’t become a viable system insofar as retailers and other businesses don’t accept these types of payments. As a result, if you are not paying with cash, you are definitely paying with a card. In some parts of Europe, paying with cards is incentivized, while in the U.S. and most other places, where using cash is still the preferred method of payment for consumers, paying with cards is beginning to cost consumers less. Studies show that with costs associated with getting access to cash (even in places where people use it more) are higher than utilizing payment cards to pay for goods and services.

Data Loss and What It Means for Your Business
The more people that use payment cards to purchase goods and services, the more likely your business is apt to keep their personal financial information on record. This can be troublesome with the amount of hackers there are attempting to gain access to this information. You typically find that this is more prevalent for businesses that have e-commerce sites, but no matter what the justification is for keeping this information on record, businesses need to find a way to keep this data secure.

The problems for organizations that fail to do so are numerous. They can be as severe of a complete loss of consumer confidence, a dire situation for any business. Typically, however, they result in a number of smaller, more deliberate situations that eat away at your business’ profitability, rather than one major forest fire of one. The end result can still be as disastrous, however.

Payment Card Index Digital Security Standard
Much of the world hasn’t been as progressive as the EU on individual data security. In response, the card companies themselves have agreed to standardize their own mandate. The Payment Card Index Digital Security Standard, or what is typically called PCI compliance, is the strategy these financial institutions have come to. The requirements they expect every business that accepts payment cards to meet include:

  • Monitor and test network
  • Maintain security network and systems to ensure customer privacy
  • Protect cardholder data
  • Maintain system that manages and reduces vulnerabilities
  • Maintain strong access control
  • Maintain information security policy.

The requirement goes on to specifically explain how businesses should accomplish these feats. At Suffolk Computer Consultants, we can work with you to produce a secure and reliable network needed to process, or to store, your customer’s payment card information. Call us today at 631-905-9617 for more information.

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