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Protecting Your Business Against Payment Card Fraud

To accept payment cards (credit cards, debit cards, charge cards etc.) in your shop or retail outlet you need in the first instance to set up a merchant agreement with a relevant bank or card processor.  They can provide you with information on accepting cards as safely as possible and will have terms and conditions in place which are specific to your business.

When setting up your business for accepting cards, there are a few things that you need to know in advance. Listed below is some standard fraud prevention measures, most of which you will know already but if even one of these is new to you it will add to your own measures:

 Protecting Your Business Against Fraud – Check List

  • Ensure that you have CCTV cameras installed in your shop.   These are a proven deterrent to criminal activity. Make sure they are in working order, that the date and time are correct on them and that they are pointing in the right direction.
  • Position PIN Entry Devices where customers can enter their PIN without being overlooked by other customers or staff members.
  • Ensure that staff members receive training on basic crime and fraud issues – simple points of information can help prevent your business losing money through fraud.
  • Ensure the card data that you are recording or holding is protected under the payment card industry standards – PCI Security Standards (talk to your card processor for more details).
  • Make sure that you keep transaction information for the required length of time (as per your card processor’s terms and conditions). If a cardholder disputes a non-Chip & PIN transaction, you may need to produce documentary evidence to prove that they carried out a given purchase at your store.
  • Familiarise yourself with your card terminal and PIN Entry device.  Check them regularly for any irregularities.
  • It is important to pre-arrange any terminal engineer visits from your card processor, especially when setting up a new business. Criminals might use the opportunity to enter your business purporting to be an engineer in order to tamper with your tills and terminals.
  • When engineer visits have been arranged with your terminal provider, ensure that all staff members are made aware of the visit and that the individual provides proper identification on arrival. Make sure that someone stays with them at all times.
  • Do not engage with people purporting to be from your bank, acquirer, engineers etc. by phone or face to face without first independently verifying their identity
  • If you want to accept payment cards on the Internet, by mail order or via telesales:
    • ensure that you have the correct terms set up with your card processor. Retailers that accept cards in a face to face environment are required to adhere to a different set of terms than one which accepts cards in a ‘card not present’ environment.
    • Ensure that your internet sales are protected using 3D Secure (talk to your card processor for more details).
  • Contact your local Garda Station and ask them for information on local known criminals.  Having details of known thieves can help you keep them out of your store.