In Client Reviews, Credit Card Machines, Credit Card Processing, Merchant Service, Personal Services, POS Systems, Restaurant Processing, Retailers & Restaurants, Small Business Credit Card Processing, Small Business Processing

The holiday shopping season is upon us, which means more customers and sales for businesses around the country. It is the busiest time of the year for retailers and credit card processing companies, and 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales are expected to come during the holiday rush. This is a unique year, as there are a number of factors that affect both processors and retailers, and which need to be planned for ahead of time.

  • EMV Readiness – On October 1, 2015, the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) liability shift was implemented. Consumers are still receiving their chip cards, and it may take time to become familiar with the process of using these cards in stores.
  • Security – End-to-end encryption, EVM payment schemes, and tokenization are necessary to prepare for and protect against security breaches.
  • Mobile Wallets – More customers are using mobile wallets, including Apple Pay and Android Pay, and retailers need to be ready to accept these.

By creating a plan, and keeping your operating systems and security software updated, you can help your business prepare for the holiday shopping season. Train employees on best practices, and how to spot and avoid attempted fraud as well. This will ensure your business is ready to serve all of your customers.

Retailers and consumers alike are preparing for one of the biggest shopping seasons — the holidays! Between 20 to 40% of a retailer’s annual sales are attributed to the holiday season. This jolly (and hectic) time of year is a critical time for payment processors. Learn how your business should prepare:

Factors To Consider

Payment analysts predict that the holiday season in 2015 will be a challenge for both processors and retailers. Here are some projected factors to consider.
A change in chip cards — On October 1, 2015 the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) liability shift was implemented. Many consumers are still in the process of receiving their new chip-enabled cards.

The EMV Readiness survey found that 59% of the 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed are still waiting to receive their EMV card. Other findings from this survey include:

67% claimed they have not received any information whatsoever explaining the EMV change from their bank or credit card issuer.

32% are mindful that the U.S. is shifting to EMV, with another substantial majority not understanding why they received a new card.

Concerns about security — The rise in high-profile security breaches has sparked a need for advanced security strategies. Retailers must prepare by implementing a wide range of point-to-point encryption, EVM payment schemes, and tokenizing.

In 2014, mobile sales accounted for $12.2 billion in the first quarter alone.

Mobile wallets — More and more consumers are utilizing Apple Pay, Android Pay, and other types of mobile wallets.

An online survey by Walker Sands Communications showed that in November and December, 2014, 40% of consumers used a mobile payment app in the past year: an 8% increase from the prior year.

Omnichannel commerce — The Retail CMO Guide’s key findings indicate consumers are using a vast range of technologies to research and compare prices. Payment analysts concluded that social media “buy” icons will surge omnichannel commerce. Mobile and online channels should be facilitated by retailers to correlate with these changes in consumer behavior.

Security Tops For Retailers

Create a centralized plan for keeping your operating systems, computers, and security software updated.

For financial matters, use a devoted computer that will not be used for receiving and sending emails. Malicious emails and web exploits are two crucial factors of malware.

Make sure your employees use effective passwords and avoid clicking on any suspicious links or attachments (even if they recognize the sender). It is best to confirm and double check that the email is safe.

If any threat occurs, share that information with other retailers. This can help greatly when dealing with attacks across common Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

Utilize a strong Intrusion Prevention Solution (IPS) to protect against all kinds of cyber threats.



The Holidays and Credit Card Processing

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