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Keep card fraud out of your business with these tips

stop-credit-card-fraud-in-your-businessFor as long people have been exchanging goods and services for money, there have been criminals who try to buck the system. Debit and credit card fraud is the unfortunate con of commerce and a reality of running a retail business. At the end of last year, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) reported that losses from credit card fraud had decreased by 28.6% between 2014 and 2015 (from R353.3-million to R252.2-million), while debit card fraud had increased losses of 8.3% over the same period. Acknowledging card fraud as a reality of doing business doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do about it. A few simple practices could keep card fraud out of your business and ensure that transacting is always a secure experience for you and your customers.

Stay alert at all times

Creating and maintaining a safe buying environment in your business needs you to be vigilant and on the lookout for suspicious activity. Make sure to watch out for the following:

  • Unusual purchases. Keep an eye out for customers who buy a curious number of expensive goods, or who try to break their transactions up into smaller payments so they can stay below the floor limit and avoid authorisation.
  • Questionable behaviour. The general demeanour of a customer can give you clues as to whether or not they’re up to anything untoward. For instance, if they cannot provide identification when asked for it or take longer than normal to sign the slip, you might need to scrutinise their purchase and card information.

Be wary during transactions

It’s important that you stay aware and observant during transactions. These simple measures could help you notice and prevent a fraudulent transaction in progress:

  • Verify identification. Make sure that the name on the card matches the card user’s identification and that the signature on the back of the card matches the signature on the slip.
  • Call the bank for CNP transactions. Card-not-present (CNP) payments are typically done over the phone or online. If your business handles these kinds of payments, verify each one by calling the appropriate bank.
  • Keep the receipts. In the case of a dispute arising from a fraudulent transaction you should be able to access your filed and stored receipts. So keep them safely for at least 180 days after the transaction.

Act on your suspicions

If you suspect that a fraudulent card transaction has taken place, it’s important to act immediately. Take the following steps every time you think you might have facilitated a fraudulent payment:

  • Code 10. The first thing to do when you suspect fraud is to request a Code 10 from your provider’s authorisation centre. “Code 10” is the universal standard for notifying authorisation centres of peculiar transactions and sets in motion all the necessary investigative steps.
  • Retain the card. Keep the card with you until the customer has signed the slip and the signature matches the one on the back of the card, or they have shown you identification that proves that they are the owner of the card. If they don’t, get in touch with the fraud department of their bank and report the issue.
  • Stay safe. If it seems as though the suspect might resort to violence or place any of your staff and other customers in danger, do not keep the card with you. Diffuse the situation and report as much as you can to the relevant bank’s fraud department as soon as possible.

Be prepared

With the help of these tips, you should be able to effectively crack down on debit and credit card fraud in your business, but to give yourself a fundamental layer of protection you need systems and devices that prioritise security. Our traditional POS and mobile POS devices are all Level 1 PCI-DSS certified, guaranteeing you and your customers secure transactions. To learn more about choosing a POS system for your business, check out our illustrative infographic.