Why Outsourced Payment Processing?

Payment processing for online businesses in-house can be complex and trying even in the best of times. And as your company grows, things can only get worse. For this reason, outsourcing has become a popular option in recent years. But the question that begs to be asked is: is it worth it? Consider the current … Continue reading “Why Outsourced Payment Processing?”

Payment processing for online businesses in-house can be complex and trying even in the best of times. And as your company grows, things can only get worse. For this reason, outsourcing has become a popular option in recent years. But the question that begs to be asked is: is it worth it?

Consider the current state of online commerce. Digital information constantly crosses the Internet, delivering knowledge, services, and personal information to those that need it. Then again, there are plenty of people of the criminal persuasion who are constantly on the lookout for poorly guarded information, and know what to do with it once they’ve got it.

Are you prepared for such an event? In the course of running your daily business and dealing with the constant minutia of immediate problems, have you done everything possible to guard against the possibility of a security intrusion?

Criminals are depending on the likelihood that you haven’t.

Outsourced payment processing, however helps you eliminate that risk. Companies that specialize in processing credit cards should generally also specialize in keeping it safe.

In other words, security is one of the most important reasons to choose outsourced payment processing solutions, but you need to make sure that the company you choose has your security as their number one priority.

The next thing to expect from your payment processing company is the knowledge and experience that would require too much time and hassle for you to gain on your own. The learning curve for staying current with industry trends can be steep and unforgiving. But outsourced payment processing means that you can leave that requirement to the people who work constantly at staying on the cutting edge of the industry.

Also consider the current regulations mandated by the major credit card companies for security compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was devised as a means of encouraging merchants to improve their security around credit card information. Any merchant that stores, processes, or transfers credit card numbers is required to become PCI compliant. Failure to do so can result in stiff fines and the loss of the ability to accept credit cards.

The PCI DSS has over 200 individual controls that are designed to ensure a certain level of security. They are very necessary, but at the same time can be very time consuming and difficult to implement. Outsourced payment processing, on the other hand, can help you reach compliance by satisfying many of the PCI requirements.

These reasons only scratch the surface of why outsourced payment processing is a good choice. Dealing with payment processing in-house means you have to be set up for, and able to deal with, a myriad of problems such as: selecting and setting up the merchant account bank, installing secure gateways, ensuring that you have enough hosting capacity for your order pages and shopping cart.

We’re not done yet, though. Don’t forget the hardware and software installs and the constant upgrades, maintenance, IT support, and other costs that just keep building on themselves. You have to be ready to handle returns and chargebacks, and provide a customer support service to deal with calls about credit card charges. And on top of all this, you have to be on the lookout for fraudulent transactions as well as regular criminal intrusions.

If these requirements are starting to build a sense of dread for you, that was the point. Many companies choose to attempt in-house solutions without fully realizing the implications.

Outsourced payment processing, if you take the time to research and find the right company, can help you eliminate all that hassle while simultaneously improving the security and services you can offer your customers.

The Importance Of Payment Processing Software

In today’s world, the internet provides a medium for almost all transactions. Business negotiations transpire online, from financing to purchasing. Small businesses have started online and have gained interest from consumers due to the suitable fast paced transaction. With the use of online credit cards, a merchant receives the payment, and a consumer acquires immediate satisfaction.

With this kind of payment trend, fraud is likely because this is a no face to face bargain. Thus has emerged payment processing software that relieves people from the burden of managing transaction details and helps them in terms of security and fast payment transactions. Different payment processing software have emerged due to the increasing demands from newly established and progressing business in the internet.

These payment processing software enables a merchant, a developer or a provider accept varying payments at the nick of time, and manages different transactions without so much hassle. In a business, providing fast service is paramount, payment processing software make it possible. It organizes your transactions and provides convenient and guaranteed safe-keeping of payments from clients.

How to discern a good processing payment software? If you are starting up a business online, it is best to know what is good for you, so you could provide what’s best for your consumers. Your software must be compliant with the PCI security standards. Usually, if you’re software complies with all the standards stipulated by the PCI, big credit card companies accept this validation, making your business accessible for a wider range of consumers. Security is a big concern in any online transaction. Big credit card companies are also at stake, so they have prerequisites before they accept transaction from a merchant, he must acquire verified processing payment software before they approve of your transaction.

As a consumer, you also have to be mindful of the privacy of your information. Once you disclose any information, say your credit card number, it is very much at risk. Once it enters the database, it might be hacked. As a consumer, you have to make sure that the website where you’re purchasing has a padlock symbol, that means it that the payment method is verified.

The one who is most at risk for fraud are your credit card companies that is why they have very strict stipulations and rules before they accept transactions from small businesses and merchants. Payment processing software is progressing and advancing through time, as much as merchants continue to sell and people continue to shop online.

Have We All Taken a Huge Step Backward? A Brief History of Credit Cards and Payment Processing

The first credit cards in the United States were pretty safe. Arguably, the first credit cards date all the way back to the late 1930s. A conglomerate of gas stations decided to revolutionize the traditional way that customers put credit on accounts at storefronts. They all agreed to share customer accounts at different locations, and each customer would have a unique card with an identifying number to show in order to keep track of the accounts across locations. The basic idea of the card was born.

These cards were limited, and fraud could happen. When fraud did occur, it was comparable to fraud elsewhere. A family member or friend could lie to the clerk and claim that they had permission to use the card when they did not. This basic form of identity theft had limited potential for damage, and it was up to each individual clerk’s discretion as to whether or not a “charge” should be authorized.

Credit and charge cards slowly gained popularity across the United States for the next several decades. Then, the 1990s hit with a vengeance.

Visa, MasterCard, and the DotCom Boom

In about a decade, credit was transformed from simple and frequently store-specific transactions to a worldwide phenomenon. The introduction of the World Wide Web to the public in 1992 opened new possibilities for payment processing online and offline. Merchants quickly jumped at the ability to swipe credit cards in storefronts, and major online payment processing giants such as PayPal were launched. The entire game changed. Payments became quicker and more convenient.

Additionally, the introduction of major credit cards made e-commerce viable. Instead of selling to an audience with limited computer literacy, merchants could have almost anyone recite a credit card number over the phone or type it in a system. Other advancements such as one-click payment options made e-commerce easier for merchants and consumers. Plus, consumers could ditch banks in favor of using credit cards in everyday transactions. No one really thought about how any of this could go wrong aside from theft comparable to cash theft.

How Credit Processing Did Go Wrong and Continues to Go Wrong

Suddenly, swiping a credit card became less convenient. Major banks and credit companies started to embed small chips in cards. After all, tapping a card should be even more convenient for customers waiting in long lines and merchants eager to push long lines forward. However, criminals figured out that they could acquire the information from chips without leaving a single fingerprint on a stolen card. It was a brilliant and highly dangerous realization.

Literally Robbed Blind While Standing in Line

Currently, consumers can literally be robbed of sensitive information and have no idea while standing in lines or standing in crowded places. A few interesting questions suggest the industry has taken a huge step backward, and it has sacrificed consumer protection for unnecessary convenience.

• Does it really take too long to swipe a card?
• What are the benefits of payment by tapping a card with an embedded chip?
• Why do most major banks refuse to send customers cards without chips?

The Bottom Line

Credit card processing has opened many new opportunities in a short period of time. However, one question remains:

Has the industry gone too far?