Merchant Services Sales Jobs: Making POS Security a Priority

A recent national news story really drove home the important message that no business is safe from hackers and identity thieves, and that all businesses need to make point-of-sale (POS) security a top priority. Luckily, there are merchant services available to get the job done.

The four defendants - three of whom are in custody - have been charged with numerous counts of fraud, and they each face dozens of years in prison if they are convicted and maximum sentences are imposed.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the identities of as many as 9 million Americans are stolen each year. Two of the most common ways that identity thieves obtain the information are by illegally gaining access to and tampering with information in a computer system (hacking) and by stealing credit or debit card numbers using a storage device when processing a card (skimming). Merchants who accept credit cards need to be aware of both techniques and be vigilant against them.

One way to do so is to make sure their credit card processing systems are PCI compliant; that is, that they adhere to strict requirements issued by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. Reputable Merchant Services Sales Jobs providers usually provide a PCI compliance program to their member merchants, and some offer a security program that helps cover expenses arising from a data breach.

Investigators in the Subway hacking determined that while the parent company had provided the necessary security requirements, some of the franchisees disregarded the standards and left themselves wide open to the identity thieves. "These people weren't thinking about point of sale security - they were just thinking about making a sandwich," commented one audit and compliance manager for an IT security firm.

Protecting all computers from hackers is important, but protecting a POS system is crucial to your business and your customers' welfare as well. PCI compliance must be a primary focus of all merchants, regardless of the size of their operation. As this hacking incident underscores, identity thieves often target small businesses because they believe they are less likely to be security conscious. In other words, the smaller the business, the bigger the target.

The best advice for merchants is to make sure your credit card processing system is PCI compliant and secure by talking to your merchant services provider and following their advice. Secure credit card processing is the responsibility of all parties involved.

To learn more about merchant services, contact Merchant Express. Merchant Express offers credit card processing and merchant accounts to small and medium-sized businesses.