Protecting Customers’ Personal Information In Payment Processes
Today’s competitive world of business is forcing business to provide a variety of payment solutions to customers. Among these solutions are credit and debit card payments which as it stands has been widely adopted by businesses all over the world. Well, it doesn’t matter with the size of businesses anymore, as both small and medium enterprises accept credit and debit card payments.
It’s a good thing that businesses today are providing alternative payment options, but then again, just because customers enjoy these it does not mean that businesses have an easy time with the payment processes. The rising popularity of these payment methods has forced authorities to formulate laws that businesses must follow.
Merchants today are subjected to many payment processing regulations which the must abide by. They are required to stay compliant with their processing providers and also to ensure the security and privacy of customer information. They have a lot of obligations when it comes to the processing of debit and credit cards. Among these responsibilities include;
- Protecting customer information
Credit and debit card transactions involve the transfer of valuable cardholder information, i.e., name, address, contacts, etc. unfortunately, here are out people out there trying to capitalize on other peoples personal information for criminal purposes. Identify theft is real and as a credit card merchant, you have to ensure that customer information is secured. Stringent security systems must be put in place to prevent a breach of data.
- Compliance with credit card processing laws
All merchants that accept personal information from customers through payment processes are required by law to comply with card processing laws and regulations as well as policies put in place by card issuers and processors. Being compliant with these rules and regulations means that you ensure that cardholder data is not misused and that customers’ financial security is assured. Compliance with these laws is an ethical responsibility that businesses should fulfill diligently.
As mentioned earlier, there are many legal obligations of credit card processing. What we should be looking at now is the laws and policies surrounding cardholder data security. We have mentioned a few of these below.
- Cardholder data cannot be stored on a local server or computer
- Only the last four digits of the card number are to be shown on transaction receipts. If the entire card number must be recorded during a transaction, card processing laws states that the all numbers (excluding the last four digits) must be hidden as soon as payment disputes and refunds are dealt with (this is often between 60-180 days depending on a business’ returning policy)
- Cardholder data must not be transferred or accepted via email
- Original transaction receipts showing the last four digits of the card should be retained for a minimum period of 12 months after which records must be destroyed as required by law
- There has to be limited access to storage rooms containing customer information
To summarize, you have to acknowledge that the clients put an enormous amount of trust by transacting with you using credit or debit cards. It is therefore imperative that you protect their information and ensure that privacy, security and confidentially is upheld failure to which you might be subject to severe legal repercussions. Datainsure experts can provide more guidance on this.