Close-up view of chase EMV chip credit card

EMV and the Challenges that Face Payment Processing

Close-up view of chase EMV chip credit card

EMV and the Challenges that Face Payment Processing

In order for a business to run successfully, the simple act of paying for a product or a service using a credit card or a debit card should be efficient, fast, and most importantly, safe. And because it is money that is at stake here, there are a lot of regulations in place to make sure that the processing of payments using a card is safe and secure. One of the ways that makes card payments more secure is the EMV technology, where payment cards used in an ATM and POS terminals have been embedded with microchips. This form of payment technology has long been in use and is widely accepted in many regions such as Europe, Canada, and Asia Pacific. Ironically, the US – considered to have the largest number of plastic card users – is one of the countries that have not – yet – fully optimized this otherwise global standard.

The Advantages of EMV

Note that an EMV-embedded chip is a lot more secure than the traditional magnetic stripe method, especially when it comes to face-to-face credit/debit card transactions. Theft and credit card fraud is rampant now more than ever, but using this embedded chip has added another layer of protection against consumer fraud. Once the card has been inserted into a terminal, the payment will then be authenticated and processed using the EMV network. Also, the chip contained within the card is hard to duplicate, making it very hard for swindlers to duplicate your customer’ cards.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you are in the process of upgrading your accepted payment methods, it is important that your POS terminal also be equipped with an EMV chip card reader. You will create more credibility and garner more customers in the marketplace by utilizing this more safe and secure payment method. There will be increased consumer confidence which will drive up more sales and increase your profits in the long run.

What Happens When You Don’t Update

There have been changes made to the EMV Liability Shift. Currently, if a payment processing transaction has been approved and it turns out to be fraud, the card issuer is the one that absorbs the loss. With the new rule, however, liability shifts to the merchant who has not implemented the EMV technology. If and when fraud happens, the responsibility falls on the party who makes the transaction – which means YOU, the business owner.

How to Prepare Your Business for EMV Migration

All you have to do is update your card reader. It’s that simple. If you upgraded your POS recently, then your terminal is most likely already EMV-ready. Whatever the case may be, all you have to do is contact CoCard and we’ll help you understand what changes you need to make to prepare your business for the EMV migration.

Improving on your current payment processing system is not that complicated – and with CoCard’s help you will be able to implement EMV into your business.

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Five Tips for POS Security

NMPL5377-1024x682-1024x682Point of Sales security is always a relevant issue for a merchant services provider. With the recent string of data breaches that have happened to well-known businesses like Target and Verizon, there are plenty of reasons to feel like your POS’s security system may not be up to snuff.

Although hackers are becoming better each day at getting access to essential data, there are multitudes of ways to help toughen the process for a determined hacker. The two major forms of hacking involve either the use of an attachable hardware device to the POS system, or using malware to hack into a POS network. Although there is no surefire way to prevent either of these things from happening, here are five tips that will help improve the security of your POS system.

  1. Always maintain the most up-to-date POS software.

POS system updates can be a drag, but oftentimes these updates provide crucial security patches that ward off malware and other hacking technology. Rather than updating technology quarterly, update the technology as frequently as possible. It’s hard to stay a step ahead of cybercriminals, but if you’re always improving, it makes the task more difficult.

CoCard provides cutting-edge POS services, featuring top-notch security and management tools.

  1. Install Firewall and Anti-Virus Software to boost your network’s immunity.

Similar to keeping up-to-date POS Software, installing new Firewall/Anti-virus software is critical. It adds an extra dimension to the security system already in place at your firm, and puts yet another wall between you and a potential hacker. Programs like Barracuda and McAfee are good choices.

  1. Create intricate passwords that are frequently changed.

This is an extremely overlooked habit that should always be practiced. Many times, hackers have no problem getting past security systems because the passwords in place are entirely too simple and intuitive. Always change from the default password that was provided for your system, and never make it something simple like “Password1” or your birth date. Find something that isn’t easily guessed, and change the password frequently, preferably every two or three months.

  1. Deny internet access from POS Stations and Terminals.

Keeping POS computers off the internet vastly reduces the risk of viruses and other internet-based malware. Only connect your system to the internet for necessary POS activities, and avoid general internet usage. Don’t give a hacker the chance to get to you by staying clear of their sights.

  1. Disable Remote Access.

Although we get accustomed to allowing IT professionals and employees to use the POS system from remote locations (not necessarily in office), hackers have a far easier time finding your device’s information when it is used away from a terminal. Restrict access to programs as much as possible, and you have vastly decreased your risk for hacking.

Although none of these solutions are fool-proof, they are steps that over time can make a big difference in your program’s safety. When thousands of potential clients’ credit information is in your hands, why take the risk? Just like you take vitamins to protect your immune system, take precautions to protect your POS system!

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Merchants Show Increased Demand for Integrated POS

NMPL5275-1024x682-1024x6821-1024x682Basic processing systems will no longer cut it in the payment processing industry. A terminal is viewed as the bare minimum in today’s market, and merchants are finding it more necessary to integrate multiple technologies in their software applications. Now merchants are able to run their entire business and collect payments on the same device.

Aside from the decrease in technology prices, tablet technology now allows merchants to get all of the products they normally couldn’t afford in one simple tool. When this is coupled with the fact that merchants are becoming more skilled and innovative in the payment industry, it becomes apparent that tablet based systems is the answer to all payment processing problems.

POS systems used to cost thousands of dollars, but now with integrated technology, merchants are able to afford the programming with rates as low as $50 a month. Also, the fact that different merchants required varied solutions gives more power to integrated POS systems. Systems that cover more bases and provide more solutions are being created on a more frequent basis, and industry specific tools are developing rapidly.

Because the industry standard for tools has changed so much, it is more important than ever that your POS system is top of the line. CoCard not only provides state of the art POS programming for tablets and devices, but also has a mobile payment application called ‘CCMobile’ that completely integrates a merchant’s business transaction data. Whether your business is in retail, restaurants, or any other industry specific trade, allow CoCard to provide cutting-edge POS solutions to simplify your daily process and reduce expenses. Call us for more information!

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silver American express chip card shown dipped, or being processed, in an emv terminal

Are You Ready for EMV?

silver American express chip card shown dipped, or being processed, in an emv terminalYou are probably hearing a lot about EMV in the news and maybe even receiving a few scary calls from merchant service providers who imply that EMV has something to do with PCI Compliance.  For the record EMV has NOTHING to do with PCI Compliance and no matter what software you are running on your POS COCARD can manage your EMV. Relax, COCARD is ready for EMV and we are here to help YOU be ready too.

A little background: EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa; it is the global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.  Have you heard about all the data breaches in the last few years? EMV is the card association’s answer to these breaches, the technology has been used in Europe for more than 10 years and they have seen a drastic reduction in credit card fraud.

What happens?

In the beginning your exposure will be minimal because the only liability for fraud will be with cards that have chips implanted.  However, as time goes on, and if EMV becomes the new standard, your exposure will increase. If a chip card is used at a business that has not changed its system to accept chip technology and this chip card is fraudulent then the counterfeit card can be successfully used and cost of this fraud will fall back on the merchant.

What does this new technology mean to your business?

The switch to EMV means adding a new in-store technology to your current processing system or not.  Chances are you may already be EMV ready but in either case don’t worry, COCARD is here to help! Most importantly the EMV technology means greater protection against fraud in your business.

For ongoing updates and the most current information about EMV, PCI, card association updates and fraud alerts like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Woman shopping for clothes in a local boutique, an example of a business using a retail merchant account or retail point of sale software.

Cocard 101

The future of merchant account services is here!

When it comes to payment processing, every second counts. That’s why CoCard is constantly developing new technology solutions to meet industry needs for speed and reliability. A full-service credit card processing and merchant account services provider with a focus on technology, CoCard has offered complete payment processing solutions since 1989. Along the way, we have led the payment processing industry in developing new technologies and building customized client solutions. Serving large and small retail, internet, wireless and telephone/mail-order businesses and service providers around the world, CoCard’s innovative services allow clients to easily and affordably manage risk and accept payments of all kinds.

For immediate assistance:
Call 1.800.317.1819, email info@cocard.info,
or visit http://cocard.info/apply/ for a customized quote.

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Where Do You Stand?

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How do you react when you are outside of your comfort zone? Are you a natural at mingling and an ace at taking the stage? Or do you cringe just thinking about the  prospect?

Whether you’re a social butterfly or have a proclivity toward being shy, social psychologist Amy Cuddy claims you can influence how people perceive you—confidence levels, leadership skills, friendliness, and competence based solely on your  body language.

Here, a few interesting takeaways from Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk: 

1. Others judge us based on our body language. Closed and withdrawn positions are  often associated with inferiority or passivity, while triumphant, confident poses are linked with power.

2. How we see ourselves can be influenced by our own body language.

3. Pretending to feel certain emotions by posturing (forcing a smile or placing hands confidently on the hips) can lead us to actually feel said emotions.

4. Adopting powerful body language can change us on a physiological level (triggering testosterone and cortisol levels).

5. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. Cuddy suggests holding a strong, dominant posture for two minutes before heading into a potentially stressful situation, like a job interview.

To view Cuddy’s presentation in full, click here.

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Have a Startup in Mind? Get Moving.

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If you’re looking to launch a business sometime soon, one of your best moves may be to, well… move. According to a recent poll from NerdWallet (as published on CNN.com)

the following ten cities ranked as the best places in the U.S. to launch a startup right now.

1. Oklahoma City, Okla.

2. Miami, Fla.

3. Omaha, Neb.

4. Raleigh, N.C.

5. Nashville, Tenn.

6. Atlanta, Ga. (that’s where we live!)

7. Austin, Texas

8. Seattle, Wash.

9. Denver, Colo.

10. Memphis, Tenn.

Common traits among several of these cities include population growth, access to incubators, low costs of living and large startup communities. Add in high qualities of life, good food and gorgeous natural surrounds and you’ve got a win-win!

Share updates about your new startup (or why it’s great doing business in your city) with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Service Industry Boom

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Big news for the service industry: 2014 has brought a huge surge in the number of service-related companies. According to a recent article in Bloomberg, service industries—like restaurants and retailers—grew in July at the fastest rate since December 2005! Additionally, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing index increased to 58.7 (readings greater than 50 indicate expansion). The U.K. is experiencing similar trends in its service industry as well, which means your potential customers are ready and willing to spend. Terry Sheehan, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates is cited in the article as saying, “We’re seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since well before the financial crisis and recession, and they seem to be more sustained.”

Coinciding with this jump are an increase in new orders among service providers (they too are experiencing the highest ISM measure since August 2005) and an uptick in production (manufacturers have the highest ISM level since April 2011). Negative side-effects include an increased unemployment rate from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent (given the influx of new job seekers into the labor market), a decline in the stock market (investors jumping on the anticipated uptick too soon) and an increase in competition for businesses in the service industry.

Worried about the influx of new competitors? Stay ahead of the curve by employing these business practices.

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Back to School Trends

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You loaded up the kids on school supplies weeks ago… but don’t think you’re finished with back-to-school prep just yet. You’ve still got the season’s fashion trends to consider for your teen or tween. As is the case with every school year, last year’s looks have hibernated after the long summer and have ushered in a fresh new palette of colors, textures and themes.

According to Teen Vogue, fall girls’ fashion will incorporate plenty of plaids, wools, oversized cardigans, fringe, pastels, layered looks, ’90s throwback (including lots of denim on denim) and ’60s Chelsea girl mod (shift dresses, cat-eye makeup). High-waisted jeans are in for girls too (previously dubbed “mom jeans”). Guys meanwhile are leaning more fashionable than past years, sporting preppy-meets-bad-boy apparel.

Blazers, denim jackets and leather jackets are back in, as are skinny khakis, bright-hued denim and patterned slip-on sneakers. Backpacks will likely need replacing, and this year’s stock is all about colorful prints and patterns. Don’t be surprised if your student asks for a new iPhone cover too (even though his old one is perfectly fine); smartphone cases are big venues for personalization.  

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Clover, a point of sale system which accepts contactless payments and EMV cards, shown in white with receipt printer and barcode scanner.

Feeling Lucky? Try Clover!

Clover, a point of sale system which accepts contactless payments and EMV cards, shown in white with receipt printer and barcode scanner.

At CoCard, we’re devoted to making sure our clients find the POS systems best suited to their needs. So we’re thrilled to be adding the Clover POS system to our roster of services! In case you’re unfamiliar, a Clover Station is a cash register, terminal and POS system in one that allows business owners to accomplish a range of tasks within one inclusive system. With Clover, you can track your inventory, view reports, and manage employees, while juggling various other tasks. While this system can certainly be implemented at numerous business types, CoCard finds that Clover is the best fit for quick-service restaurants, full-service restaurants and specialty retailers. Thinking about switching? Call us at 1.800.317.1819 or drop us a quick line at sales@cocard.info.

SEE THE CLOVER POS HERE

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