IM at Work, Part 2: Tools for Locking Down

Letting employees have unbridled access to free, consumer-level instant messaging applications running on their workplace computers is a security disaster waiting to happen. Instant messaging applications are easy targets for hackers taking advantage of vulnerabilities. It is critical for businesses to pay attention to their employees' use of in

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Online Credit Card Processing Shopping Rush

It is the time of year when businesses start getting busy. Right before Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping rush begins. This includes both traditional retailers and online commerce as well. Do not let Christmas sneak up on you without ensuring that your business can handle the shopping increase.

What can you do to make sure you can handle increased credit card processing during the busy Christmas season? Do not forget to have your technology running as smoothly as possible. Make sure you can handle a big increase in traffic on your web site. If the customer orders do not make it through because you have not accounted for increased traffic, you will have a headache on your hands.

Make sure you have everything in stock. Because ecommerce sites can see an increase of up to 30% in their orders during the holiday shopping rush, your stock can drop dramatically. Remember that many shoppers wait until the last minute to do their shopping – even online! So be sure to cater to them as well as the early shoppers.

Make sure your web site is in tiptop shape. Can customers find stuff easily and quickly? It is important that they can, as many will be in a hurry when shopping. Make sure your order page works properly as you will see increased credit card processing. Also, make sure the search engine is working properly so customers can find things without difficulty. If you offer items such as DVD players, be sure to list DVD links on that page. Cross referencing items can lead to increased credit card processing. As for the page itself, using a festive design to celebrate the holidays can help bring in customers. The visual design of the page is not to be underestimated.

Finally, remember to thank your regular customers with a holiday card. It sounds a bit like a gimmick, but something as simple as this can bring them back in for more orders.

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Online businesses face credit card security deadline - Network World

In an effort to combat fraud, identity theft and other security issues, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and others created the Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard.

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MasterCard SDP - Site Data Protection

This includes the consumer who is purchasing with Mastercard, the business owner who is conducting the transaction, and the third party processors who are making the transaction a success. Mastercard SDP ensures that the transactions are conducted in the highest safety possible, and ensure that all credit card information is encrypted and kept confidential. Mastercard SDP will help protect the vital information pertaining to the credit card holder and lower the chances of phishing or credit card fraudulent activity.

The Mastercard Company itself takes Mastercard security very seriously. In fact, they feel that if you, as a merchant or business, accept Mastercard payments, then you are in fact partly responsible for maintaining SDP security. It is the business owner’s responsibility to maintain a high degree of security as well. SDP security is essential to making your business a success. If you don’t provide your customers encrypted SDP security you will lose sales. Customers want to make sure that the companies they purchase from will safeguard their information and keep their credit card information guarded. Mastercard security not only benefits your customer, but it also benefits your business by proving that you are a company that will protect your customer’s information. By keeping all files and data that pertain to Mastercard security up to date, you will be taking preventive methods to protect your customers.

The Mastercard SDP program is essential to maintaining your level of respectability, trust, and consumer protection. By participating in the Mastercard SDP program, you can ensure that your online business will provide the level of protection that customers require.

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PCI Security Standards Council: Building Trust

With the formation of the PCI Security Standards Council, multichannel merchants, online retailers, consultants, payment processors, and virtually every organization that touches online payments should find it much easier to comply with the PCI Data Security Standard.

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Internet Merchant Accounts

When applying for Internet merchant accounts, you will hear the term “qualified rate.” The qualified rate it he lowest rate you will incur when having a credit card charge processed. Many merchants may be concerned about the fees associated with Internet merchant accounts. The fees and charges you might incur include:

  • An application fee
  • An authorization fee (this is a fee charged each time a credit card is sent to the institution, whether it is accepted or declined)
  • A monthly minimum fee (to make sure you make a certain number of processes each month. If you don’t make it, you will be charged to satisfy that fee)
  • A statement fee
  • A batch fee (incurred each time you settle a terminal, which sends the day’s transactions to the institution for payment)
  • A discount rate (a percentage of each transaction)
  • And a per transaction fee (a flat fee charged each time a credit card is successfully processed)

Fees will vary from institution to institution, however all are based on Interchange. Interchange is the base rates used for all Internet merchant accounts and it determined by Visa® and Mastercard. Interchange bases their rates on tiers and include thing such as how easy it is for an institution to process the charge. For example, it is easier to process a credit card that is swiped through a terminal than it is to process one in which the credit card number is keyed into the terminal.

Internet merchant accounts are great ways to ensure you get your money with each online credit card transaction.

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Accept Checks Online

Accepting eChecks allows merchants to tap into a larger customer base which is good business. When you eliminate paper checks and have your customer's checks processed electronically you are guaranteed that their transaction is viable and the funds will be transferred to your merchants account effortlessly. All you have to do is accept the checks and the software program does the rest. Processing a custome,s checks is as easy as accepting and processing their credit card information.

Any business owner knows that building and maintaining a customer friendly storefront is important. The arrival of eChecks is providing merchants with the key that is unlocking their earning potential. Many merchants have missed out on transactions simply because they did not offer payment by check as an option. Accepting checks opens the door to a flood of customers who are not comfortable using credit cards.

There is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way that people shop. With a larger amount of products and services being processed online, you need to be able to meet the demands of your customers and that includes accepting checks. Accepting checks will make your storefront user friendly for home shoppers and being able to process checks in real time will enable you to meet your customers demands fast.

Being able to respond to the influx of check transactions you will be receiving with minimal processing errors is always a concern for merchants. Having a payment gateway that is fast and reliable is the only way you can ensure that processing errors are minimized. Having a reliable and fast payment gateway is the only way you can use the Internet to its full advantage and be an eCommerce contender.

Read more about accepting checks online.

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