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The Visa Claims Resolution Initiative: 3 Common Questions Answered August 27, 2018 Chargebacks In April of this year, Visa introduced its Visa Claims Resolution (or VCR) initiative. The new global system for disputing chargebacks is mandatory for all merchants, issuing banks, and payment processors (aka acquirers) who deal with Visa card transactions—which means by now most merchants have had a chance to get acquainted with VCR. The goals […]
PCI DSS Rules Changed Again in June. Is Your Business Compliant? August 21, 2018 PCI Compliance Hackers are getting better at hacking—which means the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council must get better at coming up with new strategies to protect cardholder data. The PCI Council, in case you were wondering, is the group responsible for creating and maintaining the PCI Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS. This is what we […]
TLS Encryption Upgrade: What Is It and Why Does Your Business Need It? August 14, 2018 Tech Support Are you still using SSL or early TLS? To stay PCI compliant, it’s important to complete the mandatory TLS encryption upgrade. This new protocol will improve data privacy and protect secure communications. It’s no secret that technology is constantly changing. For business owners like yourself, this means keeping up with the latest security standards and […]
Keep Calm and Read Your Merchant Account Statement (Like a Pro) August 7, 2018 Tech Support Your merchant account statement, or credit card processing statement, is a list of the total monthly credit card volume for your business. Similar to a personal credit card statement, it serves as an end-of-the-month recap of all activity pertaining to your account—but that’s about where the similarities end. Basically, your merchant account statement tells you […]
What Is the Meaning of CNP Fraud? Here’s How to Protect Your Business from Criminals July 27, 2018 Tech Support Card-not-present (CNP) transactions are convenient for remote customers. But without proper security measures, these purchases are vulnerable to fraudulent activity. It’s crucial for merchants to understand the meaning of CNP fraud and how to prevent it.   Online shopping. Mobile apps. Auto-renewals. Say hello to card-not-present (CNP) transactions. For business owners like yourself, they’re a […]
Friendly Fraud Is an E-Commerce Nightmare. Is Your Business at Risk? July 17, 2018 Chargebacks From hostile intentions to honest mistakes, friendly fraud can be costly for merchants. Here’s how to protect your business and prevent fraudulent chargebacks. As a business owner, chargebacks are likely on your radar. And they should be. Chargebacks come with fees, headaches, and a potential blow to your company’s reputation. Research shows that 86% of […]
Electronic Payment Systems: A Quick Guide for Merchants July 10, 2018 Tech Support The purpose of electronic payment systems is to make monetary transactions faster and easier. Because so few consumers use cash or checks nowadays, merchants should have a basic understanding of how electronic payment systems work in order to safeguard their business and ensure a speedier, safer shopping experience for their customers. For the purpose of […]
Understanding Merchant Account Rates: The Basics July 3, 2018 Chargebacks Any business that sells products and accepts credit or debit cards deals with merchant account rates on a daily basis. The overarching term is applied to the various fees and charges associated with accepting and processing card payments. The rates you pay may vary based on a number of factors, such as whether your business […]
How to Handle Chargebacks and Protect Your Business June 26, 2018 Chargebacks Simply put, if you sell goods and services to people, chargebacks are a permanent part of the landscape. But while there’s no escaping them, there are steps merchants can take to minimize them. The “magic” industry-wide chargeback ratio is one percent. Anything below that is considered acceptable and anything above it can begin to cast […]
What to Know Before Choosing a Merchant Account Provider June 19, 2018 Tech Support Choosing the correct merchant account provider is an essential step in setting your business up for success. The contracts you sign will determine how many fees you will be paying throughout your time with that account. Begin your search with all the facts. Here are some of the basics.   What is a Merchant Account? […]
The Mastercard Merchant Location Fee: What Is it and How Much Is it Costing Your Business? June 12, 2018 Bottom Line Let’s face it: There are a lot of fees on your merchant account statement. So many, in fact, that it sometimes feels like a full-time job going through them each month to make sure you’re still paying the best rates and not getting taken for everything you have. Mastercard added to the headache last year […]
Here’s What Merchants Can Learn from Banks about Fighting Cyber Crime June 5, 2018 Tech Support Cyber crime isn’t going away anytime soon. The rate of cyber attacks on businesses worldwide continues to grow year after year, and banks and other financial services companies are quickly becoming the prime target. But, while the big money managers may be getting hit the hardest, they are also the ones investing most in new […]
Visa’s New Chargeback Rules: What You Need to Know May 22, 2018 Chargebacks As technology changes and criminals find new ways of conducting the fraudulent activity, the rules for fighting disputes are also changing. In April 2018, in an effort to streamline the dispute resolution process and minimize the high cost of chargebacks for all involved parties, Visa changed their rules. Here’s what you need to know regarding […]
Visa Infographic Shows Counterfeit Fraud Down 70% Thanks to Chip Cards May 15, 2018 Tech Support People may complain about chip cards being a little slower at the register, but there is no denying EMV technology has benefited both consumers and merchants by greatly reducing counterfeit fraud. Financial services giant Visa released an infographic recently that showed counterfeit fraud is down 70% among chip-activated merchants in the United States, likely because […]
How Much Are Credit Card Swipe Fees Costing Your Business? May 8, 2018 Bottom Line As a business owner and consumer, “I hardly ever carry cash” is probably something you hear (or say) frequently. Everywhere you make a purchase today — whether it’s a shopping mall, grocery store, restaurant, outdoor festival, or even a parking meter — chances are you can use a credit card to make the payment. Most […]
A Quick Primer to Understanding Payment Processing Agreements May 1, 2018 Tech Support Despite the rise in alternative payment methods, credit and debit cards remain the most popular forms of payment among modern consumers. Accepting card payments requires retailers to choose a payment processor to handle all of their credit and debit transactions. When they do, that processor will present them with a payment processing agreement (sometimes called […]
A Surge in Online Shopping Means a Higher Risk for CNP Fraud – How Do You Know Your Business Is Protected? April 24, 2018 PCI Compliance eCommerce, while still accounting for a small percentage of the global payments segment, is growing at a steady pace. In addition to the ease and convenience of shopping online, consumers have grown more confident about making purchases over the internet, believing that advancements in digital security will protect their personal information from falling into the […]
Visa’s New Network Rules: How it Will Impact Fraudulent Chargebacks and Your Business April 17, 2018 Chargebacks In the ever-changing landscape of online shopping, e-payments, and electronic money transfers, new security issues and new ways to commit fraud continue to grow with the system. Cyber criminals are having a field day as the instances of fraudulent chargebacks continue to increase. And, at the rate things are going, sizable losses for merchants may […]
New Technology = New Ways to Pay. Is Your Business Ready? April 10, 2018 Tech Support In the early days of payments, we had the barter system. Over time, trading goods and services paved the way for commodity money, which morphed into coins and paper currency, and in the 1950s we saw the introduction of the first credit card. From there, it was a much quicker leap to the launch of […]
Think You’ve Uncovered All the Hidden Credit Card Processing Fees? Think Again April 3, 2018 Bottom Line Chances are you’ve heard of Square, a credit card processing system that works with mobile devices. This system is full of convenient payment options, especially for small businesses that offer customers the option to pay by credit card. But, as it turns out, Square may also be charging your business too many hidden fees, depending […]
Payment Processing Trends: Why it Pays to Adopt the Latest Tech March 27, 2018 Tech Support Ever heard the expression “sleep with one eye open”? In simple terms, it means to stay vigilant—to be aware of what’s going on around you, especially where your livelihood is concerned. For merchants, that means keeping tabs on the latest trends in the payments industry, especially when it comes to up-to-the-minute technology solutions. Why adopt […]
Virtual Account Numbers: Added Protection or False Sense of Security? March 20, 2018 Tech Support As e-commerce continues to grow — and more people conduct business, pay bills, and shop online — the number of security breaches and stolen consumer account numbers also continue to rise. Everyone is vulnerable, even the “unhackable” Equifax, who was supposed to be protecting sensitive consumer information from the hackers. When the biggest companies are […]
How Shopping Cart Abandonment is Costing You Revenue March 13, 2018 Bottom Line Like a shopping cart careening toward a parked car, when customers abandon their carts on your website before making a purchase, the outcome is never good. Each time a customer leaves their shopping cart in the middle of the checkout process, your business loses valuable revenue. In fact, shopping cart abandonment costs merchants trillions each […]
Merchants Recover Only One in Four Chargebacks. It’s Time to Take Action. March 6, 2018 Chargebacks Too often chargebacks are considered the cost of doing business. Merchants believe that if they want to accept card payments from their customers, they simply have to be prepared to suck it up and shake off their losses when a claim is made. Of course, some will try to dispute chargeback claims on their own, […]
Return Item Chargeback: One Chargeback You Won’t Have to Worry About February 27, 2018 Chargebacks If we were to take a survey, we bet chargebacks would be high on the list of words that trigger indigestion among merchants, so let us stop right here and put your mind at ease. This is not a typical post about chargebacks. It’s about return item chargebacks—a relatively new term that’s been causing a […]
Could You Have Been Hacked and Not Even Know? February 20, 2018 Tech Support That’s exactly what happened to the Forever 21 retail chain early last year. According to a company press release, hackers first gained access to payment card data in April of 2017. However, their activity went undetected until mid-October, when Forever 21 was alerted to the possible breach by a third party.   Here’s a breakdown […]
So, What Are Chargebacks? Here’s What You Should Know February 13, 2018 Chargebacks Whether you’re a seasoned merchant or a new business adding credit cards to your online, in-person, or mobile payment options, “chargebacks” is a word you don’t want to hear. They often appear without warning and create havoc in their wake when you’re not looking. So, what are chargebacks, anyway, and how can they affect your […]
Why Your Bottom Line Benefits from Adapting to Payment Industry Trends February 1, 2018 Bottom Line Digital technology has all but transformed the way people pay for goods and services.   Where just a few decades ago the term “mobile wallet” was unheard of, nowadays anyone with a smartphone can make a purchase without relying on traditional payment methods such as cash, checks and credit cards.   The emergence of new […]
High-Risk Credit Card Processing: Is It Worth the Risk? January 23, 2018 Bottom Line, Chargebacks In today’s world, when it comes to the preferred currency, most consumers choose plastic over paper. Because a majority of consumers shop online, credit cards usage continues to climb. In the last two years alone, the number of online shoppers in America has risen from 79% to 96%, and Canadian shoppers are close behind. With […]
Better Merchant Security is Attracting More Businesses to the Cloud January 16, 2018 PCI Compliance In the early days of cloud computing, a lot of companies were wary about utilizing “the cloud” to store sensitive data instead of keeping it on site. Small business owners in particular questioned whether the cloud was secure, and many with merchant accounts expressed concerns about compliance.   But cloud computing has come a long, […]
Digital Food Payments and the Incredible Potential for New Business January 9, 2018 Tech Support Just about every type of business is feeling the effects of the ever-changing digital landscape, and food and restaurant industries are no exception. How we shop, dine, and pay for goods and services is evolving to make it easier and more efficient for both consumers and merchants. As a result, if your business is in […]
Keep Calm and Fight Post-Holiday Chargebacks: A Few Quick Tips January 2, 2018 Chargebacks First things first: chargebacks are absolutely NOT the cost of doing business. That being said, merchants will without a doubt see a rise in chargeback activity after the holiday season—and many of those chargebacks will be fraudulent. In a recent blog, we talked about the preventative measures merchants can take to prepare for the inevitable […]
Do Current Biometric Trends Mean Better Security for Merchants? December 26, 2017 Tech Support The face of security is changing again. Literally. The recent roll-out of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, both equipped with facial recognition that can be used with payment methods, has merchants wondering how this biometric technology is going to affect them. What does this mean for your business? Will facial recognition significantly increase security […]
How Confident Are You in Your Cyber Security Measures? The FSCO Offers Tips on Preventing a Cyber Attack December 19, 2017 PCI Compliance Considering the growing number of security breaches in the news these days, a letter written last October by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) seems all the more relevant. In the letter, CEO and Superintendent of Financial Services Brian Mills reminded businesses regulated by the FSCO of their duty to provide a “safe online […]
How Secure Is Your Website? 4 Reasons You Need an SSL Certificate December 12, 2017 PCI Compliance Security breaches. Identity theft. Cybercriminals. If we’ve learned anything from recent headlines, it’s that merchants may need up their game when it comes to online security. And part of that means making sure you’re using SSL (secure sockets layer) technology to protect sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands.   First, let’s talk about […]
What You Should Know About the Federal Reserve Scam December 5, 2017 PCI Compliance In July 2017, an internet scam provided American consumers with false information that ultimately impacted many merchants and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professionals across the country. For both merchants and payment processors, the result of such a scam was lost payments and accompanying return fees that left businesses with unnecessary revenue losses. The impact […]
Before Black Friday: What You Can Learn from Last Holiday Season’s Chargebacks November 22, 2017 Chargebacks Credit card fraud happens every day of the year; but as retail sales increase during the busy holiday season, fraud attempts significantly increase as well. So, how can you avoid chargebacks this holiday season? Do you know how to prepare for the rush of fraudulent purchases and upcoming chargebacks? One of the best proactive measures […]
What Do the Recent Bank of America Layoffs Mean for Merchants? November 21, 2017 Tech Support In September, Bank of America (BOA) Merchant Services laid off about 250 employees as part of a broad-scale “restructuring” effort. You may have heard the news and thought nothing of it, or you may have been curious about what it means and why. We’ll give you the short answer first: the eCommerce and payments industry […]
Don’t Wait! ’Tis the Season to Prepare for Holiday Chargebacks November 14, 2017 Chargebacks The holiday shopping season is rapidly gaining momentum as that magical and profitable time of year is upon us once again. ’Tis the season for gift-giving and for merchants to maximize sales and revenue. However, in the midst of all the good tidings and booming business, it’s easy to leave fraud protection and security out […]
Understanding Your Merchant Account Statement: A Quick Guide to the Fine Print November 7, 2017 Bottom Line   If it feels like you need a special dictionary to understand all those cryptic terms on your merchant account statement, you’re not alone. The payment processing industry is highly technical at best and downright baffling at worst. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. MyWatchmen has put together a helpful list of common terminology that […]
Fraud as a Service (FaaS) Is Real. Is Your Business Safe from Cybercriminals? October 24, 2017 Chargebacks, PCI Compliance Online payment fraud now goes hand in hand with the eCommerce industry—so much so that the bad guys realize its potential and are continually inventing new ways to target businesses that have an online presence (which, by the way, is pretty much every business nowadays). No doubt you’ve heard of Software as a Service. But […]
Merchant Alert: Banks Profit More from Credit Card Swipe Fees than Overdraft Fees October 17, 2017 Bottom Line When was the last time the majority of your customers paid cash for your products or services? In a world where credit card use surpasses cash payments, the banks are, well… laughing all the way to the bank, as they rake in credit card swipe fees. For merchants, this means you may be forced to […]
Chargeback Scam Impacts Small Businesses—How Well Are YOU Prepared? October 10, 2017 Chargebacks Credit card fraud happens. When it does, we tend to hear about how it affects individual consumers, but what about the merchants who get slapped with the resulting chargebacks through no fault of their own? After one such scam, reported recently by online news outlet My Business, small business owners discovered all too quickly that […]
If Equifax Can Get Hacked, What Does That Mean for Your Business? October 3, 2017 PCI Compliance When a major financial security company like Equifax falls victim to a security breach, businesses and individuals alike realize a false sense of security. If the biggest companies can get hacked, what does that mean for the rest of us? Now, more than ever, PCI compliance and credit security services are an absolute necessity for […]
Should My Business Be Using a Smartphone or Tablet to Process Credit Card Payments? July 27, 2017 Bottom Line, Chargebacks, PCI Compliance, Tech Support Mobile payment technology, which enables the processing of credit cards wherever customers may be, has exploded in many industries — yet it still hasn’t caught on everywhere, especially not in Canada. Why not? In our experience, mobile payment systems lead to happier and more loyal customers. If you’re simply too comfortable with your existing payment […]
7 Ways to Help Ensure Your Payment System Doesn’t Get Hacked July 20, 2017 Bottom Line, Tech Support Every day we hear about systems being hacked — on both small and large scales. Unfortunately, it seems most people know someone who has had their credit card compromised, or have read about a massive breach of customer information in the news. The people affected by these breaches assumed their information was safe because it […]
Still Running Old Technology? Here’s Why You Should Upgrade July 13, 2017 Bottom Line, Tech Support At MyWatchmen, we’re always following the latest research. We keep our eyes out for best practices, so we can provide you with information ensuring that your payment processing system is both efficient and profitable. Many of the companies we talk with seem to operate as if it were still the early 2000s. As a result, […]
The Rise of Interac e-Transfers July 6, 2017 Bottom Line, Tech Support Did you know Canadian consumers and businesses are using Interac e-Transfer services at record levels? According to a recent article in Payment Business, more than 158 million transfers were made over the Interac e-Transfer platform in 2016. This represents an increase of almost 50% in the span of just one year. The total value of […]
How To Choose the Best Payment Processor June 29, 2017 Bottom Line Choosing a payment processor is a financially critical business decision– whether you’re in the B2B or the retail space. This decision determines how you’re paid for the goods and services you offer and the cost of processing these payments. At first it may seem all payment processors are created equal, and each would likely provide […]
What to Do When Your Merchant Account is Frozen June 22, 2017 Bottom Line Having your merchant account frozen by your payment provider can be one of the most disruptive things you and your business can experience. Payment processor sometimes warn businesses their merchant account is about to be frozen, but in our experience, they rarely do. Instead, the provider simply turns off your service and keeps your money […]
6 Trends to Expect in 2017 if You’re Processing Credit Cards June 8, 2017 PCI Compliance, Tech Support New technology always takes time to enter the mainstream, all elements need to be functional, tested and proven before the public can start using them. But there is no question that 2017 will be a year in which we’ll see various new technologies make processing credit cards and other payment options simpler, safer and more […]
How to Negotiate Your Payment Processing Agreement – Like a Pro! June 1, 2017 Bottom Line, Chargebacks, PCI Compliance, Tech Support Renegotiating your merchant account’s contract terms feels amazing – when it’s done right. You bargain for a good price, while establishing friendly terms and ensuring that there is an efficient, non-costly way out, if necessary. If you have a merchant account and are processing payments, you have already entered into a contract with a payment […]
How to Avoid Fraud May 24, 2017 Bottom Line If you’re not worried about small-scale and large-scale fraud, you haven’t been reading the news. Businesses and payment processors do what they can to prevent fraud, and some have very sophisticated anti-fraud systems and tactics; but cyber-criminals, fraudsters and hackers are also constantly updating their skills and activities. At MyWatchmen, we are constantly analyzing the […]
How to Know If You’re PCI Compliant May 15, 2017 PCI Compliance PCI compliance is probably the last thing on your mind when running a business; but if you’re not compliant, it can cost you big time. Failing to meet PCI standards for compliance, and experiencing a data breach, could cost your business between $5,000 and $500,000 per breach in penalties. Furthermore, you could be at risk […]
3 Ways to Increase Your Merchant Account’s Bottom Line April 22, 2017 PCI Compliance You’re making sure your merchant account is running as efficiently as possible. That’s why you’re probably a top executive. Working with numerous clients, we’ve found that optimizing your merchant account, in three different ways, can increase your company’s bottom line even further. We want to share these profit optimization strategies with you. #1 – Ensure […]
7 Ways to Fight a Chargeback March 14, 2017 Chargebacks After working with thousands of business owners, we see many of them leaving thousands of dollars on the table every single year. Here’s the crazy part… …they do not need more leads or to close more sales to add multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars to their bottom lines. Instead, all they need to do […]
9 Ways To Defend Your Merchant Account March 14, 2017 Bottom Line, Chargebacks, PCI Compliance At MyWatchmen, we provide companies with a line of defense against merchant account disruptions.  We do so by applying precise tactics to improve efficiency, stability and profitability. We understand your payment processing system is the heart of your business and how important it is to have your Merchant Account run efficiently so you can focus […]