Team Bio Series — Matt Sherman (Recovering Music Snob)

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For the next stop in our tour of the Merchant Maverick virtual office we’ll be talking to Matt Sherman, our resident head of point of sale. Matt is an old-school sports journalist who stoically watched the print industry implode before joining the MM team. But, apart from his willingness to go down with burning ships, what else does this life-long Oregonian bring to the table? Let’s read on, shall we?

Name: Matthew Sherman

Title: Head Writer for Point of Sale

Hometown: West Linn, Oregon

Current city: Gladstone, Oregon

Education and background: I spent two years at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego before graduating with a BA in English from the University of Oregon. I then spent about 14 years as a writer and sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers where I had a unique front-row seat to the print industry’s spectacular demise.

Merchant Maverick department/specialty: Point of sale

How did you discover Merchant Maverick?: I have known Julie (one of the site’s editors) for the vast majority of my life, being friends with her older brother and attending the same church/piano recitals she did. When the newspapers and I decided to make a conscious uncoupling from each other, she contacted me.

Proudest professional moment: Covering the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania when one of our local teams qualified was a big highlight.

Favorite Merchant Maverick post/moment/opportunity: I haven’t been here too long but the meet-up in Palm Springs was fantastic. In terms of actual work output, I get a thrill from successfully shaking off requests from pesky vendors. I’ve also liked being able to respond to questions from people who are directly in the market for a point of sale system. With each passing day I feel like less and less of a fraud here.

What do you do for fun?: When you have two young, hyperactive boys, hobbies tend to take a back seat. I write a little bit and enjoy getting together with friends for board games. Evenings are generally spent on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or Amazon trying desperately to make a dent in an impossible number of good TV shows available right now.

What movie character do you identify most with and why? A few years ago, there was one of those activities that everyone posted on Facebook where you were supposed to pick the 3 movie characters you most identified with. I was a Facebook contrarian even back then and refused to participate with an actual post but couldn’t help but think about it and was always pleased with my answer. Michael Cera’s character in Superbad because he looks and acts very similar to me in high school. Ron Livingston’s character from Office Space because my dream is to also sit around doing nothing. And Jim Carey’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind just because.

Favorite sitcom: The most influential show on my life was/is The Simpsons. I loved 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation and currently, I’m a huge fan of The Good Place and Broad City.

Favorite ‘90s song: I’m a recovering music snob who refuses to advance his tastes past the late 90s. I’ll say Paranoid Android by Radiohead with my guilty pleasure being Criminal by Fiona Apple.

Favorite dessert: Tough to go wrong with a good cheesecake.

What are three places you’d like to go?: Germany is pretty high on my list right now. The Riviera has always appealed to me as well and, for somewhere tropical, maybe somewhere like Belize.

If you could travel back in time and talk to anyone, who would you visit and what would you ask them?: I’d be so paranoid that anything I said would dramatically alter the future so I’d probably be pretty conservative. It’d be pretty cool to just hang out for an evening with the Beatles before they got famous or the Velvet Underground or maybe in the SNL writers room in the late 70s (avoiding partaking in the copious amount of drugs that would be present in all of those scenarios.)

Mac or Windows?: It’s probably a major faux pas to admit I don’t have a strong preference. As someone who is fairly computer illiterate and gets irrationally angry about glitches and bugs, I always appreciated the user-friendliness of Macs while being fully aware (via tech-savvy friends) that PCs are superior.

You’re given an unlimited budget at one retail store. Where do you go? What do you buy?: Oh man. I thought way too long about this. I would probably say Home Depot to totally revamp my deck and my entire yard area as long as I could also purchase the labor required to do it considering I still utilize my poor father-in-law for the most menial home improvement tasks.

Matt hasn’t been a part of our weird work-family for long, but we’re sure glad he’s getting more used to us by the day. Anyone who can admit an affinity with Michael Cera is okay by us, and — I speak for the entire MM team when I say that we like a man who’s not afraid to admit he listens to Fiona Apple.

Interested in reading about other members of the Merchant Maverick staff? Check out our team interview series.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is a writer, editor, and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband and two small children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time reading early 20th century mystery novels, staring blankly at her iPhone, and attempting to keep her kids fed, clothed, and relatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

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Top POS Systems For Liquor Stores

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Growing up, as I did, in a conservative household, liquor stores always felt a bit seedy. There was an element of danger to them, as if just opening the door and walking inside (even when of a legal drinking age) would be setting yourself up for negative consequences. Now? I could spend hours perusing an individual store’s selection, reading descriptions on bottles from the scores of local distilleries that have all cropped up seemingly overnight.

Liquor stores are unique businesses with constantly fluctuating inventory and price changes, meaning that choosing an effective point of sale system is extremely important. You’ll need to make sure the system is strong in these areas:

  • Inventory Management: Even a small liquor store will have thousands of individual products – if not more — and keeping track of every bottle or item on hand can be daunting.
  • Employee Management: While you want to trust all of your employees, the fact of the matter is, it’s an industry where theft is often rampant. A POS system that tracks transactions and can be easily checked is crucial.
  • Customer Management: Whether you’re dealing with customers who come in almost daily or those who buy a single bottle of brandy at Christmas each year, a POS system can track preferences and send out individualized promotions to attract return customers and boost profits.

Here are some of the top POS systems on the market for use in liquor stores:

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mPower Beverage

mPower Beverage is a point of sale system specifically designed for liquor stores, so you would expect it to have a leg up on other, broader systems on the market. And you wouldn’t be disappointed. mPower is outstanding at what it does. There is a custom inventory system that allows you to easily review products on hand (and sales history) on one intuitive screen while also predicting inventory needs in the future. Purchase orders can be created within the program or directly by the vendor, whichever you prefer.

mPower also offers a built-in loyalty system that keeps track of money spent and can be customized to give different rewards for purchasing different products. The program is searchable, making it easy to track repeat customers; it can store personalized information about individuals, and offer store credit. There are more than 70 different reports offered as well, and permissions can be assigned to individual employees — a definite bonus in an industry where turnover is high. mBeverage can even create custom reports if a client needs something even more specific. Integrations are a nice feature with mBeverage, which offers Beverage Media, BottleCapps, Drizly, Drync, MiniBar as well as QuickBooks for accounting

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail (read our review) is one of the more versatile retail POS systems around, and with a flexible pricing structure, it’s likely they have all the features your liquor store will need to thrive. Lightspeed has a strong inventory system, allowing for data to be imported via a CSV or Excel file. Stock can be ordered directly through the POS and you can create a single purchase order for multiple vendors.

Lightspeed offers terrific reporting capabilities, allowing for real-time analysis. Its employee tracking lets you see who is ringing up what products and cuts down on the potential for fraud. Its gift card system is also top notch, storing customer information and predicting future purchases.

As a bonus, Lightspeed can be exceptionally mobile, allowing employees to walk around the store and pull up descriptions of various spirits that can be programmed into the system. With its own integrated payments system and multi-store functionality, Lightspeed is an all-in-one solution.

ShopKeep

ShopKeep (read our review) isn’t the cheapest system on the market, but there’s a reason why we have it rated 5 stars. If you’re looking for fantastic reporting and inventory management, it’s difficult to do better than this POS. All inventory can be imported in just minutes, and alerts can be set up for when a product is running low.

Shopkeep has excellent reporting, with an easy-to-read layout to assess what items are selling well and which ones should probably be nixed. Employee hours and permissions can all be viewed remotely and organized on the back-end, and sales histories for each register are tracked.

ShopKeep’s mobile app is also outstanding, allowing you to check on sales in real time and manage multiple locations from the palm of your hand. The POS integrates with many of the standard accounting programs and can be customized to meet the needs of your business. Again, many of these come at an added cost, meaning that you might be able to find exactly what you need for a cheaper price. However, ShopKeep certainly has the functionality to meet even the most complex liquor store’s needs.

KORONA.pos

KORONA.pos (read our review) is a cloud-based system that is intended to fit the needs of most small to mid-sized businesses. The retailer will work with a business to set up a POS specifically designed to handle whatever that business might need and there are a handful of functions that are tailor-made for liquor stores. KORONA has the capability to handle millions of products. That may be a bit more than your single store is processing, but it shows KORONA’s commitment to inventory management. There is a nice feature that runs automatic inventory audits and can identify discrepancies quickly. When you run a full inventory count, KORONA creates intelligent count sheets automatically.

Security is also a strong suit for this POS. Every transaction is saved and can be monitored, and suspicious transactions are immediately flagged. Its reporting capabilities are robust and can identify products that are cutting into the business’s profit margin. KORONA offers a strong number of integrations and, with an unlimited free trial available and low starting price point, it should be a strong contender for most liquor stores.

talech

talech review

talech (read our review) is another competitively priced POS that can be customized to meet the needs of a business owner. One of the best things about talech is its customer management. This POS can upload customer information and then create custom marketing campaigns.

As you would expect, its inventory management is also top-notch. You can generate your own barcodes, saving you valuable time and eliminating the need to buy an additional scanner. Price changes can be added to categorized groups. Products, categories, and discounts can also be synced across multiple locations, which is a huge benefit for liquor stores as prices are constantly fluctuating. With talech, you can make your own purchase orders and get alerts when inventory is low.

For security, the POS offers a manager swipe card, making it possible for only the person in charge to void orders or perform other administrative actions. For integrations, talech is teamed up with OneSaaS to offer more than 30 different programs.

Final Thoughts

Managing and maintaining a profitable liquor can be a tricky proposition. There is a large amount of inventory to keep track of with prices and discounts that need to be updated daily. There are also many instances of theft in the industry, making security of the utmost importance. But, fortunately, a good point of sale system can alleviate a lot of that stress. Many systems can meet your basic needs, but we believe the apps on the list will provide you with a good jumping off point.

Know of a good liquor store POS we didn’t mention? Use any of the systems above? Let us know in the comments!

Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman recently walked away from a 14-year stint in the thriving print media industry where he spent the bulk of his time as the sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers in suburban Portland, Oregon. He is the father to a pair of energetic boys and can easily be distracted by Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go.

Matt Sherman

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What Is Cybersecurity Insurance?

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You’ve heard of car insurance, home insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, RV insurance, and even ATV insurance. But have you heard about cybersecurity insurance? As I am sure you are well aware, we are living in a roaring digital age, one that is slowly but surely taking over every aspect of our lives. (Just try finding a modern public restroom that doesn’t offer fully automated facilities.)  Though technology is an amazing asset to most businesses, it also has a dark side, especially when it comes to the online world.

We’ve all been horrified by the big time corporation data breaches. Who could forget the fallout from the massive T.J. Maxx, Target, and Equifax hacks (to name, literally, a few)? But while many big-name chains have been successfully hacked, a Data Breach Investigation Report released by Verizon found that 71 percent of cyber attacks are directed at small businesses because they do not have adequate protection. If you are a small business owner who has little or no security measures in place, these statistics are not in your favor.

If this article is already hitting a little too close to home, then it might be time to re-evaluate your security measures. First, implementing a solid security system that sufficiently protects your business is paramount to making yourself a less desirable target. Second, it is important to understand that even if you have the most secure protocols and procedures, there is always a chance that someone will be able to hack into your system. If that day ever comes, you want to be prepared with a backup plan, and that plan should include cybersecurity insurance.

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What Is Cybersecurity Insurance?

The concept of protecting ourselves from the aftermath of cyber attacks is still so new that the industry itself has yet to decide on a name, let alone a universal spelling for the service. Cybersecurity insurance (also referred to as cyber-liability or data-breach liability insurance) was introduced to the market over a decade ago. But few businesses have adopted, let alone heard about this vital form of protection.

The United States Department of Homeland Security says that cybersecurity is “designed to mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption, and network damage.” If your company ever does face the horrible consequences of a data breach, you will be more than happy that you purchased cybersecurity insurance to help you repair and clean up the damage.

Understanding First Party Coverage VS Third Party Coverage

To understand cybersecurity insurance, you need to know the difference between first-party coverage and third-party coverage. Let’s examine the two different types of coverage more in-depth. According to Insuropedia, this is how the two stack up:

  • First-Party Coverage: This insurance covers the assets of your business and can include protection from the following damages:
    • Cyber Exhortation: In such a scenario, a third party threatens to damage or release data if they are not given a ransom amount.
    • Customer Notification Expenses: In cases when the customer personal data is compromised, there is a legal or regulatory requirement to notify them about the privacy breach.
    • Reputational Damage: Breach of data results in loss of intellectual property or customers which cause reputational damage to the organization.
    • Theft Of Money Or Digital Assets: The theft in such a scenario can be of equipment or electronic theft.
    • Loss Or Damage: Loss of or damage to data or software programs which are the digital assets of an organization.
    • Downtime: Network downtime causing severe business interruption.
  • Third-Party Coverage: This insurance provides your business with protection from third-party related crimes.
    • Costs: Security and privacy breaches, and the investigation, defense costs and civil damages associated with the third-party.
    • Multi-Media Liability: It covers investigation costs, defense costs, and civil damages. Such cost and damages arise from defamation, breach of privacy. Negligence in the publication of information in electronic or print media is also covered in this.
    • Loss Of Third Party Data: This includes payment of compensation to customers for denial of access and the failure of software or systems.

To boil it down into simple terms:

“First-party coverage applies to direct costs for responding to a privacy breach or security failure, and third-party coverage applies when people sue or make claims against you, or regulators demand information from you.”

What Are The Different Types Of Cyber Insurance?

As I’ve already stated a few times in this article, cybersecurity insurance is still a rapidly changing industry. No two businesses are going to have the same needs when it comes to purchasing their insurance policies, so it is highly profitable to do your homework and really shop around before you dot any i’s or cross any t’s. Below is a list of the main types of cybersecurity insurance currently being offered in the industry:

Final Thoughts

Data breaches are now as certain as death and taxes. (Joy.) If a business is lacking cybersecurity measures, they are like sitting ducks for the plethora of online keyboard-wielding creeps. If you need a place to get started, here is an article detailing Point Of Sale Precautions Every Business Owner Should Take. 

Once you’ve created and implemented a solid security plan, make sure you keep it up to date. Finally, as I hope this article has stressed, seriously consider taking out cybersecurity insurance. In the case of data breaches, it is far better if you are proactive rather than having to be solely reactive.

I will leave you with this sobering statistic: After experiencing a cybersecurity attack, 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months.

Don’t throw the time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into your business into the trash because you didn’t prepare for what is increasingly becoming an inevitable threat.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston is a writer and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys researching and getting to the bottom of questions relating to the Point of Sale industry.When not writing about and researching Point of Sale software, she can usually be found overindulging in Dutch Bro’s coffee, making others laugh, or listening to music.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

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What Are Loyalty Programs And How Do They Work?

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Customer Loyalty

Were you aware that the average adult is enrolled in nine loyalty/rewards programs? (I’ve had many a polite staring match with clerks trying to push their store’s rewards program. Needless to say, I’m not at all surprised by this statistic.) Loyalty programs, in one form or another, have been around for many years. Though they’ve evolved through time, these systems have increasingly become a weapon for business owners to retain existing patrons.

Technology is rapidly encroaching every area of our lives and rewards programs are no exception. The advent of cloud computing has revolutionized businesses’ ability to store big data. Electronic rewards programs benefit businesses owners as well as customers. Proprietors can utilize these systems to collect customer information, track sales, and keep an eye on their retention and churn rates. This article looks to examine what loyalty programs are, where loyalty programs got their start, and how they work. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

What Are Loyalty Programs?

Loyalty programs are rewards programs put in place by the owners of an establishment to encourage customers to return. These programs are extremely popular in businesses where customers make frequent purchases. Every rewards program is unique to the company who implements it, but they operate on roughly the same premise: The more a customer shops at your establishment, the more rewards they receive, and the more incentive they have to come back and continue shopping at your place of business.

Rewards programs typically require customers to hand over some form of personal information (name, address, etc.). In return, they are issued a unique membership card, number, or access code so they can receive their benefits. As was previously stated, modern electronic rewards programs specifically benefit business owners because they can mine a large portion of previously untapped customer data.

How Do Loyalty Programs Work?

There are a wide variety of loyalty program styles out there and each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go over a few of the main styles:

  • Cash Back Or Rebate Program: This type of rewards program is pretty self-explanatory: customers earn money back from their purchases. Once they reach a certain dollar amount or a certain time limit has been reached, they can redeem their rewards for cash. The rebate is usually based off of a percentage of the total purchases during the time period in question. This type of program is easy to understand but it lacks the element of instant gratification for your customers and it can also be expensive to implement.
  • Discount Program: This system offers a discount off the original price of any given item that can be applied to customers at the checkout counter. Discount programs are easy to understand and process but may give customers the impression that your regular prices are too high
  • .Frequency Programs: Many of the businesses that use this type of rewards program employ paper punch cards to keep track of their customers visits. (Buy 5 subs and the 6th is on us!) While these punch cards are low cost, they don’t track any customer information and are more open to fraud.
  • Points Programs: With these rewards programs, customers are given points, often in exchange for the amount they spend in your store. The point system is a great way to avoid discounting your merchandise, but you may need to find a way to remind your customers of their status in the rewards program.
  • Tier System: This sort of rewards program is great for keeping customers engaged on a consistent basis. To join the system, a customer must make a simple purchase. The more frequently a customer makes purchases and the cost of those purchases will determine the level of rewards they receive. This sort of program works really well for businesses with expensive merchandise.Different loyalty systems can be mixed and matched together to create your own unique loyalty program that works best for your specific business and customer needs.

Final Thoughts

Any business owner worth his or her salt will tell you that having loyal customers is vital to keeping a thriving business. Not only is retaining existing patrons about 5 to 25 times less expensive than acquiring new ones, repeat shoppers are known to spend up to 67% more when they visit your establishment. Implementing a solid loyalty program is not only an important way for you as a business owner to make sure that your customers keep returning, it is also an important metric for your churn rate. It is important to do your research before adopting any loyalty solutions for your company, but this day in age, adopting some sort of loyalty program is becoming more and more advantageous. A loyal customer is a customer you can count on returning to your business and spreading free advertisement about your brand by word of mouth. (One of the most effective forms of advertising, I might add.)

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston is a writer and native Oregonian who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys researching and getting to the bottom of questions relating to the Point of Sale industry.When not writing about and researching Point of Sale software, she can usually be found overindulging in Dutch Bro’s coffee, making others laugh, or listening to music.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

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Small Business Sales Tax Guide

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Before you started your small business, you probably only thought of sales tax as a pesky total on the bottom of your receipts—the thing that changed your nice round price into something bizarre. (The Dollar Store doesn’t really work when it’s the $1.07 Store.) But now that you’re a small business owner, understanding sales tax is necessarily a lot more complicated.

In this article, we’ll explain the basics of small business sales tax and what you need to do to get your company legally set up to collect sales tax. By using this article as a starting point, you’ll understand the confusing concept of small business sales tax in no time.

Table of Contents

Understanding The Basics

Before we discuss how to set your company up to collect sales tax legally, we wanted to cover a couple of important basics and some common FAQs about sales tax. If you’ve ever had questions about sales tax, you’ve come to the right place.

What Is Sales Tax?

Sales tax is a government tax on the sale of goods and services.

In Which State(s) Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax?

You must collect a sales tax in any state where you have a nexus.

What Is A Nexus?

We’re glad you asked. In the original sense of the word, a nexus is a connection. When talking about sales tax, a nexus is a legal term that means you’ve created a sufficient physical presence in a state. Once a nexus is established, you are required to pay sales tax on any items sold in or shipped to that state (with the exception of Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, and New Hampshire, which do not impose a sales tax).

How Is A Nexus Created?

You may have a sales tax nexus in states where:

  • You have an office or other property
  • You have a storefront
  • You have employees (including salespeople and remote workers)
  • You have a warehouse
  • You attend a tradeshow (or other events)
  • You use drop shipping

For example, let’s say my company is headquartered in California, but I also have an inventory warehouse in Washington. That means I would have a nexus in both California and Washington and must collect and pay sales tax in both states.

Each state has slightly different rules about what constitutes a sales tax nexus, so be sure to contact a state’s sales tax authority directly if you think you may have a nexus there.

If you’re still confused about what constitutes a nexus, you can read about it in more detail in the Tackling Taxes section of our Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Store ebook.

How Do I Determine Which Sales Tax Rate To Charge My Customers?

Sales tax rates vary by state, county, and even city. And some states—Oregon, Alaska, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Montana—don’t even have sales tax. So how do you know which rate to use?

First, you have to determine the address on which to base the sales tax rate.

If you are selling items from a storefront, your sales tax rate will be based on your store’s address. If you are shipping items, the sales tax rate will be based on the address you’re shipping the items to (not the address you ship goods from).

As we mentioned above, you only have to charge sales to customers when you are selling items in or shipping items to a state where you have a sales tax nexus. So if you are shipping items to a state where you don’t have a sales tax nexus, then you don’t have to worry about sales tax.

Once you’ve determined the proper address to use, all you need to do is consult the state’s sales tax agency to find the sales tax rate for that state, county, and city. (Most states offer a tool that allows you to look up sales tax rate by address online.)

Here is a list of all 50 states’ tax agencies. For most states, the appropriate tax agency will be the Department of Revenue. If you operate out of California, you’ll want to go to the Board of Equalization.

How Much Sales Tax Should I Charge My Customers?

Once you’ve determined the proper sales tax rate (as explained in the section above), you can use this formula to calculate your actual sales tax:

Total Cost x Sales Tax Rate = Sales Tax Total

Let’s do an example. My customer spent $49.95 at my store in California. The sales tax rate is 7.5%. How much sales tax do I charge?

I’ll put the total cost and sales tax rate into our formula.

$49.95 x 7.5% = ?

Since we’re working with a percentage, we have to move the decimal to the left two spaces. So we’re calculating:

$49.95 x .075 = ?

Multiply.

$49.95 x .075 = $3.746

Round to the nearest ten. Now you should have $3.75 as your sales tax amount. Simply add this amount to your total cost (in this case $49.95) and voila! You have the correct price to charge your customer.

$49.95 + $3.75 = $53.70

Luckily for you, you don’t need to manually calculate sales tax. While knowing the principles of sales tax calculation is important, almost all POS and accounting programs do the math for you, and there are plenty of tax software options that can help too. We’ll cover these in more detail later.

What If I Sell Products Online?

Things get trickier when it comes to online sales tax. The sales tax laws for each state were originally created with the brick and mortar store in mind, so figuring out the correct procedures for online sales tax can be a bit difficult.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to make this easier. In our eBook The Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Store, we devoted a whole section to the basics of eCommerce sales tax. We also recommend TaxJar’s complete Sales Tax Guide for eCommerce Sellers to online sellers who want to learn the nitty-gritty details of online sales tax.

Preparing Your Company To Collect Sales Tax

A lot more goes into charging sales tax than just figuring out the appropriate sales tax rate. You’ll need to take the proper legal measures to ensure your small business is set up to collect and pay sales tax.

Here are four simple steps you’ll need to follow before you can legally charge sales tax:

Step 1: Learn Your State’s Sales Tax Rules

Above all else, be sure to learn the sales tax rules of every state in which you have a nexus. Each state has different laws, which makes this research imperative. Go directly to your state’s official sales tax agency for the most accurate information.

Again, here is a list of all 50 states’ tax agencies. As I mentioned above, for most states, the appropriate tax agency will be the Department of Revenue. If you operate out of California, you’ll want to go to the Board of Equalization.

Take note of the state sales tax rate, county sales tax rates, city sales tax rates, and sales tax exemptions. Check and see if your state offers an online “lookup sales tax by address” tool. And don’t forget to make sure you’re up-to-date on your state’s specific sales tax laws.

Many of these cites will also have small business learning resources about sales tax. Be sure to take advantage of the resources offered by each state.

Step 2: Register For A Sales Tax Permit

You’ll need to register for a sales tax permit everywhere you have a business nexus. To register for a sales tax permit, go to the appropriate tax agency.

Some states may charge a fee for a sales tax permit. Read this post, Which States Charge A Fee to Register for a Sales Tax Permit?, to get an idea of how much you’ll be expected to pay.

If you need additional help, TaxJar has a comprehensive How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit post where they break down the registration process state by state. The post covers how to apply, the information you’ll need to apply, the cost of the application, the state’s sales tax permit renewal policy, and more.

Step 3: Collect & Record Sales Tax

Once you’re officially registered to collect sales tax in a state, you can start collecting and recording sales tax. We recommend talking to your accountant about using accounting software to keep track of your sales tax records.

Accounting software can help you:

  • Keep good records
  • Charge sales tax to customers
  • Automatically calculate sales tax totals on invoices
  • Provide important sales tax reports

Many accounting software programs also integrate with key tax software players like Avalara and TaxJar.

If you need help deciding on an accounting software, check out the top-rated accounting software programs in our accounting comparison chart or visit our comprehensive accounting software reviews for more details.

Step 4: Pay Your Sales Tax

Depending on the state(s) in which you’re registered to collect sales tax, you may be paying your sales tax monthly, quarterly, or yearly. After you complete your Sales Tax Permit registration, you should receive information about when sales tax payments are due and where to go to make these payments.

If you are unsure, contact your state’s sales tax agency directly.

Final Thoughts

We know that was a lot of information, but sales tax is one topic you don’t want to play fast and loose with. That’s why, when it comes to sales tax, we recommend that you consult your accountant.

While online resources and accounting programs can help point you in the right direction, your professional accountant is the ultimate authority on sales tax. Your accountant knows how to properly prepare your small business to collect sales tax and will ensure that you’re charging the appropriate rate.

We hope this overview gives you a basic understanding of sales tax and a clear idea of how to get started collecting it. Best of luck and happy selling!

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause is a writer, avid reader, and researcher. In addition to loving writing, she became interested in accounting software because of her constant desire to learn something new and understand how things work. When she’s not working or daydreaming about her newest story, she can be found drinking obscene amounts of coffee, reading anything written by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files with her husband.

Chelsea Krause

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Exactly What Is A Kitchen Display System?

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KDS Kitchen Display System

In this point in time, checking up on society’s constantly altering slang can seem to be like a chore. For restaurateurs who wish to conserve a edge against your competitors, there’s yet another have to stay on the top of recent foodservice-related tech terms and acronyms. If you’ve heard the word “KDS” going swimming the and also have found yourself at a loss, you’ve come right article! There’s no requirement for the urban dictionary about this one: KDS is brief for Kitchen Display System. These digital screens replace the requirement for receipt printers or handwritten orders (even though some POS systems still need a traditional thermal printer be utilized along with their KDS screens).

Table of Contents

Exactly What Is A Kitchen Display System?

It’s amazing precisely how fast technology can alter and transform a whole industry. It wasn’t that lengthy ago that the idea of delivering orders from terminals right in front from the house to thermal printers at the back of the house (BOH) could have been mind-blowing. This advancement is a major improvement for many kitchens, especially with regards to efficiency. Today, there’s no more an excuse for chefs and waitstaff to yell orders backwards and forwards or handwritten orders to become magnetically clipped to dirty revolving wheels. Even though traditional kitchen printer systems will not be driven in the restaurant industry in the near future, they’re being enhanced and outshone by their much sleeker competition.

KDS screens aren’t a completely new concept. They were first utilized by franchises like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. (You realize individuals beeping screens all of the workers are always looking at when they throw together your greasy dinner? Yup, individuals are KDS screens.)  While once fraxel treatments might have appeared unattainable for that masses, the arrival of cloud-based Reason for Purchase and subsequent mass manufacture of tablets and iPads have opened up the KDS door for mother and pop operations all over the world.

Kitchen Display Systems digitalize an order making process for individuals within the BOH. Rather of taking the type of paper tickets or verbal instructions, all orders are sent from the POS system towards the digital screen in the kitchen area.

KDS Features

There are lots of Kitchen Display Systems currently available. Here are a few fundamental features you realized to determine having a standard KDS:

  • Meal Coursing/Coursing Manager: Group products inside a course together to be ready and sent simultaneously.
  • Meal Pacing: Your food pacing feature enables the KDS to understand the prepare occasions of every item it’ll alert the right prepare station when that specific item must be prepared.
  • Prepare Occasions: A KDS can manage prepare occasions helping make sure that meals are sent in the optimum temperature and freshness.
  • Recipes/Ingredients: Staff can make sure recipes, preparation procedures, as well as manage qc.
  • Routing Abilities: This selection transmits each food towards the correct kitchen station.

Advantages Of A Kitchen Area Display System

  • Eco-friendly
    • Reduce paper and printer related waste
  • Elevated Efficiency
    • Orders are sent immediately towards the kitchen screen
    • Orders are sent from tablets or terminals and help reduce human error
    • Mistakes made while taking orders could be rapidly remedied within the POS system and can instantly update around the KDS screen
    • KDS screens could be setup each and every individual station
    • When orders are completed in the kitchen area, waitstaff receive notifications in the future get orders and remove them to diners
    • If your KDS includes a grid option, kitchens can keep an eye on approaching orders
  • BOH Appearance
    • Staff will understand the sleek modern appearance of a KDS system
    • Lessen the clutter of paper tickets
  • Order Tracking
    • Track how lengthy orders take to get free from your kitchen
    • Many KDS systems offer color-coded ticket choices for orders such as the following:
      • Late Orders
      • Online Orders
      • Deliveries
      • Voided Orders
      • Compensated Orders
  • Reduce Cost
  • Insight  Reporting
    • Track how lengthy it requires a worker to accomplish orders
    • Track average order fulfillment occasions
    • Track the efficiency of shifts and staff
  • Integrated Online Ordering
    • Online orders instantly show up on the KDS screen out on another require staff people to re-enter them in to the POS system
    • Some systems present an option that needs a supervisor to approve all online or cash only orders prior to being delivered to your kitchen

Note: This non-exhaustive listing of benefits might not apply to every one POS system offering KDS features. Make certain you research your options prior to signing any dotted lines.

Final Ideas

Just this past year, a business report found that 73% of restaurants updated their technology in 2016. While a KDS system might not seem just like a significant bit of technology, it is able to modernize your kitchen area and lift your restaurant’s efficiency level. Many restaurateurs have previously made a decision to upgrade their BOH operations.

With increasingly more cloud and tablet-based POS systems offering KDS, it’s simpler than ever before for anybody to benefit from these functions. What are you awaiting? I

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston is really a author and native Oregonian who resides in the gorgeous Off-shore Northwest. She enjoys researching and becoming to the foot of questions relating to begin Purchase industry.If not covering and researching Reason for Purchase software, she will usually be located overindulging in Nederlander Bro’s coffee, making others laugh, or hearing music.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

“”

2017 Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Holiday Deals for Small Company Proprietors

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Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

I’ve never understood why, at the time as we meditate on being grateful and quite happy with what we should have, we hurry towards the store and proceed throngs of people to purchase the following best factor. So far, that’s.

With regards to your online business, you need to make the most of every deal open to you. Fortunately, this season there are many to select from. We spent hrs digging to find the best Black Friday, Cyber Monday, along with other holiday deals so you do not have to. Whether you’re looking for a brand new POS system, a good deal on a credit card merchant account, or some seriously discounted accounting software, there’s something for everybody this holidays.

Note: We’ll be updating this publish regularly to create the most up-to-date offers and discounts. Be on the lookout for additional bargains in the future!

Table of Contents

Merchant Services

If you are searching to simply accept card payments out of your customers, you’ll need a credit card merchant account. Most merchant services charge a particular rate per transaction, but there’s a couple subscription-based mixers are providing discounts on their own monthly rates along with a couple of which are offering deals on hardware.

Fattmerchant

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Fattmerchant hasn’t released their Cyber Monday deal yet, but it’s not far off. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

Fattmerchant is really a subscription-based credit card merchant account that works with most major shopping carts. The organization offer 24/7 free support and receive 5/5 stars on our websiteTo understand more about this credit card merchant account, visit our comprehensive Fattmerchant review.

PaySimple

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

PaySimple is providing 50% from the first 3 several weeks and services information.

This promotion is perfect for new clients you have to complete the enrollment form by 11:59 pm EST on November 30th to obtain this discount (discount doesn’t affect individual transaction charges). Use coupon code CYBER.Offers are not valid with every other promotions. Contact PaySimple for more information.

PaySimple is yet another subscription-based credit card merchant account that meets its name. The credit card merchant account is straightforward, simple to use, and it has great customer support. To understand more about this credit card merchant account, read our comprehensive PaySimple review.

Cayan

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Cayan is providing $150 in free software and hardware.

Cayan is providing a vacation Bundle to new users who join a Cayan account. The bundle includes $100 in instant credit, a totally free EMV-enable card swiper, and free eCommerce setup (often a $150 value as a whole). Contact Cayan directly for more information or join the vacation bundle here.

Cayan has developed in the credit card merchant account game since 1998 and it has an excellent status. The program is fairly priced while offering wonderful features. To understand more about this credit card merchant account option, read our full Cayan review.

Mobile Payments

If you were to Nederlander Bros, you realize about Mobile Reason for Purchase (mPOS) apps. Accepting payments on the go with simply a tablet and/or smartphone is essential for many companies. Which screaming holiday deals might help your organization just do that.

Square

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Square is providing $10 off a Contactless + Nick readers.

When you join a Square account, you will see a promo for $10 a Contactless + Nick Readers (ordinarily a $49 value). The discount is restricted to 1 per account. Contact Square to learn more.

Square is a huge name in mobile payments processing–and for a good reason. With ample features along with a flat swipe rate, it’s easy to understand why. On this 4.5/five star software within our comprehensive Square review.

Intuit GoPayment

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Intuit hasn’t released their Black Friday promo yet, but it’s not far off. The deals will likely be announced on Monday. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

While Intuit is much more noted for its QuickBooks accounting software, Intuit also provides a mPOS known as Intuit Go Payment (formerly referred to as Intuit Payment Solutions). Intuit GoPayment offers competitive rates along with a seamless Quickbooks integration. To understand more about this method, read our comprehensive Intuit GoPayment review.

POS Software

Reason for Purchase (POS) solutions really are a huge element of retail and restaurant companies. If you are looking for a great POS system, there’s seriously no better time for you to purchase. Miracle traffic bot category has got the most holiday promotions undoubtedly, so you have several options.

Toast POS

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Toast POS is providing up $6,000 in hardware to new clients.

If you’re a new Toast POS customer transitioning from Aloha or Micros, you are able to qualify for approximately $6,000 in hardware.

This deal is essentially a hardware swap. For instance, for those who have an Aloha or Micro terminal, you are able to swap it for any free Toast POS terminal (as much as $6,000). Toast is just matching existing hardware, so any other purchases is going to be priced normally. This deal applies its November. Find out more about this deal and Contact Toast POS directly to find out if you qualify.

Toast POS is a perfect restaurant POS that provides ample features, a loyalty rewards program, and gift certificate abilities. Discover what else Toast POS provides within our comprehensive 5/five star Toast POS review.

Revel Systems

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Revel Systems hasn’t released their promotion yet, but be on the lookout for that company’s announcement. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

Revel Systems is among the top iPad POS systems, boasting 25,000 terminals being used and powerful features. To understand more about Revel Systems, read our comprehensive Revel Systems review.

Lightspeed

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Lightspeed hasn’t released their promotion yet, but be on the lookout for that company’s announcement. We all do realize that both software and hardware is going to be discounted. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

Lightspeed offers multiple POS systems for particular industries. (Before the promo is released, we won’t know which version is going to be discounted.) Read our complete Lightspeed Retail, Lightspeed eCom, and Lightspeed Restaurant reviews to find out more.

NCR Silver

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

NCR Silver is providing 1-2 free several weeks and services information for annual subscriptions.

Although this isn’t always a Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase, we would have liked to show you from the promotion NCR Silver is presently running.

If you buy single-year subscription, you’ll get a month of free service if you buy a couple-year subscription, you’ll receive two several weeks of free service. The offer pertains to brand new merchant, no matter location or quantity of terminals. Purchase ends on December 31. Contact NCR Silver for more information.

NCR Silver is really a cloud-based POS well suited for medium-sized companies. It provides 24/7 support and integrates with leading accounting software. Read our complete NCR Silver review to find out more.

LingaPOS

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Linga POS is providing 3 several weeks of free service.

New users who begin a Linga account will get 3 several weeks of the free Linga POS license. Deal ends on December 15th. Contact Linga POS directly to benefit from this offer.

Linga POS offers impressive features together with a strong inventory management system. The program is competitive in cost and is a superb option for food services. Read our complete LingaPOS review to find out more.

Hike POS

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Hike is providing a 30% discount to customers.

Hike is providing a 30% discount to customers. We are adding a lot of this promotion soon, until then, contact Hike directly for details.

Although Hike is really a relatively recent POS solution, it provides an attractive interface and lots of features. Hike is simple to use and versatile too. Read our comprehensive Hike review to understand more about this 4.5/five star software.

Epos Now

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Epos Now’s offering $500 in savings.

Epos Now’s offering their POS System including a 15″ touchscreen terminal, an invoice printer, along with a cash drawer for $1,299 (ordinarily a $1,799 value). Contact Epos Let’s focus on details or visit here to join up with this promotion.

Epos Now’s a quick-growing POS system located in the United kingdom. The machine is simple to use, filled with features, and reliable enough for Disney Pictures and Universal for doing things (that’s enough to achieve my election if it is adequate for Disney it should be the most joyful POS system on the planet right?). Read our full Epos Now review to find out if you accept me and to understand more about the program on your own.

Springboard Retail

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Springboard Retail hasn’t released their November promotion yet, but be on the lookout for that company’s announcement. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

Springboard Retail is really a POS system with limitless users and ample features. The POS system offers scalable prices plans and it is incredibly simple to use. To understand more about POS option, read our complete Springboard Retail review.

GiftLogic POS

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

GiftLogic POS is providing a hardware looking for $.99 with acquisition of any initial software bundle.

If you buy any GiftLogic POS software bundle, you’re qualified to purchase a hardware looking for a reduced cost of $.99. We is going to be adding a lot of this promotion soon, until then, contact GiftLogic POS directly for details.

GiftLogic POS is really a Home windows-based retail POS that is fantastic for clothes shops and gift shops. The program offers extensive features including reporting and inventory. To understand more about this POS contender, read our complete GiftLogicPOS review.

Accounting Software

The section you’ve all been awaiting! Okay, in order the mind accounting author at Merchant Maverick I’m just a little biased toward accounting software, but hey–that means I understand a great deal after i see one. I’m excited to talk about these steals along with you.

Aplos

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Aplos is providing 50% off select annual subscriptions.

Aplos is providing 50% from the newbie of the annual subscription for their Starter or Standard Accounting packages. Any new user can use with this promo and you will find no cancellation charges (should you aren’t satisfied, Aplos will refund you the rest of your unused subscription). Use coupon code SuperSale2017 to obtain this deal although it still lasts. Contact Aplos to learn more.

Aplos is really a non-profit accounting solution with ample features and extremely positive testimonials. We even named the program among the Top 4 Accounting Programs for Nonprofits, so long should be good. Browse the publish on your own to find out if this nonprofit solution is a great fit for you personally.

QuickBooks

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Intuit QuickBooks hasn’t released their Black Friday promo yet, but it’s not far off. The deals will likely be announced on Monday. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

QuickBooks may be the big named in comprising grounds. With multiple desktop and cloud-based products, this accounting giant offers solutions for pretty much any sized business. Read our comprehensive reviews of Quickbooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Mac, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, and QuickBooks Self-Employed, or read this handy comparison chart to determine what version fits your needs.

Note: If you are offered on Quickbooks Desktop, look into the Black Friday deals at the local Best To Buy, Staples, along with other office supplies online stores. I will allow you to inside a little secret: The final time I visited Staples, QuickBooks Desktop Pro was $30 less expensive than the discounted form of the program on Intuit’s site.

Shopping Cart Software Software

This season, most eCommerce sellers are most likely considering how you can market their very own stores to bring in the vacation sales. But remember to take a few here we are at yourself and think about whether these shopping cart software discounts are suitable for your company.

Zoey Commerce

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Zoey Commerce is providing a 5% – 10% discount on annual subscriptions.

Zoey Commerce is providing a price reduction on annual subscriptions. New clients registering for the Strategic business plan will get a 5% discount using the coupon code THANKS5. New clients registering for the company Plus or Premier pan will get a tenPercent discount while using coupon code THANKS10.

These discounts are additionally towards the existing 10% discount that Zoey offers for annual subscriptions. Monthly plans don’t apply. These codes is going to be active from Wednesday, November 22 to Thursday, November 30. When you produce a trial, you will see a place for any coupon code. If you want help getting this deal or want more details contact Zoey Commerce directly.

Zoey Commerce is really a well-loved, fully-featured eCommerce platform. If you wish to determine what makes miracle traffic bot so excellent, read our complete 5/five star Zoey review.

Shopify

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Shopify is providing $30 predetermined fee shipping with DHL Express.

Shopify can also be offering holiday shipping with UPS.

Although this isn’t always a Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase, we would have liked to show you from the promotion Shopify is presently running.

This holidays, Shopify is partnering with DHL Express to bring Shopify customers a $30 flat-rate shipping option (before Holiday sales in my opinion). Packages should be between 1-3 pounds. Certain countries might not qualify and fuel surcharges may apply. Purchase ends December 31st. On this deal or contact Shopify for details.

Shopify can also be offering holiday shipping rates with UPS. This integration brings Shopify customers guaranteed date shipping, discounted rates for heavier packages, and all sorts of peak surcharges on UPS Ground is going to be included in Shopify. Find out more about this deal or contact Shopify for deals.

Shopify is among the big names in eCommerce and even for good reason. It provides good prices, strong features, and 24/7 customer care. To understand more about this 5/five star software, read our complete Shopify review.

3dcart

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

3dcart hasn’t released their November promotion yet, but it’s not far off. The promotion should really launch on Wednesday. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

While 3dcart might be keeping us at nighttime on their own promotion for which appears like forever, it’s no mystery this company provides a great eCommerce platform. With ample features, affordable plans, and lots of design styles, 3dcart has something for virtually any merchant. Read our complete 3dcart review to learn more.

WooCommerce

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

Woocommerce hasn’t released their promotion yet, but be on the lookout for that company’s announcement. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

Woocommerce is definitely an free shopping cart software wordpress plugin that directly integrates with WordPress websites. The first software download is free of charge and also the eCommerce platform provides a apparently unbeatable quantity of integrations. On this shopping cart software option within our complete Woocommerce review.

Website Builders

Searching to construct a brand new small company website? It’s not necessary to become coding expert overnight. Rather, make use of a website builder.

uKit

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

uKit hasn’t released their Cyber Monday promotion yet, but be on the lookout for that company’s announcement (it’ll be in this article). We’ve heard the offer will probably be pretty great. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

uKit is really a feature-wealthy, simple to use website builder that screams classy and professional. Read our full uKit review to understand more about what this rising website builder can provide.

Inventory Software

If monitoring your holiday inventory gets difficult, it might be time for you to consider a listing software. And just what better time for you to purchase than when you will find Cyber Monday promotions within the works?

TradeGecko

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Promotion not far off.

TradeGecko hasn’t released their Cyber Monday promotion yet, but it’s not far off. We’ll update this publish when we all know more, so make sure to return in.

TradeGecko is really a cloud-based inventory software with strong worldwide business abilities. The program can also be noted for its robust set of features and simple to use interface. To understand more about this inventory option, read our complete TradeGecko review.

inFlow

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

inFlow Cloud is providing per month of free service along with a free USB scanner.

inFlow is providing per month of free service along with a free USB scanner to new clients who join inFlow Cloud. This Black Friday deal is going to be sent being an email promotion you must sign up for any free trial offer between November 24 and November 27. To be able to receive this deal, it’s important to spend the money for first month and services information next, the 2nd month is free of charge and you will find no cancellation charges. The bar code scanner is restricted to all of us addresses. Contact inFlow to learn more.

InFlow offers both in your area-installed and cloud-based solutions. The program offers ample features and it is only suitable for Home windows computers. We presently have only overview of inFlow On-Premise, however, you can look it over to a minimum of learn bout inFlow like a company.

Invoicing Software

You probably know this: Creating invoices in Stand out just doesn’t work during christmas (or during any season, really). If you feel it’s time for you to manage profits having a full-fledged invoicing software, take a look at these deals.

Harvest

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Harvest is providing $10 off and away to new users.

Harvest is providing $10 from the first month and services information for brand new users who join Harvest during christmas. Use coupon code JUSTSAYINGTHANKS to reap the harvest of the deal before it’s far too late. Contact Harvest for more information.

Harvest is a superb invoicing application with amazing time tracking abilities and much more amazing customer support. The program can use more invoice templates for me, however if you simply need time tracking and project management software, this really is certainly a high contender. Read our complete Harvest review to find out if miracle traffic bot fits your needs.

Invoice Ninja

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

Invoice Ninja is providing 75% off.

On Cyber Monday, Invoice Ninja is providing a 75% discount on invoicing plans. We is going to be adding a lot of this promotion soon, until then, contact InvoiceNinja directly for details.

Invoice Ninja is a straightforward-to-use invoice solution with great invoice templates along with a client portal. Invoice Ninja also provides over 35 payment gateways. to understand more about this invoicing option, read our complete Invoice Ninja review.

E-mail Marketing

Get the own Black Friday and holiday emails sent fast with the aid of e-mail marketing software. If you’ve never considered e-mail marketing before, this is the time.

GetResponse

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

GetResponse is providing 15% business Enterprise plan.

GetResponse is providing a 15% discount for GetResponse Enterprise. We are adding a lot of this promotion soon, until then, contact GetResponse directly for details.

GetResponse is really a seasoned e-mail marketing veteran with experience along with a set of features to demonstrate it. The program is simple to use and cost-effective. Read our full GetResponse review to find out if this e-mail marketing tool suits your company.

Project Management Software

Project management software solutions offer from task management to workflow management to scheduling to budgeting and much more. But every one has one common denominator: they assist you keep an eye on work.

ProofHub

Best Black Friday Deals for Small Business Owners

ProofHub is providing a 41% discount on their own software.

Although this isn’t always a Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase, we would have liked to show you from the promotion ProofHub is presently running.

ProofHub is providing a 41% discount on their own Ultimate Control plan (ordinarily a $150/mo value for $89/mo rather). Contact ProofHub directly for particular information regarding this promotion.

ProofHub is really a superbly designed software with wonderful features like task and subtask management, reports, and file proofing. To understand more about this project management software option, read our complete ProofHub review.

Time For You To Get Shopping!

Before getting to transported away within the Black Friday mania, there exists a final suggestion: Seek information in advance.

While these deals could be a good way for your online business to save cash, we implore you to definitely save time before you act. Don’t purchase it just since you can. Purchase it because it’s the best solution for your online business.

Each one of the promotions above originates from items that we’ve researched extensively at Merchant Maverick. However, we don’t would like you to simply take our word these are wonderful products. Seek information. Make the most of our comprehensive reviews, investigate the organization you’re thinking about purchasing from, and look for the other users are saying before choosing.

If you want help buying a solution, our Merchant Maverick blog provides extensive great sources and we’re always here for those who have questions.

Friendly PSA over! Now you can shop ’til you drop and make the most of these bargains before they’re gone.

Shall we be missing anything? If you’re a vendor having a Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or holiday purchase that people haven’t pointed out, please tell us within the comments below.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause is really a author, enthusiastic readers, and investigator. Additionally to loving writing, she grew to become thinking about accounting software due to her constant need to learn something totally new and know how things work. When she’s no longer working or daydreaming about her newest story, she are available consuming obscene levels of coffee, studying anything compiled by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files together with her husband.

Chelsea Krause

“”

Reason for Purchase Security Safeguards Watch Owner Must Take

Our impartial reviews and content are supported partly by affiliate partnerships. Find out more.

Maybe you have stopped to question how individuals who came before us imagined the long run world? While it’s fun to see creative predictions in the past (I’m speaking for you, To the long run II), it truly is amazing to understand precisely how advanced age technology we reside in is. A number of these modern luxuries have improved our way of life and led to the growth of mankind. The invention of computers, the internet, tablets, and smartphones (to mention only a couple of) helped transform the corporate world, and much more particularly, the purpose of Purchase (POS) world. That stated, every rose has its own thorn. This is also true with regards to we’ve got the technology advancements which have benefited the POS world within the last twenty years approximately. While cutting-edge software systems and devices have given extreme convenience, a lot of business proprietors appear to forget these advancements have a cost.

Allow me to ask everyone retailers available an issue: Presuming you presently use a POS system, just when was the final time you ran any kind of security checkup or update? If you were checking up on this news recently (take it easy, this isn’t going to get political), you already know that the purpose of Purchase (POS) industry has had a number of big blows in the online hackers and cyber attackers around the globe. Cybersecurity ought to be the main thing on watch owner’s mind when thinking about their future or current POS system.

Whenever you partner your company having a third-party POS system, you’re exposing the information of the company, by extension the information of the customers, to a person else’s security standards. Before you decide to work with another company, you’ll know their security protocols to be able to factor them to your own safeguards. (Yes, additionally towards the protection provided by your POS vendor, it’s vital that you should have your personal security plan in position. Nobody has your own interest in mind greater than you need to do.)

Table of Contents

Why Must I Worry About My POS System’s Security?

When I hope I’ve just made abundantly obvious, probably the most important options that come with your POS product is its security. Actually, Verizon released an information breach investigations report in 2014 stating: “75 percent of information security occurrences within the food services industry happen at the purpose of Purchase [system].” Yikes! The retail side of the profession isn’t faring much better. A current data security report from Thales revealed: “More than 80% of shops consider themselves susceptible to data threats, and 37% stated they’re ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ vulnerable.”

How reassuring.

When I pointed out earlier, you’ve seen prominent companies in news reports during the last many years for major hacks. For individuals and also require missed these headlines, let’s have a quick stroll lower memory lane, we could? 2003 brought one from the worst POS data breaches the earth has seen when retail chain T.J. MAXX unsuccessful to update their data file encryption system. Online hackers utilized their POS systems and stole the debit and credit card information with a minimum of 45.seven million people. You read properly. That’s at least 45.7 million people. And who could forget 2013, the entire year Target’s POS system was infiltrated by hackers because someone overlooked the truth that the HVAC system was on the network with use of internal servers. That mistake affected 41 million customers. This May, Target decided to pay $18.5 million dollars to stay claims produced by 47 states and also the District of Columbia. Maybe crafts and arts store Micheals’ 2014 POS data breach rings a bell? Ah, recollections!

It may be simple to think these hacks only affect large, soulless corporations, but that’s a significant misconception. It’s believed that roughly 43 percent of cyber attacks are fond of small companies. Much more alarming? Within six several weeks of the data breach, 60 % of those same small companies close shop. Individuals figures aren’t departing me with any warm fuzzy feelings.

As possible clearly see, even simple mistakes can have huge effects. The backlash from all of these attacks is quick and may have major lasting effects. Take a look at a couple of types of whatever you decide and face after the body is breached:

  • The status of the business requires a hard hit.
  • Consumer confidence/trust is impacted and for that reason, your revenue is affected.
  • You remain liable whether or not the breach came via a third-party POS system.
  • If online hackers can access proprietary information it will set you back competitive ability.
  • You can face government fines for those who have unsuccessful to conform with any industry-specific security standards.
  • Additionally, you will face lots of unpredicted expenses (legal charges, software updates, customer reimbursement, and damage control, for instance).

As numerous experts in the market say, the entire costs and effects these major data breaches dress in companies is difficult to evaluate, however the damage is lasting.

Security Measures To Consider Inside A POS System

Choosing the best POS system to suit the requirements of your unique operation is definitely an overwhelming task. This is when searching to find the best home security system can really assist you to narrow lower your alternatives. You have to get rid of undesirable options beginning with evaluating who provides the very indepth safety measures. When I pointed out before, if you select to pair yourself having a third-party vendor, you allow another company’s security protocols to affect your company. The Ponemon Institute has discovered that “65% of firms that reported discussing customer data having a partner also reported a subsequent breach using that partner.” I am not a gambler, however i don’t like individuals odds. It doesn’t mean that each third-party vendor is likely to be your demise. However, it’s to your advantage to do your homework prior to signing any dotted lines.

Mark Guagenti, as security expert from Tidal Commerce, states there’s a couple of questions watch owner should ask before investing in a POS system:

  • Can there be an update cycle?
  • Will the POS vendor concentrate on PCI compliance?
  • Will the POS vendor respond rapidly to security threats and patch them? Will it appear they have they done this previously?
  • Will the vendor supply or could they be compatible “semi-integrated” terminals?
  • Will they [the POS company] employ standard file encryption? Is the website encrypted with HTTPS (That’s often a good first-step when looking for)?
  • If your in your area installed system, may be the software installed and maintained by professionals?

Simply because your third-party POS system has an alarm system doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable for the security of the consumer data. According to Your Liability in 3rd Party Data Breaches:

While such 3rd party information systems providers come with an obligation to maintain your data safe, this doesn’t relieve your firm of the data security responsibilities. You need to make certain your computer data is stored, processed and transmitted safely, even if at the disposal of others.

Produce A Security Routine And Stay With It

POS systems would be the lifeblood from the retail and foodservice industry, and that i don’t observe that altering anytime within the near or distant future. Once you know these integral bits of technology are highly lucrative targets for online hackers (who appear to see security updates as challenges), you’ll understand that cybersecurity is really a constantly altering issue. It’ll be there forever. Establishing your home security system, crossing your fingers, and leaving simply isn’t likely to work.

You have to start considering your home security system being an organic object that should be tended to regularly. Take it easy, its not necessary to become a neurotic helicopter parent, but you should generate a consistent routine to make sure that your home security system is current and eager to have an attack whatsoever occasions.

Chuck Rubin, the main executive of Micheals crafts and arts stores, puts it quite nicely:

Within an era where very sophisticated and determined crooks have proven able to effectively attacking an array of computer systems, we have to all increase our degree of vigilance.

Exactly what do you need to do? Begin by sitting lower and establishing a security plan. Once more, Guagenti has some good advice:

  • Check and run PCI scans quarterly. Some vendors offer internal scan tools that you could also run.
  • Have your IT personnel look at your router and firewalls configuration quarterly.
  • Verify that the products are updated, and switch on auto-update whenever possible. Should you must switch off auto-update, make sure you look for updates by hand monthly, or when news of security patches surface. Have your IT personnel justify why auto-updates are switched if they ought to be disabled.
  • In case your in your area-installed system has an administration interface, don’t open it up to the outdoors world. Period. Only open ports which are needed for the system to function, and hang up IP limitations. If you need to access your in your area-installed system remotely, focus on establishing a secure Virtual private network. Also, observe that a Virtual private network must only operate inside a network that doesn’t handle charge card data.
  • Possess a process. Whilst not all business proprietors need to have a process as thorough as say, a repayment processor, getting an itemized lower process for security makes certain that someone or someone will always be given the job of security.

Some things of my very own to include:

  • Become your own advocate! Don’t blindly trust that the third-party provider has the back. You would not just hop right into a vehicle using the first stranger who offered you something shiny. Even our moms trained us much better than that!
  • Know who’s your data. Understand the 3rd-parties involved with your business information and look at their security standards.
  • Make certain you realize the rules and laws and regulations inside your country regarding what you’re responsible for in case of a panic attack.
  • Employ a security company to do audits on third-party vendors.
  • Think twice about taking out Cyber Insurance. Although this won’t safeguard you against every facet of a breach, you will not remain dry and high by yourself in case of a panic attack.

Final Ideas

It’s pretty typical within our culture for all of us hitting the “Remind Me Later” button when updates appear on the devices. While procrastinating on these updates within our personal lives might not create a catastrophic data breach, doing this in the industry world is wholly irresponsible. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report opens with this particular statement: “If you haven’t endured an information breach you’ve either been incredibly ready, or very, very lucky.”

Nobody is in charge of whether their clients are selected to have an attack. It’s, however, in everyone’s welfare to create themselves an unhealthy target by getting a powerful immune system and preparing themselves for that worst. I sincerely hope this information has provided grounds to re-evaluate your present POS security methods and also to think about: Precisely how “incredibly well prepared” shall we be held?

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston is really a author and native Oregonian who resides in the gorgeous Off-shore Northwest. She enjoys researching and becoming to the foot of questions relating to begin Purchase industry.If not covering and researching Reason for Purchase software, she will usually be located overindulging in Nederlander Bro’s coffee, making others laugh, or hearing music.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

“”

Is The POS System Protected From The KRACK Attack?

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KRACK attack

As you become older, what you fear so much start to change. If you need to file your personal taxes and hang your own physician appointments, all of a sudden the boogie man doesn’t appear so frightening. However, there’s a brand new ‘scare’ every adult should know, and I am not talking about the clown in the approaching revival from it. Actually, the “KRACK-en” continues to be unleashed upon the tech world. (Insert afraid screams here!)

Maybe you’ve heard about Key Reinstallation Attacks (more generally known as KRACK attacks) and perhaps you haven’t. In either case, this threat effects you, your great-granny in Zoysia, as well as your favorite cafe lower the road. In addition to this, it may affect your company too! Sorry to rain in your parade, but no one’s Wi-Fi enabled products are protected from that one. Seriously, this list of devices susceptible to some variant of the attack is lengthy. (Take a look at some prominent names that leaped out at me: Apple, Android, Linux, Dell, Google, H . P . Enterprise, Apple, Microsoft, The new sony, Oracle, McAfee, LG, IBM, Amazon . com, and Blackberry.) Like I stated, nobody is immune here. 

Table of Contents

Exactly What Is A KRACK attack?

Significantly improved I’ve alarmed you about who this threat effects, let’s discuss just what a KRACK attack is. On October 16, 2017, Mathy Vanhoef, a investigator in a Belgian college, released a study titled Key Reinstallation Attacks Breaking WPA2 by forcing nonce reuse. If you are at all like me (and not the greatest tech nerd available), studying this title might have broke up with you scratching your mind. But after hanging out researching and talking with some experts about this attack, Vanhoef’s report gets to be more unnerving in my experience on the personal (and business) level. I’ll explain why.

The best results of this sort of attack continue to be within the speculation phase. However, it’s obvious that, when transported on full of level, KRACK attacks could devastating to anybody who hasn’t taken the necessary security measures to safeguard themselves, their online information.

Vanhoef’s report opens with this particular less-than-encouraging paragraph explaining his findings:

We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that safeguards all modern protected Wi-Fi systems. An assailant within selection of a target can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers may use this novel attack method to read information which was formerly assumed to become securely encrypted. This is often mistreated to steal sensitive information for example charge card figures, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and so forth. The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi systems. With respect to the network configuration, it’s also easy to inject and manipulate data. For instance, an assailant could possibly inject ransomware or any other adware and spyware into websites.

Yikes! Or like a kid who needs to get creative using their cussing might say: “Oh KRACK!”

What’s much more alarming is always that WPA2 systems abound. Since 2004, they’ve traditionally been considered probably the most secure option, but because evidenced within the paragraph above, that merely isn’t true any longer. Pleasure.

How’s A KRACK Attack Transported Out?

[embedded content]

Above is really a video (produced by Vanhoef) that shows just how a KRACK attack utilizes weaknesses within the WPA2 protocol. But I’ll do my favorite to describe precisely what happens throughout a KRACK attack.

Once your wireless device connects to Wi-Fi, it participates with what is known as a four-way handshake. This “handshake” verifies a user’s password and establishes an encrypted link between the router and also the device. Attackers who’re near by (within around 100 foot) may use key reinstallation attacks to bypass WPA2 network security they’re then capable of seeing information which is not encrypted and might be able to steal sensitive data because it goes through the network. Based on your network configuration, attackers might even have the ability to add ransomware or adware and spyware to websites.

When I pointed out, attackers should be in close range towards the Wi-Fi system they are attempting to access. This will make it impossible for attacks to become transported from miles away. And even though it is feasible for attackers to merely sit inside a parking area before an outlet and connect high-powered wireless antennas, I’ve have been told by a few experts it isn’t prone to happen.

If you are looking at more in-depth information about how exactly KRACK attacks work, check out Vanhoef’s report. I found The KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, described like you’re five to be really useful too.

Exactly What Does This Suggest In My POS System?

Several things might have to go without having to say, but with regards to the safety of the POS system, you shouldn’t assume anything. In case your POS product is operating via Wi-Fi and it is delivering/transmitting unencrypted data, it’s no longer safe, even when your network is password protected. (You most likely should not be delivering unencrypted data over your Wi-Fi network anyway, but that’s just my two cents.)

If you work with a in your area-installed POS system, you have to pay especially close focus on this type of attack. It may seem that, since most legacy systems rely on wired systems, the body is protected. This type of misconception that may be potentially catastrophic. Children Mark Guagenti, a specialist from Tidal Commerce:

“Security for [POS] systems has improved since 2004 [when WPA2 was introduced], however, that door has become open again. It just takes one device or misconfigured network to spread out in the whole system.”

In 2013, when Target’s data breach affected 41 million customers, online hackers acquired access via the Heating and cooling system (that was on the network which had accessibility internal systems)! As well as in 2007, attackers could steal the data of 45.seven million debit and credit cards from the major store simply because T.J. Maxx didn’t update their data file encryption system. Whoops.

Hopefully, we won’t use whatever huge, KRACK-based POS data breaches soon, especially since there’s a simple fix. But retailers must take this threat seriously. Double and triple look at your systems for the utmost safety. As Guagenti warns:

“An attacker [could wreak real damage to a register, particularly if the software programs are outdated. They might poke and prod in the registers API, possibly run fraudulent transactions, open/close the money drawer, etc. They might also possibly enter into others such as the back-office computer.”

Most newer iPad/Android-based cloud-based systems may be impacted by the attack. Fortunately, the harm ought to be minimal transactions are often fully encrypted finish-to-finish. As lengthy as the POS vendor is employing SSL/TLS (also referred to as HTTPS) file encryption and also you make use of the necessary updates and patches, your POS system ought to be safe!

Can One Safeguard My POS System In The KRACK Attack?

I understand I’ve colored a fairly harsh picture. Before you throw all of your Wi-Fi routers onto a bonfire, grab your pitchforks, and dirt off your pillaging attire, you need to know that—despite whatever you decide and read in certain articles—this WPA2 vulnerability doesn’t signify the finish around the globe. 

WPA2 continues to be a safe and secure protocol. You are able to safeguard yourself in the KRACK attack by patching your devices using the security update for that KRACK exploit. As lengthy as you apply the patch, the body won’t be susceptible to this attack. This vulnerability can’t be fixed by altering your Wi-Fi password. You must make use of the security update patch first. Then you are able to (and really should) improve your Wi-Fi password.

Take if from Guagenti:

“Patch! Patch! Patch! Achieve to your POS vendor and request an update around the status of recent patches for that KRACK exploit. This is a period to inside it to make certain that your hardware, like iPads, wireless terminals, and wireless access points possess the latest firmware available. Associated with pension transfer security news, now’s [also] time to check on and make certain that the systems are encrypted with strong file encryption, possess the latest software, make use of the guidelines, and therefore are segmented to PCI standards so cardholder data exposure is minimal if any…[B]usiness proprietors [should] proceed to wired connections if at all possible, disable wireless access points, and wireless clients to avoid attacks.”

Check out the vibrant side. Somewhat, this vulnerability could be a good factor! It possesses a opportunity for everybody to complete some pre-holiday security maintenance and tuning up. (Besides, when has strengthening your POS system security have you been an awful idea?)

POS Security Safeguards Listing

  • Achieve to your POS vendor about patches for that KRACK attack. (Here’s every patch for that WPA2 exploit presently available.)
  • Patch all Wi-Fi devices/routers for that new KRACK exploit. (This is actually the listing of Wi-Fi routers which have patched the WPA2 flaw to date.)
  • Change to a wired web connection (if at all possible) until all patches are set up and security safeguards happen to be taken.
  • If you work with a hybrid-POS system, change to offline mode before the patch is created.
  • Refer To It As and make certain all wireless hardware and wireless access points possess the most current firmware.
  • Conduct an intensive audit of the entire network atmosphere.
  • Verify that software and firmware is current.
  • Make sure all communication and security settings.
  • Update all wireless devices employed for business (smartphones, iPads, tablets, laptops, etc.).
  • Verify that the POS provider is following PCI compliance standards.
  • Make certain all of your transaction information is transmitted over SSL/TLS file encryption.
  • Make sure that your POS vendor employs HTTPS.
  • Alert your employees to look for purchasers with laptops or smartphones who stand near to POS systems for suspiciously lengthy amounts of time.

Final Ideas

With regards to security as well as your POS system, you actually can’t be too careful. Unlike the cracks we prevented walking on within the third grade (for anxiety about causing serious back trouble for our moms), not implementing this KRACK attack seriously might have real effects.

I recommend using the security steps provided in the following paragraphs as quickly as possible. Don’t finish up as being a victim on the small-scale. More to the point, don’t risk a significant data breach since you didn’t make use of a simple patch or undergo a regular security check-up. Determine what things you can do to maintain your personal devices protected from these attacks too. Better safe than sorry!  

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston is really a author and native Oregonian who resides in the gorgeous Off-shore Northwest. She enjoys researching and becoming to the foot of questions relating to begin Purchase industry.If not covering and researching Reason for Purchase software, she will usually be located overindulging in Nederlander Bro’s coffee, making others laugh, or hearing music.

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

Elizabeth Cranston

“”

Merchant’s Help guide to Stopping Card-Present Fraud

Charge card fraud, for most of us, invokes 1 of 2 scenarios. First, you will find data breaches à la Target or Lowe’s, where thieves connect to the system and steal charge card figures, names, along with other data. Beyond that, you may consider online card fraud, where shady people use stolen card figures (sometimes acquired in data breaches such as the formerly pointed out ones) to purchase a lot of stuff online. Even though you start digging into ways retailers can safeguard against card fraud, the overwhelming quantity of sources are directed at eCommerce an internet-based transactions, and the ways to prevent fraud there. There isn’t many details whatsoever about card-present fraud — that’s, transactions which are still not legitimate but occur inside a store, in which the card is swiped or dipped.

Overall, card-present charge card fraud is really a smaller sized bit of the cake than online fraud, that is likely why there is a disproportionate quantity of sources regarding internet-based cons. But it’s still necessary that retailers take each step they are able to to safeguard themselves. Which includes being aware of what risks you face within the brick-and-mortar atmosphere.

Table of Contents

Understanding the kinds of Charge Card Fraud

I’m penning this mostly to describe how to prevent fraud. I shouldn’t enter into all the various scams and methods that fraudsters use because you can write a little ebook about them. But generally, all charge card fraud (or bank card fraud) falls into 1 of 3 groups:

  • Cloned/Counterfeit Card Fraud: This is a kind of card-present fraud in which the fraudster forges a card with another person’s username and passwords and uses it inside a brick-and-mortar storefront.
  • Lost/Stolen Card Fraud: This kind of fraud is most familiar to consumers, and sure concern for a lot of retailers: a fraudster using another person’s card to create a transaction (frequently a really large one). This could happen online or perhaps in a store.
  • Card-Not-Present Fraud: Any kind of fraudulent online transaction falls into this category, simply due to the credit card not swiped or dipped. While there are several tools retailers may use to mitigate this risk, generally, it’s the easiest kind of fraud to commit. CNP fraud comprises nearly all card fraud, especially as EMV makes it harder to clone or counterfeit cards.

It is also important to note there’s a couple other kinds of fraud retailers have to be cautious about:

  • ATM Fraud: Scammers uses a couple of different tactics to obtain either money or card data from ATMs, including installing card skimmers (we’ll discuss individuals inside a bit) or deliberately blocking the money distribution mechanism. For those who have an ATM on-site at the business, be familiar with it as being a possible target.
  • Check Fraud: Checks are certainly decreasing. Actually, based on the Fed, the entire quantity of check payments produced in the U.S. fell typically 6.2 percent each year from 2000 to 2012, and from 2012 to 2015, fell by typically 4.4 % yearly. In 2015, consumers authored as many as 19.4 billion checks, that was a complete loss of 3.1 billion over 2012 figures. However, the Given also reports that the need for the checks risen has elevated — and therefore while individuals are writing them less often, they have a tendency to create them for more and more bigger purchases. Check acceptance isn’t universal, however if you simply do accept checks, utilizing a digital service for example Telecheck to instantly convert payments and flag dangerous transactions is a great way to safeguard yourself.

I am not likely to really enter into CNP fraud, as the majority of it requires running an eCommerce store. This short article won’t cope with ATM or check fraud in-depth simply because they don’t affect nearly all retailers. Our focus is particularly card fraud at brick-and-mortar stores, whether it is debit or charge card related.

The Charge Card Fraud Game-Changer: EMV

Before the EMV liability shift required place, fraud experts were predicting that CNP fraud would increase with a tremendous amount in america because other nations that implemented EMV observed an identical pattern, and individuals predictions have held true. Credit monitoring agency Experian reported a rise of CNP fraud totaling 33% when compared with 2015.

One of the reasons for elevated CNP fraud may be the development of shopping online. As increasing numbers of use online, the entire amount of charge card fraud is likely to increase. However, the rollout of EMV can also be playing a job within the increase of card-not-present fraud.

Particularly, the chips in EMV cards tend to be harder to repeat and reproduce than the usual magstripe card (which is dependant on technology straight from the 1970s). So rather, scammers are switching to purchasing online, where you can find no techniques to physically authenticate the credit card. Rather, most security checks depend around the CVV or AVS checks to recognize suspicious transactions.

That’s not saying cloned or counterfeited cards aren’t an issue whatsoever. They’re. EMV market saturation in america isn’t 100%, as well as if consumers have nick cards, that does not mean retailers are outfitted to simply accept nick cards. As well as if counterfeited card fraud is decreasing, there’s still lost/stolen card fraud to bother with.

6 Methods to Reduce Charge Card Fraud in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

So, your house you need to antiques store. Someone is available in to purchase some furniture for his or her new house. Two days and a few 1000 dollars later, you discover the card used would be a stolen card. The cardholder has filed a chargeback, meaning the entire transaction amount continues to be deducted from your bank account and put on hold pending analysis. Not just that, but you’re the actual merchandise, effectively doubling whatever is lost.

Regrettably, this could and does occur to retailers. Although some industries are much more likely than the others to become victims of card fraud, any and each business should know the potential risks and take safeguards.

Which industries are most in danger? Based on an american Bank presentation, a few of the MCCs (merchant category codes, accustomed to identify the kind of services or products a business offers) which are most focused on fraud range from the following:

  • 5411: Supermarkets and Supermarkets
  • 5732: Electronics Stores
  • 5812: Dining Establishments and Restaurants
  • 5999: Miscellaneous and Niche Stores
  • 4722: Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
  • 5311: Shops
  • 5661: Shoe Stores

Exactly what do you need to do to safeguard yourself? To begin with, you should know of whether you’re in the kind of industry that’s enjoy being focused on card-present fraud. A dry-cleaning business or perhaps a cafe? Most likely less. An gallery, a furniture or electronics store, or other business where consumers can drop hundreds or 1000s of dollars all at once? Most certainly a target.

Second, make certain you implement procedures and policies that will help mitigate fraud. We’ll begin with a very fundamental one, that we suspect lots of retailers overlook:

1. Check Network Guidelines for Card Acceptance

I mention mtss is a lot — by a great deal, I am talking about in nearly every review I write — but READ YOUR CONTRACT. Understand what you’re signing and just what rules and needs you’re being certain to. It’s important to maintain your credit card merchant account open so that you can keep accepting cards. But it’s also wise to consider the merchant guidelines the various card systems (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Uncover) offer. They often cover guidelines for example displaying marks of acceptance, surcharging, and minimum/maximum transaction amounts. Hidden in individuals guidelines will also be policies which cover safety measures you’re likely to take and list of positive actions if you feel a card is fraudulent or even the transaction otherwise seems suspicious.

To help you get began, I suggest checking the Visa card acceptance guidelines, in addition to MasterCard’s rules.

2. Secure Your POS and Hardware

What is POS

In addition to the threats resulting from counterfeited or stolen cards, it’s also wise to be familiar with the opportunity of an information breach. If a person has the capacity to access the body and compromise your customers’ private information, it may be devastating for both you and your business. Data breaches can occur in lots of ways.

Among the apparent ones is skimming, in which a fraudster installs a tool over your terminal or pin pad that captures the credit card data and stores it. Skimmers may take only seconds to set up and therefore are difficult to place unless of course you are aware how to acknowledge the twelve signs. Scammers may also result in a data breach by using adware and spyware in your POS system or else hacking it. They are more complex techniques in most cases directed at high-value targets, but they’re possible you should know of, particularly if you store any type of customer data.

PCI Compliance: What you ought to Know

Technically, PCI DSS compliance (usually just known as PCI compliance) isn’t just about POS systems. Sturdy your hardware, too. More often than not that’s lumped along with your POS, though, particularly if you come with an integrated solution.

PCI DSS means Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It’s a unified policy indicating the steps retailers have to take to secure their transaction data through hardware and also the POS system, laid by the PCI Security Standards Council. Retailers are sorted into certainly one of four levels with respect to the type and number of transactions yearly. Most small companies are Level 3 or Level 4, that have the least steps to consider to keep compliance.

There’s an excellent chance that, should you didn’t construct your system yourself, you’re already PCI compliant. Software and equipment vendors will need to go via a certification process when they handle payment card information. However, should you store any customer data (particularly in a database you develop and keep yourself) or route it via a website you maintain yourself, that won’t function as the situation. You need to speak to your credit card merchant account provider or software vendor by what steps are needed to make sure your compliance. You might be needed to accomplish quarterly scans or self-assessments.

PCI compliance could be summarized into 12 points of action lumped into six groups. The reason here is obtained from the PCI SCC Quick Reference Guide.

Build and keep a safe and secure Network
1. Install and keep a firewall configuration to safeguard cardholder data.
2. Don’t use vendor-provided defaults for system passwords along with other security parameters.

Safeguard Cardholder Data
3. Safeguard stored cardholder data.
4. Secure transmission of cardholder data across open, public systems.

Conserve a Vulnerability Management Program
5. Use and frequently update anti-virus software or programs.
6. Develop and keep secure systems and applications.

Implement Strong Access Control Measures
7. Restrict use of cardholder data by business have to know.
8. Assign a distinctive ID to every person with computer access.
9. Restrict physical use of cardholder data.

Regularly Monitor and Test Systems
10. Track and monitor all use of network sources and cardholder data.
11. Regularly test home security systems and procedures.

Maintain an info Security Policy
12. Conserve a policy that addresses information to safeguard all personnel.

For retailers, I believe the important thing takeaway is the fact that PCI compliance (and knowledge peace of mind in general) isn’t a one-and-done type deal. You have to positively take preventive steps and monitoring the body, from updating software and firmware when updates seem to watching the employees and ensuring they’re educated on card security issues and proper procedures to handle.

Beyond PCI Compliance: How to maintain your POS (and knowledge) Secure

Learning all the intricacies of PCI compliance is most certainly challenging for anybody, the experts! However, since, data security isn’t something take proper care of once rather than consider again, you need to certainly take a moment to discover security.

Two big terms at this time are file encryption and tokenization. PCI DSS signifies that the POS and hardware should secure transactions. There’s two major kinds of file encryption, point-to-point and finish-to-finish.

Tokenization isn’t yet a business standard, though it’s increasingly common, mostly because of NFC/contactless payments. Tokenization generates a 1-time-use card number and substitutes it for that actual card number. Even when information is breached and decrypted, that tokenized number is useless to scammers. That’s just how Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and Android Pay keep the card data secure: Your card number is kept in a cloud vault which your phone have access to. Your phone generates the token and passes it to the system, which verifies the amount.

If you would like to understand more about how you can secure your POS, check out our POS 101 article around the subject, in addition to PC Mag’s article regarding how to place skimmers.

3. Capture Signatures, Even on Low-Value Transactions

accept mobile credit card payments

Credit (and debit) cards possess a space around the back for customers to sign them because, theoretically, retailers are meant to compare that signature towards the one around the receipt as a way of verification. The truth is couple of or no retailers really do that.

Within the interest of speeding along transactions, particularly in environments where customers be prepared to be interior and exterior the checkout fairly rapidly, the credit card systems have relaxed their guidelines with no longer need a signature on all transactions. Low-value transactions (under $25 or $50 with respect to the network) frequently waive the signature requirement.

mPOS systems — Square, PayPal Here, SumUp, etc. — plus some POS systems frequently allow retailers to disable signatures on low-value transactions. For mPOS systems, the brink is generally $25. For full-fledged POS systems, that threshold may also be in the merchant’s discretion.

Realistically speaking, quick-serve cafes and restaurants, supermarkets, etc., where you’re likely to encounter low-value transactions, aren’t an enormous risk. And also the losses, unless of course you’re experiencing a huge string of fraudulent transactions, are minimal. It isn’t that you simply absolutely must enable signatures on all transactions to safeguard yourself. That’s not true. However if you simply want to maximise your protection out on another mind the additional time to gather a signature throughout the checkout phase, you are able to enable them.

For top-value transactions, you need to absolutely be collecting signatures on everything. Actually, for large transactions, signed invoices are an easy way to safeguard your company and reduce the chances of chargebacks.

4. Request Customer Identification

Some consumers, rather of filling out the backs of the cards, decide to write “SEE ID” for the reason that space. This informs retailers they ought to request a photo ID and compare it towards the name around the card.

A great practice. Not every retailers get it done, especially with increasingly more consumer-facing PIN pads and terminals in which the cashier never handles the credit card.

But there’s only one small problem:

A merchant can ask to determine a photograph ID for any transaction, but legally, the customer isn’t obligated to supply it. Visa’s guide, 5 Important Visa Rules That Each Merchant Ought To Know, explains it such as this:

“A Merchant may request cardholder identification inside a face-to-face atmosphere. When the name around the identification doesn’t match the name around the card, the merchant could decide whether or not to accept the credit card. When the cardholder doesn’t have, or perhaps is reluctant to provide, cardholder identification, the merchant should recognition the credit card should they have acquired evidence of card presence, a legitimate authorization, along with a valid signature or PIN.”

Therefore if a person provides an ID that does not match the name around the card, the merchant can pick to say no the transaction. When the customer will not offer an ID or doesn’t have one, Visa’s rules condition that you ought to process the transaction, provided you will find the card in hands plus they sign or enter their PIN.

That stated, requesting ID continues to be generally a great policy. Just be familiar with the credit card systems acceptance rules (see point #1 above).

5. Avoid Keyed Transactions

It’s story time!

A lengthy, lengthy time ago (OK, a lot more like eight years back), after i labored like a cashier somewhere that shall ‘t be named, I recall from time to time getting to place a card inside a plastic grocery bag and swipe it to obtain the POS to see it. I’m still unsure why this labored, however it did. Them which had this issue were usually old and worn — sometimes worn to the stage the elevated figures weren’t as elevated because they must have been, and also the whole card appeared thinner, even extended. They often left worn-lower, overstuffed wallets, therefore i just generally assumed the put on evolved as the result of in which the card was stored. Sometimes, though, even that didn’t work, since the card might have a split inside it within the magstripe or it simply wouldn’t read. In individuals cases, I could (and did) by hand go into the card.

I do not determine if the cards I processed by doing this were fraudulent, but I know since it was a danger. Card network guidelines, in addition to other security experts, suggest that you inspect the physical card for indications of damage or tampering before you decide to process a transaction. Broken cards — particularly if it normally won’t swipe — can (but don’t always) indicate counterfeit or cloned cards. Entering the transaction means the POS does not have to physically look into the card, because it’s treated like a card-not-present transaction.

First, keyed transactions always are more expensive than swiped or dipped ones. PayPal and Square both charge 3.5% + $.15, that is well over the 2.7% and a pair of.75% (correspondingly) they charge for swiped or dipped transactions. Traditional merchant services may also assess a greater fee, although it varies more.

Second, getting a lot of keyed transactions is frequently a warning sign for a free account provider. It shows that someone may be processing cards that aren’t even physically contained in the shop, that is, clearly, a large no-no. A particular quantity of keyed transactions should be expected, but a lot of can result in a hold, freeze, or termination.

So your very best to prevent entering card information, because this will safeguard your company. Most security experts also recommend searching at the processing background and making note associated with a patterns — whether these transactions happen in a particular time consistently, or maybe one cashier is much more vulnerable to keyed transactions than the others.

6. Change to EMV Acceptance

EMV credit card terminal

Should you not curently have a POS and hardware that accepts EMV transactions, it’s about time you are making the switch. No exceptions, no excuses. Yes, it may appear costly, you will find, the EMV rollout continues to be rather slow partly due to the backlog on hardware and software certifications. But there are many EMV-certified hardware and software open to retailers. If you were postponing the switch, just start it already. It’s probably the most important methods for you to safeguard your company from charge card fraud.

Like I stated earlier, it’s a great deal harder (not possible, but very, very hard) to repeat a nick card. That is why many scammers are relocating to CNP fraud. On October 1, 2015, liability for fraudulent nick card transactions shifted in the banks to “the least-secure party,” which within this situation means retailers who aren’t outfitted to simply accept EMV.

Remember the instance I began with, using the antique furniture. Repeat the person purchasing the products have a counterfeit nick card. However, you, the merchant, have only a magstripe readers. If you’d had an EMV readers, it could have been in a position to identify the card was fraudulent. But rather, you processed the magstripe transaction — which leaves you entirely responsible for the entire mess.

The problem could be different when the fraudster were built with a stolen EMV card and tried on the extender in an EMV terminal. For the reason that situation, the liability would fall around the card provider.

Should you haven’t already, get EMV-capable card-readers and make certain your POS is EMV certified, too. It’s absolutely worthwhile, and every one of our top-rated merchant providers offer EMV acceptance, just like our top-rated mPOS providers.

Conclusion: How Large a danger is Card-Present Charge Card Fraud?

Realistically, retailers who sell online face an even bigger threat than brick-and-mortar retailers. That’s largely because of the EMV liability shift and rollout of nick cards. Unfortunately, even nick cards can’t safeguard against stolen or lost card fraud. And until EMV market saturation hits 100%, there’s still a danger of accepting counterfeit cards.

Fortunately, you are able to take measures to safeguard your and yourself business. Understanding is power, especially within the payments industry. So review your processing contract, the credit card networks’ laws and regulations, and also the legal matters affecting your industry. Make certain that you simply keep the POS secure, out on another overlook simple defenses for example collecting signatures or requesting IDs, and keeping keyed transactions low. Applying EMV, should you haven’t already, is among the most critical methods for you to safeguard your company.

If you have questions, we’d like to respond to them! Take a look at our comment guidelines by leaving your question inside a comment. Thanks for studying!

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Manley is definitely an independent author and editor who loves e-commerce, internet marketing, technology, and social networking. Not so long ago, she earned a journalism degree, but she continued to uncover that they could work at home, researching, editing, and covering the items she found most fascinating. When she’s not associated with her laptop, Melissa usually can be based in the kitchen, studying a magazine, or doing something from the nerdy persuasion.

Melissa Johnson

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