The Retailer’s Help guide to Nick and Pin Cards

accepting chip and pin cards

After 4 years of anticipation, the October 1st EMV liability shift deadline originates and gone. If you’re like the majority of retailers, you aren’t quite prepared to jump in and will be a little bit late towards the party. Fortunately, it’s fashionable to reach late and we’ve still got the data you’ll have to take on each one of these liability shenanigans.

What’s EMV Again?

This short article adopts more detail, but EMV means Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, and essentially this shift implies that your company just adopted much more responsibility your money can buy spent at the store.

Typically, should you pay a magnetic stripe card at the terminal also it switched out to become a fraudulent charge from the lost, stolen, or forged card, the credit card issuer (Europay, MasterCard, or Visa) would result in reimbursing the client. However, since banks allow us nick and PIN cards which are safer than the earlier versions, if a person still seems to develop a fraudulent transaction (since you don’t possess a nick and PIN machine), you’re now accountable for it.

The entire reason for this transition from magnetic stripe cards to nick and PIN cards would be to boost security as it is more difficult to skim a nick&#8217s information than the usual magnetic stripe&#8217s information. However, if retailers don&#8217t possess a readers that may process the nick&#8217s information then your efforts are nullified. Banks do operator by issuing safer cards, now retailers need to do operator by buying machines that may process individuals cards. Whomever fails on their own end—either the financial institution for neglecting to issue nick cards or else you for missing a method to accept them—takes around the liability for just about any fraudulent charges.

Will I Actually Need a brand new Readers?

I’d look at this article for the entire story, but basically the reply is: it depends.

The Gestapo isn’t going to appear at the doorstep in the center of the night time demanding that you simply acknowledge the EMV shift otherwise, but it may be just like painful should you don’t. Sure, if nearly all your transactions undergo Dwolla or PayPal and also you don’t process charge cards anyway, then you definitely don’t have anything to bother with. However, should you choose accept debit and credit cards with no nick and PIN readers the only real kinds of fraud you’re not accountable for are: (1) using a lost, stolen, or counterfeit magnetic stripe card or (2) using a stolen or lost nick and signature card.

Side Note: Nick and PIN cards aren’t the same as nick and signature cards. See this short article for clarification.

Now a number of you may be thinking, “But nobody is with such fancy nick cards yet,” and you’d be partly right. Based on CreditCards.com, you may still find about 1.2 billion charge cards that still need to be upgraded to nick cards, but there happen to be 60 million U.S. nick card transactions processed in August alone. Through the finish of 2015, it’s believed that 60% of U.S. charge cards is going to be re-issued as EMV cards and perhaps only 40% of shops is going to be compliant at that time. I don’t like individuals figures, and that i don’t what you think, but I’d prefer to be safe than sorry.

How Can This Transformation generate income Conduct Business?

To begin with, you’ll take some new equipment, which might or might not be considered a hindrance. For one, nick card visitors more costly than their magnetic stripe-studying counterparts. We’re not speaking a 1000 dollar difference, but there’s still an obvious markup. This really is most clearly seen among mobile processors who accustomed to offer free magnetic stripe readers having a subscription for their processing services. Now, however, you’ll be billed between $30 and $50 for any readers that—if you’re an especially small company (and also you most likely are if you’re utilizing a mobile processor)—you might never use. Again, we’re not necessarily emptying your wallet here, but it’s an additional expense you’ll have to take into consideration.

Another component of your company that might have to evolve is the procedure of performing transactions over the telephone. Within the many articles presently available concerning the liability shift, one lady expressed her concern over this problem:

“What I&#8217m not seeing is exactly what transpires with our business? The majority of our charge card transactions are keyed records, Irrrve never see or handle the credit card whatsoever. Our clients give us a call using the card information and that i key it in.” –Jeri Rogers

Simply because you’re not pressing the credit card doesn’t mean you’re not accountable for verifying the identity of the individual trying to get something of your stuff. Should you process a dishonest transaction over the telephone, you might get a chargeback and &#8211 in some instances &#8211 be responsible for the transaction amount. And when the keyed-in information is compromised or hacked which results in fraudulent purchases, you might be responsible for any large slice of cash. However the new nick cards won’t impact these transactions, since they’re &#8220card-not-present&#8221 (CNP). The liability shift only pertains to card-present transactions, in which the merchant comes in touch with the credit card. Getting the nick around the card will not have helped to avoid fraud when the card wasn’t present anyway.

Finally, your company may also be affected inside a pretty major way with this whole nick and PIN business due to the fact not every POS systems are EMV compliant yet. Instore, particularly, takes a “wait and find out approach.” They assure their users that they’re testing prospective nick and PIN machines, consider “EMV devices and standards really are a moving target” you will find a lot of unanswered questions which will ultimately affect your choice to see the shift. Read Instore’s undertake it, however i disagree using their assertion that the chance of fraud is comparatively low (particularly if you’re a little store) which this justifies ignoring the shift. Even though you possess a limited fraud history, it might take only a few large fraudulent charges to manage some serious harm to your company. Certainly greater than a $200 EMV readers can cost you.

How Can I Buy an EMV Nick Card Terminal?

There exists a FAQ article on buying EMV nick readers that you could reference, but I’ll provide you with the SparkNotes version.

You are able to essentially buy a new nick readers from the places you can get a non-EMV terminal (your a merchant account provider or some third-party supplier if you will find a better cost). Most nick and PIN card readers—as lengthy while you purchase the model suitable for your POS software—can be programmed to utilize your credit card merchant account. Obviously, a merchant account providers reserve the authority to charge ridiculously high charges to get this done or they might simply won’t reprogram the unit whatsoever. Using this into consideration, it may be simpler to simply pay what they’re requesting the unit or it may be a great time to reevaluate whether you want to stick with your provider.

For leasing any type of card readers, EMV enabled or otherwise, we strongly advise against it. When you’ve steered clear of the conventional 48-month lease, you’ll most likely finish up getting compensated thousands more in interest compared to system is really worth. You will get the entire picture here, however the moral from the story is just don’t get it done.

Conclusion

In conclusion, here’s what we’ve learned:

  • The EMV liability shift is ultimately made to better safeguard against fraud, however if you simply don’t do your behalf within this effort, it might set you back.
  • Ultimately, you don’t need to become EMV compliant, but through the finish of 2015 it’ll be pretty foolish to stay so unless of course you don’t accept debit or credit cards.
  • Like every major transition, your company might need to evolve. Carefully evaluate how this transformation will affect your company and then try to stand above it.
  • You can buy an EMV-compatible terminal out of your a merchant account provider, but you might not wish to. Have a gander at our article about how much you ought to be having to pay for charge card processing and if you feel it’s time for you to switch, our favorite merchant services offer very affordable choices for EMV-compatible devices.
  • If you’re considering leasing a brand new EMV readers, please don’t. It&#8217s not worthwhile.

We know how demanding any type of major business transition could be and we’re here to assist. For those who have any queries regarding this publish or EMV compliance, please ask within the comment section below. Otherwise, you are able to call us directly for assist with cutting your processing charges or assist with selecting everything from a brand new reason for purchase system to loyalty rewards software. In almost any situation, don’t hesitate to tell us how the largest your work simpler.

The publish The Store&#8217s Help guide to Nick and Pin Cards made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Nick Card Fraud: Are You Currently In Danger?

Thief stealing credit card data/money

The current shift to nick-based cards has everyone considering fraud, so possibly now is a great time to talk about the kinds of fraud that you ought to look as an entrepreneur. The good thing is, as this article extensively explains [PDF], in each and every other country where nick-and-PIN cards happen to be introduced, card-present fraud has dramatically declined. Regrettably, we haven&#8217t quite went to nick-and-PIN cards yet, and (while you&#8217ll see) fraudsters are extremely, very ingenious. America has showed up late towards the EMV game, a lot of smart card workarounds happen to be invented. Now it&#8217s here we are at us to experience get caught up.

There are various kinds of fraud that may hurt your company&#8211some old, and a few new. Since magstripes continue to be around, we can’t overlook the classic ways of fraud, however, you should be looking for new methods too. Ready? Let’s begin!

Fake/Doctored Cards

Doctored cards are pre-existing cards which have the magstripe data and also the information on the credit card face altered (by using electro-magnets). Once the card is swiped, it’ll develop a mistake and pressure the merchant to type in details by hand. Fake cards are basically exactly the same, however they begin with scratch rather of utilizing a pre-existing card.

This can be a pretty primitive approach to fraud. It’s also losing sight of style because of the elevated complexity of charge card designs which, incredibly enough, exist to combat this kind of forgery. However&#8211who knows? It might still happen.

Skimming

This process involves using reprogrammed technology to gather information from people&#8217s cards, or using cameras to record the victim&#8217s PINs. Frequently, this trick is performed at unstaffed ATMs or gasoline stations&#8211the fraudster will plant an imitation card swiper to get figures from the magstripe, along with a camera or device put into the keypad to record the PIN. However, it is also done within companies too: POS terminals could be altered to record card data and PINs, or employees may use small cardswipes to get the information once the card is taken away in the customer&#8217s sight (for example inside a restaurant).

The skimmed magstripe data may then be copied onto another card and combined with any swiper. Bear in mind that regardless of the emergence of EMV machines, fraudsters can continue to pull this off by disabling the nick inside a chipped card to ensure that retailers need to fallback on swiping.

I’d recommend looking at this site, that has images of skimming technology. Regrettably, skimmers are frequently hard to place since they’re just re-purposed POS equipment. Paranoid yet?

Individuals who don&#8217t study from history, etc. etc. An alert:

While EMV technologies are still in the infancy, we may possess a small-form of the UK’s mix-border problem on the hands: once the United kingdom switched to EMV, fraudsters stole United kingdom citizen’s magstripe data and tried on the extender within the U . s . States where magstripes were prevalent. In the same manner, stores that don’t have EMV readers may be in danger because they’re an simpler target than individuals using the new machines.

Skimming Redux: the Tapping Attack

Should you thought we wouldn&#8217t need to bother about skimming any longer once nick cards be prevalent, reconsider. Essentially, the tapping attack is a kind of skimming that needs chipped cards. Remember how nick cards are ultra-secure since the information is encrypted? Ends up a few of the information, such as the customer’s PIN, isn’t encrypted whenever a terminal is speaking to certain kinds of nick cards (meaning, individuals kinds of nick cards in which the issuer didn&#8217t purchase more costly types of cryptography). Using the information skimmed out of this attack, the fraudster has enough data to create a functional magstripe-and-PIN card, or is able to connect to the PIN on the stolen card.

Stolen or lost Cards

This is actually the easy one: shady men and women steal cards to make use of the cards for his or her own purposes. There are several very clever ways to call stolen cards, like the Courier Scam: an individual pretending to become out of your bank calls and claims your card continues to be compromised, so that they need mail your card and PIN to your bank. Then they employ a mail person to gather your envelope, who provides it with towards the fraudsters rather from the bank. Charge cards may also be acquired with the mail before they&#8217re delivered, from pick-pocketing, or from misplaced cards, among other means.

Fraudsters have numerous methods available, like the latter within this list, to make use of stolen cards for his or her own gain.

Signature Foraging

I don’t believe that I have to spend a great deal of time about this one since i curently have: the signature on the stolen nick-and-signature card, or on the nick-and-PIN card combined with a terminal only enabled for signatures, may be easily foraged.

Fake/Stolen Card Combo

This is actually the forged card&#8217s more intelligent brother or sister. There really are a couple of different attacks (that we understand of) which use fake cards, but I’m lumping them together if you’re an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter what type of trick a fraudster is pulling&#8211you have to look for fake cards.

The very first, the Wedge Attack, is discovered by Cambridge College researchers in 2010. They figured out that if somebody will get your hands on a stolen card, they might make use of a man-in-the-middle device to convince the terminal that the PIN was joined while concurrently convincing the credit card the transaction was verified by signature. For it to operate, the actual card is connected to the man-in-the-middle device, and also the fraudster inserts an imitation card in to the terminal. Throughout the transaction, the fraudster could enter any PIN and also the transaction would still undergo.

The Relay Attack, also discovered by Cambridge College researchers, is quite ingenious: the client puts their real card right into a tampered-with POS terminal to create a payment. Rather from the information transmitting towards the bank, it’s transmitted to a different man-in-the-middle device, that is held with a shady individual (Fraudster B) in another store. Fraudster B then uses the data transmitted in the fake terminal to create a different purchase with an imitation card in the second store. The client thinks they’re having to pay, say, $5 for any coffee, however their account was really billed $400 for any computer.

The fake cards utilized by the Cambridge researchers were wired towards the man-in-the-middle device (begin to see the above link for any picture), however they think it might be easy to make wireless cards and small, covert man-in-the-middle devices. It is a puzzle at this time if the flaws within the EMV technology which make the Wedge and Relay attacks possible happen to be fixed. Regardless, EMV technologies are very complicated and it’s hard to close all of the doorways. Even when individuals attacks don’t work, somebody less honest compared to people at Cambridge will probably locate one that does eventually.

You Skill

The most effective factor to complete, should you haven’t already, is to purchase new EMV terminals. It’s also wise to understand your rights when you are looking at liability and also the new nick card technology. Most of all: be vigilant&#8211check individuals signature cards, look out for just about any suspicious goings on in your area of economic (by employees and customers), don’t leave terminals unwatched, regularly examine terminals to make sure they haven’t been tampered with, and obtain a good take a look at customer’s cards to make certain they’re genuine.

Although EMV technologies are not completely fraud proof, it’s a good deal much better than what we should were using before. For the time being, once we&#8217ve seen far away, don’t be surprised lots of fraud to maneuver towards the less-secure card-not-present type of attack (that is a whole other article by itself).

It doesn’t matter how frequently fraud happens, it takes only one attack to ruin somebody’s day&#8211take some steps to make sure that it isn’t yours.

The publish Nick Card Fraud: Are You Currently In Danger? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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The EMV Liability Shift: Ok Now What?

The question Now What? on a cork notice board

After 4 years within the making, the nation’s EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) liability shift has finally happen. Beginning today &#8211 on October first, 2015 &#8211 retailers without having-of-date charge card readers is now able to held responsible for certain kinds of fraud, particularly the kinds of fraud which might have been prevented using a fancy new EMV charge card terminal able to processing chipped credit and an atm card. It&#8217s a sobering prospect, but if you’re one of individuals who&#8217s still behind the occasions, don&#8217t panic yet: we at Merchant Maverick are here to assist.

Wait, what&#8217s the large deal again?

We&#8217ve written this handy guide about them. If you would like something a little more technical, I would suggest looking at this document in the EMV Migration Forum.

Here&#8217s the tldr version: in case your business processes a dishonest card when you might have (theoretically) prevented the problem having a nick card readers, it&#8217s your decision to feet the balance. Should you designed a $500 purchase using outdated equipment and then discover the card would be a fake, you&#8217re out $500, however if you simply&#8217re while using correct equipment and process a poor card, the issuer needs to cover the fraudulent costs. Essentially, the liability lands from case to case who’s &#8220least outfitted&#8221 to handle change. When the onus was around the issuer because of not delivering out chipped cards, they will be to blame. Should you&#8217re the main one using the out-of-date tech, it&#8217s for you.

But many people don&#8217t have chipped cards anyway. How come it matter?

Which may be true now, however the occasions, they’re a-changin&#8217, and everyone&#8217s altering together. It&#8217s believed that through the finish of 2015, 25% of an atm card and 70% of charge cards issued is going to be chipped, and individuals figures are simply likely to keep getting bigger.

I&#8217m not convinced yet. Just what shall we be held responsible for?

Even though it might vary a little based upon the issuer, the merchant could be held accountable in three situations:

  • A counterfeit nick card (both nick and signature or nick and PIN) can be used having a non-EMV terminal
  • A stolen or lost nick and PIN card can be used having a non-EMV terminal
  • A stolen or lost nick and PIN card can be used having a nick and signature EMV terminal

The 3 situations could be prevented by upgrading to a different EMV card readers (possibly except for the final scenario&#8211more about this in a moment).

You may luck out though in some instances, the issuer continues to be accountable for the fraud despite any outdated technology from you. Generally this is due to the truth that not every cards are chipped yet, which really isn&#8217t your fault.

Fundamental essentials kinds of fraud you aren’t accountable for, even though you don&#8217t come with an EMV terminal:

  • A counterfeit magnetic stripe (non-chipped) card
  • A stolen or lost magnetic stripe (non-chipped) card
  • A stolen or lost nick and signature card

Last factor: if, in certain nightmarish scenario, you ultimately have an EMV terminal, however the nick readers fails and you’ve got to select from swiping cards, you won’t be responsible for any fraud. There’s a couple of caveats: you have to identify it as being a &#8220fallback transaction,&#8221 and also you canrrrt do it an excessive amount of (issuers might start to suspect foul play). Again, equipment failure isn’t your fault. The entire idea would be to make fraud harder, to not make merchant&#8217s lives harder.

Hold on: so why do you retain speaking about nick and signature cards? 

Nick and signature cards are used by issuers to help make the transition simpler. It&#8217s less confusing for everyone to transition from magstripe and signature to some nick and signature card. You never know what sort of mass-chaos we&#8217d be speaking about when we went directly from magstripe and signature to nick and PIN?

Don&#8217t worry&#8211if your EMV machine can&#8217t do PINs, like many readers that connect with an apple iphone (Square&#8217s, for instance), you may still process nick and PIN cards the device will undoubtedly default to some signature rather. It isn&#8217t necessary to obtain a nick and PIN readers yet since most customers won&#8217t get one for some time. Just bear in mind the issuer&#8217s finish goal is nick and PIN cards, and you may need to upgrade again inside a couple of years.

Here&#8217s the offer: you&#8217re going to need to do with the money new terminals eventually you may as well get it done before you decide to generate losses on the fraudulent purchase.

Okay, fine &#8211 I&#8217m convinced! Ok now what will i do?

It&#8217s really quite simple. Any provider of magstripe-only terminals ought to be selling some shiny new EMV terminals. Your work would be to go forth and purchase some! Take a look at our FAQ on investing in a new terminal and our favorite merchant service providers to make certain you&#8217re obtaining the best prices.

Any queries? Concerns? Leave them within the comments!

The publish The EMV Liability Shift: Ok Now What? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Newest Methods to Identify CNP Fraud

protected EMV credit card

The shift to EMV technology isn’t just affecting payments in-stores&#8212due towards the elevated impossibility of fraud in-stores, so many people are expecting that you will see a rise in card-not-present (CNP) fraud. We’ve already spoken about how exactly business proprietors can avoid fraudulent purchases for the current moment. But don’t get too attached. New, supposedly safer methods are coming.

We’re conscious of how difficult it’s to maintain ever-altering technology, so we’ve got your back. Here’s the safety technology you&#8217ll be listening to within the next couple of years.

3D Secure

This type of security is working for multiple banks, however the obvious leaders are MasterCard’s SecureCode and Visa’s Verified by Visa. The name is really a mention of the their three domain model: the acquirer domain (the merchant), the issuer domain (the financial institution) and also the interoperability domain (we’ve got the technology employed for the acquirer and issuer domains to speak to one another).

3D secure adds an additional security step during checkout, thanks to a card provider. The service utilizes a plug-directly into identify cards from participating banks and, if this finds one, it opens a pop-up window asking the client to go in a pre-set password to ensure their identity. This may a couple of things: first the possibility fraudster must know another, hard to collect, bit of information to charge the credit card. Also, when opening the pop-up window, the financial institution could see when the user is applying a proxy. On top of that, the issuer generally covers the price of any fraudulent purchases making it although the 3D secure system.

Sounds a good buy, right?

Well, 3D secure has existed for some time, and many individuals the U . s . States haven’t heard about it. There’s grounds for your. The safety programs happen to be slow to become adopted by online stores because of their badly considered technology and poor customer education.

Probably the most apparent issue is that 3D secure technology confuses customers. A great deal. Pop-up home windows, in the past, haven’t been employed for good purposes. Naturally, users will be suspicious once they locate one that’s requesting some kind of banking password along with other private information. Worst, from the merchant perspective, some customers may be so confused they abandon their purchase altogether.

We’ve got the technology has additionally become critique for asking people to create passwords at inconvenient occasions (a person who just really wants to buy their stuff isn’t prepared to produce a secure password), which makes it too simple to change forgotten passwords, violating user’s privacy by permitting organizations to determine the transactions, departing apparent vulnerabilities within their software, and pawning off liability charges onto customers.

Clearly, 3D secure systems have a methods to go. Nevertheless, 3D secure has already been beginning to become adopted by many people ecommerce websites, and, typically, we’ve got the technology does its job. Meanwhile, the manufacturers understand the requirement for fraud-proof technology, and therefore are focusing on making these programs more user-friendly and secure.

CAP/DPA

Hey&#8212remember the way i just stated issuers will work on making 3D technology safer? MasterCard’s Nick Authentication Program (CAP) and Visa’s Dynamic Passcode Authentication (DPA) programs are members of their solution.

CAP/DPA is essentially EMV for online transactions. The concept is the fact that banks will issue just a little hands-held EMV terminal known as a CAP readers (though a good phone application may be within the works too). To authenticate their identity, the client uses their nick card and PIN, and so the readers will produce a one-use password. Although this had been developed mainly for banking, issuers have recognized the potential of integrating it with 3D secure software&#8212the one-use password may be used along with 3D secure&#8217s pop-up service.

Issuers have previously began moving out CAP readers within the United kingdom for internet banking, and unsurprisingly, we’ve got the technology wasn’t quite as much as snuff. The United kingdom CAP visitors poor-quality and also have technological issues that fraudsters may potentially exploit in several ways.

Another apparent problem: in the usa, we don’t have nick-and-PIN cards yet. No PINs means not a way to ensure the consumer, which&#8217s not so secure whatsoever. However, because CAP/DPA is basically a method to bring EMV technology, a technology which has already proven very secure, to CNP transactions, theoretically it’s a very viable choice to lessen fraud online. However, we’ve got the technology isn’t there with regards to the CAP readers or American’s charge cards.

We’re going to need to wait a couple of years with this one, guys.

Tokenization Standard

However, tokenization is a kind of security you could implement at this time (and also the payment card industry encourages you to do this). Although this isn&#8217t going that will help you root out fraudulent transactions, it can help safeguard against data breaches. Should you don&#8217t utilize it already, this really is one you’ll certainly be thinking about, since MasterCard, Visa and American Express have announced their intention to create tokenization a worldwide standard online as well as in-store. Let’s be truthful: soon, you most likely won’t have the ability to neglected.

You’ve most likely heard about file encryption, and you’ve most likely heard about tokenization, however i wouldn’t be amazed should you didn’t be aware of difference. Here you go: file encryption works just like a secret code. You utilize a vital to secure and decrypt the information. Anyone who will get your hands on the encrypted data with no answer to interpret it’ll just visit a mess of figures. It really works very well&#8230 unless of course the interceptor finds the important thing, by which situation file encryption is totally useless. And you’ll be able to discover the key. However, tokenizing several is irreversible because there’s no link between the initial number and also the token. There’s no master key that may turn back tokenizing process.

Theoretically, when a customer enters their charge card number and verifies their identity (possibly though a procedure employing 3D secure), their charge card number is going to be substituted for a token number sent in the payment processor. The entire factor works exactly the same way casino chips do&#8211when you, the merchant, are speaking to money providers lower the road, everyone can treat time like it’s the customer’s real charge card number. Since everyone knows the token is connected with this particular customer which particular transaction, you&#8217re all on exactly the same page. But just like a poker nick, outdoors of this particular transaction, the token won’t work any longer. There’s you don’t need to store customer’s real charge card number whatsoever, and since each transaction features its own token, the information is basically useless to the fraudsters who steal it.

Clearly, tokenization isn’t a perfect solution. You may still find occasions once the customer’s real card data must be joined and transmitted (which means you can’t give up all of your other way of file encryption), the customer’s identity still must be verified to begin with, and tokenization won’t safeguard against account takeover.

What Exactly&#8217s the purpose?

That’s why we’re speaking about multiple forms of security: not one of them are 100% effective on their own. Theoretically, these types of security works together. 3D secure protects against application fraud, CAP/DPA protects against phishing and account takeover, and tokenization protects against information thievery.

There should never be one fool-proof method to finish fraud. We can’t cover the cost of a totally hack-proof system. But maybe, by using a couple of different, very secure methods, we are able to get close. Although individuals methods haven&#8217t quite showed up yet, they&#8217re searching promising.

The publish Newest Methods to Identify CNP Fraud made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Using Nick-and-PIN Technology within the Food Service Industry

Woman paying for her order in a cafe

Have you ever observed that the clients are becoming confused once they visit your archaic terminal? Will they comically make an effort to jab their card to your terminal rather of swiping? No, these aren’t aliens who’re unused to the peculiar ways&#8212they’re customers with a brand new, ultra secure nick charge card, and they would like to utilize it.

Based on Trustwave’s annual security report, in 2015, the meals and beverage industry was the second biggest industry to become compromised by data breaches. Admittedly, that’s 13% of information breaches when compared with retail’s 43%, therefore the industry isn’t doing bad. But here’s the kicker: 95% of individuals security breaches were associated with POS systems.

If you’re within the food and beverage industry, possibly now is a great time for you to consider upgrading&#8230

Let Me Know Relating to this EMV Factor.

I’ll let our comprehensive guide do the majority of the speaking, but here’s the offer: nick cards tend to be more secure than traditional magstripes since the data accustomed to authenticate the credit card is dynamic rather of static. It’s still feasible for fraudsters to obtain phone figures used throughout the transaction, speculate individuals figures are just one-use, they aren&#8217t likely to be associated with a value. This selection, and also the (theoretical) impracticality of replicating the nick card, makes most customer-verification fraud very hard&#8230 unless of course you don’t possess a terminal able to studying individuals chips.

When I&#8217m sure you realize, nick cards still include magstripes. Should you don&#8217t come with an EMV terminal, you may still swipe the magstripe. Regrettably, fraudsters can certainly obtain access to that data, create a new card, and employ it at the store. My own mail to cope with that any longer, that is why as of October first, you’re responsible for any fraudulent charges that might have been prevented should you have had upgraded.

It’s your choice. You don’t have to upgrade. Just bear in mind that no new terminal means no new security.

I Don’t Swipe Cards. Must i Upgrade?

Not a chance! EMV only applies once the card exists and interacts together with your terminal. Should you type in records, take orders over the telephone, or sell your products online, keep on. However, thinking about that about 99% of food and beverage sales take place in-person, I’m guessing you swipe cards.

How Can Upgrading Affect my company?

EMV technology will affect your company inside a couple of small (but noticeable) ways initially. Obviously, probably the most pertinent problem is you&#8217ll need to shill the money to obtain new terminals. Yes, they will be more expensive than your old terminal. No, they aren’t likely to cost that a lot more. You’re most likely searching at approximately $30-$200 per terminal (significantly less money than when you get hit using the liability for fraudulent charges).

Take a look at our FAQ for more details about selecting a great terminal and where you’ll get them. Before you decide to do, should you process a sizable amount of orders or accept tips, continue reading to find out about specific terminal functions you will need to consider.

Slow transaction rates: You could also have difficulties because of the slower transaction rate that is included with dipping cards. Nick cards aren’t as easy as swiping and signing&#8212the customer needs to insert the credit card in to the terminal, sign or enter a PIN, and so the card spends a couple of moments speaking towards the terminal prior to the transaction is approved.

Should you process a higher amount of orders, and also the slower occasions will be a problem for the business, I would suggest searching in to the much-faster NFC technology as soon as you possibly can. Many EMV terminals are NFC enabled, however they&#8217ll cost a little more. For that customers who don&#8217t have NFC, train the employees working an EMV terminal therefore the transactions goes as quickly as possible.

Tipping: EMV cards don’t permit you to adjust for tips following the transaction has closed. Apart from that, we’ve got the technology is really new that no-one quite knows how tipping will go lower. Very frustrating, I understand&#8212both for workers who wish to give customers their privacy, and customers who wish to be discreet about tipping. If your company accepts tips, you’ve got a handful of different choices with regards to selecting the perfect EMV terminal:

If customers pay in a counter, as with an espresso shop, you’ll have a terminal having a customer-facing pin pad so customers can enter some advice. Similarly, if you are using a tablet, you can begin the transaction, then turn the information around to manage the client, or hands it them, to allow them to enter some advice prior to signing.

If visitors pay in a table, like in a restaurant, I would suggest obtaining a hands-held Wireless terminal. Using these, the waiter can begin the transaction, after which hands it towards the customer to include some advice and sign/input their PIN. Based upon the credit card issuer, you could possibly inform your waiters to accept card, process it, and then leave the transaction open. The waiter will bring an invoice towards the customer, who writes lower some advice and signs, and also the waiter adds the end before closing the transaction. However, the credit card issuers are extremely diverse about this topic that I indicate that you simply tread carefully should you&#8217re going lower that route.

So, Basically get EMV Terminals, I Don’t Need to bother about Security?

Goodness, no. You usually need to bother about security. Nick cards and terminals combat certain kinds of (very prevalent) fraud, but they’ll not do anything whatsoever to prevent security breaches. EMV technology only works along with other kinds of security. Nearly all POS system breaches, based on the Trustwave 2015 report, result from poor passwords (50%) or any other gaps in merchant’s remote access or Virtual private network software (44%). Once fraudsters enter, they are able to steal a great deal of information if it’s not protected, or they are able to install adware and spyware inside your software to collect information.

While you’re upgrading, you might like to invest a little time into changing your passwords, enabling network-level authentication, restricting use of only individuals who require it, and updating towards the new edition of all your software.

The Conclusion

Changes always cause ripple effects, and also the EMV transition isn’t any different. Although it may affect your company inside a couple of small ways, relax understanding that your company is only some of the one dealing with these changes. Once customers and companies get accustomed to EMV, retailers who haven&#8217t upgraded yet would be the odd ones.

We know how difficult all of this business software could be, and that’s why we&#8217re here to assist. Questions? Concerns? Leave them within the comments or call us directly.

The publish Using Nick-and-PIN Technology within the Food Service Industry made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software

Best small business software

For most small business owners, it’s a jungle out there. Danger lurks around every corner, predators seem to be silently stalking your every movement, and – in the immortal words of Jethro Tull – the rivers are full of crocodile nasties. Let’s face it, when it comes to start-ups and small businesses the statistics are grim. According to one recent study, the failure rate of retail establishments after four years is over 50%, and businesses in the service industry usually meet the same fate. Sadly, restaurants tend to do even worse, and the majority are forced to close their doors before a decade has passed.

There are many reasons why businesses eventually fail – bad locations, limited staff, a poor economic climate, etc. But experts are beginning to agree that most failed businesses (no matter what industry they belong to) have one, very important factor in common: inexperience on the part of the owners/managers. It’s all very well to follow your dreams, but man does not live on dreams alone. For most of us, a little thing called money is required if we want to eat, access our electricity, wash our clothes, keep our children shod, etc. That’s right, money. It’s what you get when you run a business that brings in more revenue than it puts out. That sounds so simple: spend less than you make. But the reality is that pulling in a profit takes knowledge, skill, and access to the proper tools. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve opened up a cat-grooming boutique or finally launched that grilled-cheese food truck you’ve always wanted – if you don’t know what you’re doing when you set out, and/or don’t bother to learn as you go, you might as well throw your seed money down the storm drain.

Fortunately, at Merchant Maverick (MM), we understand how hard it can be to start a business – let alone to keep one going for more than a year or two. You shouldn’t have to do everything by yourself – keeping up with inventory, payment processing, invoicing, shipping, point of sale, website design and the like is nearly impossible without the right equipment (good ol’ pen and paper just doesn’t cut it anymore). The good news? Advances in software and cloud technology have resulted in some pretty impressive small business tools. Even better news? The writers and reviewers at MM have invested thousands of hours researching, testing, and rating small business services/software. In other words, we know our stuff. Running a business is a tremendous burden, but the heavy lifting has already been done – we’ve done if for you – and all you need do is benefit from our years of experience.

Each company below has undergone a rigorous evaluation by an experienced MM reviewer. We scoured websites, read help articles, and browsed through user forums. We talked to customer service and saw for ourselves how responsive they were. And most importantly, we tested the actual software or service ourselves. The following are our reviewers’ top small business software picks for merchant services/payment processing as well as for mobile payments, shopping carts, point of sale, accounting, inventory management, invoicing, booking, email marketing, CRM, project management, loyalty rewards, and website building.

So, without further ado, let the awards ceremony for the best small business software begin!

Merchant Account Providers

Winner: Dharma Merchant Services

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Dharma Merchant Services is one of our all-time favorite companies, period, here at Merchant Maverick. Defined by exceptional customer support, low-cost hardware, excellent industry connection, and reasonable negotiation-free rates and fees, Dharma is an ideal option for small businesses with in-person sales. It distinguishes itself from the competition by using only interchange-plus pricing and charging no early termination fees or monthly minimums. There are no annual fees, no application fees, and no pesky PCI compliance fees to deal with either. In addition, this company dedicates 50% of its net profits to charity. Dharma is basically a paragon of integrity, honesty, and respect, and it’s worth its weight in gold in this sometimes unscrupulous industry,

There is one small catch: businesses must process at least $10K per month to use Dharma Merchant Services. Businesses with smaller revenue streams are directed instead to Flint Mobile (see review below).

Dharma offers amazing in-house customer support during business hours (8:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Time). If you need support outside this time frame, you will be directed elsewhere, depending on the severity of your issue and what processor you’re using.

To read more about Dharma Merchant Services, see our full review here.

Runner-Up: CDGcommerce

cdgcommerce-logo

Boasting a great reputation and a low monthly base fee (which includes access to Quantum gateway), CDG Commerce is a budget friendly alternative to Dharma Merchant Services, especially for low-volume merchants or web-based businesses. CDG was established in 1998, and has had plenty of time to cultivate a reputation for honesty and excellence. In fact, customer complaints are nearly non-existent, which is a miracle in itself after nearly 20 years in business. Like Dharma, CDG offers interchange-plus pricing, does not charge an early termination fee, and has no gateway setup fees or PCI compliance fees.

CDG Commerce charges only $10 per month in base fees; beyond that, you can pick and choose which additional services you want to pay for. This is a great system, as it ensures that you won’t be stuck buying things you neither want, nor need.

CDG offers live chat, email, and phone support 24/7. In our experience, support staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and scrupulously honest.

Click here to read our full review of CDGcommerce.

Mobile Payments

Winner: Flint Mobile

Flint-mobile-logo

Flint Mobile is our overall top pick for mobile, based primarily on its speed, ease of use, reliability, and price point. To start off, it doesn’t offer a swiper – not a free one, not a paid one, just no reader whatsoever. You can either key in card numbers or simply use your phone’s camera to scan numbers instead. That in and of itself significantly reduces the cost for setting up your account. Flint therefore has the ability to offer lower rates, which is exactly what they do. And with a ridiculously low rate for processing debit alongside a very fair credit rate, they’re nearly impossible to beat.

Flint has only two rates:

  • Debit transactions: 1.95%
  • Credit transactions: 2.95%

Yep, that’s it. It doesn’t get more complicated than that at any point: there are no per transaction fees, no non-qualified fees, and no surcharges of any kind. Flint Mobile runs transactions at a much faster speed than other similar apps, and while it might take a couple tries to get your scanning settings set up the way you like, Flint makes customization an easy and intuitive process. Our one complaint is that they do not provide any means for printing a paper receipt.

One very important thing to mention about Flint Mobile is that, even with the EMV liability shift (effective October 1st, 2015), users have no need to upgrade hardware. The camera scan will continue to work as it always has, with no change to liability. Currently it’s the only mobile processor we’re aware of that will securely process chip cards with no hardware upgrade.

This app can’t replace a full-feature tablet POS, but it comes with a number of amazing features (integrated QR coupons, invoicing, customizable receipts, etc.) and executes service flawlessly. If you’re looking for a sensible, surefire way to accept payments and grow your clientele, you can’t go wrong with Flint Mobile.

If you’d like more information about Flint Mobile, check out our full review.

Runner-Up: Payline Data

payline-data-logo

Payline Data is mostly a standard merchant account provider, but it has a good mobile solution and low-volume fee structure. Extra services are offered as-needed, so you only have to pay for what you need. There are two pricing models (to accommodate both low and high volume merchants):

Simple (Under $5,000 per month)

  • $5 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.50%
  • $0.10 per transaction

Pro (Over $5,000 per month)

  • $20 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.20%
  • $0.10 per transaction

We really appreciate the number of customer service and support outlets Payline provides, and it has an extensive knowledge base and FAQ for self-service support, which is quite nice.

Payline Data delivers on any businesses essential needs, and has managed to maintain positive reviews and a spotless reputation since 2009 – which is no small task in the credit card processing industry. In general, it’s a great pick for mobile processing for small businesses everywhere.

Find out more about Payline Data by reading our full review here.

Shopping Carts

Winner: Shopify

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Shopify is unique in that it can be used as a physical POS or an online shopping cart or both at once. This inherent flexibility gives it a clear edge over other shopping carts, and its low price point make it well within the reach for small businesses, even those with strained budgets. Shopify is the industry standard for shopping cart software, and for good reason. There are never any limits to the number of products you can sell, which is nice, though there aren’t many limits to the software in general.

All Shopify plans come with a full 14-day (no credit card required) trial. There are no setup or cancellation fees. Plans range from $14/month to $179/month with rates ranging from 2.9% + 30¢ to 2.4% + 30¢. You can pay on a month-to-month basis, but you’ll receive a 10% discount if you choose to pay for one year up front (a 20% discount is offered for those who sign a two-year contract). We’re not terribly fond of Shopify’s transaction fees, unfortunately, although they do get waived if you use Shopify as your credit card processor.

Shopify is eminently user friendly, and the cart is easy to set up and easy to manage. In our experience, the software works flawlessly from the point of view of both the customer and the merchant, and it is one of the most feature-rich carts available. It is accessible for online mavens, but it is also well within the reach of newcomers and amateurs. Shopify offers a number of apps, some of which are free and some of which may cost a small fee. You can check out Shopify’s App Store to browse offerings.

Customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat, but there are other great self-help resources as well, including a support center, Knowledge Base, a discussion forum, and a Shopify “Experts” page where you can find experienced professionals in design, marketing, development, and photography.

For more information, click here to read our full review of Shopify.

Runner-Up: Ecwid

ecwid-logo

Ecwid, the “go anywhere, sell anything, no manual required” shopping cart, is designed for small eCommerce businesses, as well as for individual sellers and start-ups. We’re big fans of Ecwid, and there are two main reasons why. Firstly, it is extremely ubiquitous, and capable of integrating with nearly every existing website, from social media platforms to blogs. Secondly, it is so reasonably priced, compared to its competitors, that you would be foolish not to take it out for spin. Unlike most shopping carts, there is no typical “free trial period” for Ecwid. Instead, you can simply try out the Free Plan (the obvious advantage to doing this is that your services won’t be cancelled after your trial period ends).

Ecwid offers unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and no transaction fees on every subscription level, even the free plan. Paid plans range from $15/month to $99/month. Personal support by email and online chat are only available at higher subscription levels.

Like Shopify, Ecwid gives you the option to use the software as a physical POS. However, this function is really best suited for online-only business owners who want the option of having a mobile or “pop up shop” operation, but aren’t trying to maintain a physical storefront at all times.

In general, Ecwid is a solid product with great, user-friendly elements. It’s not the best solution for high-volume sales, but most companies out there (especially startups and very small businesses) will be fully satisfied with its features and ease of use.

Read our full review of Ecwid to learn more.

POS Software

Winner: ShopKeep

shopkeep-logo

ShopKeep is one of the best software solutions we’ve ever encountered at Merchant Maverick. This simple, elegant, and visually-appealing cloud-based POS has carved out a solid niche catering to small-business food and beverage sellers. For a very low monthly cost, ShopKeep can help you manage your inventory, customers, employees, as well as record transactions and offer a variety of reporting options (for analyzing all this data).

ShopKeep does not require you to sign a contract. It is a pay-as-you-go, monthly subscription service. There are no extra maintenance fees, and what’s more impressive, tech support is 100% included in the monthly charge. The actual pricing system is beautifully simple as well: $49/month/register.

Other than it’s extremely reasonable price point, ShopKeep’s biggest selling point is its ease-of-use. There is very little learning curve involved, and even the most technologically deficient should have no problem learning the ins and outs of this software in a matter of days (or hours, more likely).

Customer support is fantastic, and unlimited email, live chat, or phone is included in the monthly price. The support page on the company website is also fantastic, and offers comprehensive articles and video tutorials on every aspect of the software.

Read our full review of ShopKeep if you’d like more details.

Runner-Up: SalesVu

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SalesVu is a perfect POS for the average small business, offering a robust feature set at a competitive price. eCommerce options are built right into the software, so you can design your own site from the back office without ever having to pay for (and integrate) Shopify or hire an expensive third party designer. Integrated eCommerce also ensures that communications between the web store and the brick and mortar store are smooth and seamless.

Prices range from $25/month to $150/month, depending on how many features you need (things like time tracking, accounting, etc. are a bit extra). Basically, SalesVu can be as affordable as you need it to be. Additionally, when you open an account with SalesVu you get a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit (for some small business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need).

Customer service is good, but the primary strengths of this software are found in its intuitive interface and broad flexibility. It is so much more than just a mobile cash register. With SalesVu, you can monitor inventory, create detailed reports, design custom discounts and promotions, maintain an active customer database, and manage employees – and you can do all these things anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Opening an account with SalesVu gets you a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit. For some business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need.

SalesVu integrates with SalesVu Easy Accounting, Quickbooks, Facebook, and Zapper.

You can check out our full review of SalesVu for more information.

Accounting Software

Winner: Xero

best small business accounting software

It’s not hard to see why Xero takes the prize for best small business accounting software. It is mobile, cloud-based, easy-to-use, and extremely comprehensible for the small business owner who is handling finances on his/her own (click here for a full list of features). While it can be more expensive long-term than something like QuickBooks Pro, small business owners – especially those who aren’t accountants by nature or profession – are more likely to enjoy using a simple, intuitive program like Xero.

There are multiple pricing plans available, ranging from $9/month to $70/month (these prices include updates as they are released, usually every 3-6 weeks). Small companies with limited invoicing needs would have to look far and wide for a similarly robust accounting/payroll package that trumps Xero’s $9/month price tag. And happily, you don’t have to sign a contract with Xero; plans are paid by the month and you can basically cancel the service at any time. Xero offers a 25% discount for non-profits and a 15% discount on your total bill if you subscribe for multiple businesses. If you do feel comfortable making a commitment and signing up for a 6 month subscription, you’ll get a 30% discount.

There are only a few minor problems with Xero, one of which is slow customer support response times. Customer service is offered 24/7, year-round, but some customers have complained of long response times, cut-and-paste answers to questions, and reps who don’t seem to actually know how to use the software. This would be a much bigger deal if Xero was complex or had a steep learning, curve, but it’s not as alarming considering the software’s general simplicity and ease of use. Furthermore, many customers praise Xero’s level of customer service, and the wait times are comparable to those of other accounting software programs.

One real perk of using Xero is that it integrates with over 400 other applications which can facilitate nearly every aspect of business operation, including inventory management, CRM, and POS (some of these are only available to certain countries; in the U.S., there are about 350 Xero integrations available). 

Read our full review of Xero here.

Runner-Up: QuickBooks Pro

Best small business accounting software

Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro is a robust, feature-rich accounting solution, perfect in many ways for small business (to see a full list of features, click here). It is locally installed software, which results in lower per-year costs and more features than your typical cloud-based software, so if you’re willing to deal with a pretty steep learning curve at the beginning (especially difficult for people who have no previous accounting background), then QB Pro can be an excellent way to save money in your accounting budget. Though it lacks the convenience of a cloud based solution – you don’t get automatic, routine updates or instant access to new features – it is a very viable accounting solution for companies with complex bookkeeping needs.

QuickBooks Pro’s list price is $299.95. This might seem a bit high compared to something like Xero, but keep in mind that QB Pro requires a one-time purchase and does not use a subscription model — and it is nearly always available at a discount. While there’s no free trial available, Intuit does back QB Pro with a 60-day guarantee; if you return the program for any reason within 60 days, you can get a full refund. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, the purchase price does not include updates, nor do you get full tech support or bank feeds. It’s also worth noting that customer service tends to be slow.

One comment we’ve noticed often on user reviews is that, while people aren’t particularly enthusiastic about QB Pro, it works and does what it’s supposed to do; many claim that it’s the best accounting program available. While that’s far from a resounding recommendation, it’s also true that despite its drawbacks, for many businesses, QB Pro is more than adequate. And whether you love it or hate it, QuickBooks Pro is often the best option for the money.

Read our full review of QB Pro here.

Inventory Management Software

Winner: Stitch Labs

stitch-labs-logo

Stitch, the flagship product of Stitch Labs, is a cloud-based inventory management solution with tons of functionality, myriad useful integrations, and fantastic customer service. Designed to combine inventory, billing, accounting, shipping, and eCommerce features with your choice of 3rd party integrations, Stitch is the do-it-all, full service inventory solution. As the name would suggest, it is intended to be the thread that holds the backend of your company firmly together. Really, its only flaw is that is designed exclusively for American companies. International businesses will have to look elsewhere. 

Price plans range from $29/month to $449/month, not bad considering how many features this software brings to the table. What’s more, Stitch is easy to use, even for the uninitiated. The UI is clean, understated, and intuitive. Within a few minutes of signing up, you should feel like a pro, able to create products and customer contacts and generate sales orders with ease. It’s easy to pick up on your own just by experimentation, but if you’re queasy about finding your own way around, you can reference one of the many tutorials on each page that take you step-by-step through all the basic tasks.

In general, the customer service department is responsive and helpful. Our questions were promptly answered (never longer than 24 hours, even on the weekend), and ticket creation happened immediately, so we always had a case number to reference and never felt lost in the shuffle. Not surprisingly, the Stitch Labs support team is highly praised all over the web.

Stitch integrates with a large number of other programs and applications, including Amazon, eBay, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and Square, to name just a few. And when you combine an excellent selection of integrations with powerful suite of tools,you’ve got inventory management software that is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

You can read more about Stitch Labs in our full review.

Runner-Up: TradeGecko

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TradeGecko, a cloud-based inventory application for small to medium sized businesses, is comparable to Stitch Labs in functionality and number of integrations, but is more geared toward international companies (it still works well for American companies, if you don’t mind a time difference with the support staff).

The design of this software emphasizes collaboration, group workflows, and activity feeds. This means that you can reference sales information, purchase orders, and stock levels at once, and they will all update in real time. TradeGecko is intuitive and easy to use, and has a clean – if spartan – UI which is perfect for a bookkeeping system.

TradeGecko offers a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. Plans range from $49/month to $399/month, though you can get a monthly discount if you commit to paying for a year up-front. The company provides a detailed knowledge base, with step-by-step instructions for performing many tasks, and it also offers 24 hour customer support. On the whole, our support experience was positive, though a few of our tickets took longer than we would have liked to resolve.

Integrations include Shopify, Salesforce, Xero, Magento, Quickbooks Online, Amazon, and WooCommerce (to name a few). All in all, TradeGecko isn’t the cheapest product on the market (which is why it’s the runner up for this category) but it is so intuitive and feature rich that small to medium-sized businesses with a budget to kick around should give it a look.

For more information about TradeGecko, read our full review here.

Invoicing Software

Winner: Freshbooks

freshbooks-logo

Officially, Freshbooks is a web-based accounting solution, though it is fair to say that it’s best utilized for its incredible invoicing features. This software is tailor made for independent contractors and small, service-based businesses; it is easy to use, has lots of interesting features (including time tracking, reporting, and expenses), and integrates with a huge variety of 3rd party applications.

Pricing, unfortunately, is a bit steep for the target market (small businesses), though there is a free plan which allows you to manage a single client. Paid plan range from $19.95/month to $39.95/month. Customer support is available Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm EST. In our experience, representatives are remarkably quick to respond to emails (usually within 20 minutes during business hours) and are courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable.

As mentioned above, FreshBooks offers more than 60 integrations and add-ons including  PayPal, Shopify, Basecamp, and Stripe. It is as comprehensive an invoicing solution as you could hope for, especially since it does offer other perks, like reporting.

You can read our full review of FreshBooks here.

Runner-Up: Invoiceable

invoiceable-logo

Invoiceable is simple, easy to use software that allows you to create professional looking invoices. It’s actually free to all, with no feature limits, though you can opt to pay a one-time fee to remove the company’s branding from your invoices: this is a perk that no other free invoicing program offers. Additionally, unlike many of the other major free invoicing programs, Invoiceable isn’t just a wimpy, scaled-back version of a paid service. You can have as many clients and send as many invoices as you like.

Of course, with a completely free service you’re going to miss certain features that come with a paid subscription. Support, for example, is unreliable and sporadic. Response times can vary between 1-12 days, and sometimes you may not get any response at all. There is also limited sales tax functionality, which means that the software really only works for businesses that charge a single, across the board tax rate, or don’t charge tax at all.

That said, if you are a freelancer or own a very small business with relatively low sales volume, this may be all you need for now. It’s leaps and bounds better than simply typing out your invoices into MS Word or Excel, and it is one of the best free options out there that both allow you to have unlimited clients and actually works in the United States! The interface is basic and intuitive, and while customer service is slow, you probably won’t need it most of the time. If this sounds like a good match for you, we suggest you try it out. You’ve got nothing to lose – after all, it’s free.

Read our full review of Invoiceable here.

CRM Software

Winner: Zoho CRM

zoho-logo

User-friendly, reasonably-priced, and full of useful features, Zoho CRM is our favorite customer relations management software, hands down. It’s not hard to see why we’re such big fans. The “building blocks” which make up the Zoho CRM logo are not there for design purposes alone; these blocks allude to the fact that the Zoho team has developed many other business applications, all capable of working together seamlessly (much like Google Apps). In addition, Zoho has an well-deserved reputation for integrating nicely with a number of 3rd party add-ons, including MailChimp, Unbounce, Google Apps, MS Office, and Quickbooks (see a full list of add-ons and integrations here). In short, Zoho CRM software can adjust to any size business, be whatever you need it to be, and grow with you as your business expands.

You can try Zoho CRM for free with a 15-day trial of their Professional package. After that, pricing breaks down as follows:

  • Entrepreneur: Free, up to 3 users
  • Standard: $12/user/month
  • Professional: $20/user/month
  • Enterprise: $35/user/month

24-hour Mon-Fri telephone support is available to paying customers, though those using their free edition are limited to email support. However, your email questions can be flagged according to urgency, so that important queries do not fall to the wayside.

You would be hard pressed to find a CRM that provides more functionality at a lower cost. Zoho CRM is, without a doubt, the most bang for your buck.

Read our full review of Zoho CRM here.

Runner-Up: CleverTim

clevertim-logo

Clevertim is a cloud-based CRM system with a firm mission: to cater specifically to small businesses. With a surprisingly reasonable price point, a clean, user-friendly UI, and the ability to integrate with 3rd party developers (via an open API), Clevertim may just be as clever as its name suggests. The only chink in Clevertim’s armor is the lack of a mobile app. As it is now, the app functions smoothly on a desktop, but is only so-so on a tablet and virtually nonexistent on a phone.

Clevertim offers a 30 day free trial. After that, plans range from absolutely free to $99/month. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription at any time. Unlike most other CRM systems, Clevertim does not charge on a per-user basis. Instead, each plan has a user limit. There is also  customized pricing available, which allows you to upgrade the number of users allowed in your plan.

Clevertim is relatively new and does not yet have its own dedicated Technical Support team. However, queries can be sent to the company either via web tickets or through the sales email address.

Read our review of Clevertim here.

Booking Software

Winner: BookingBug

bookingbug-logo

BookingBug can do just about anything you would expect from scheduling software, but still manages to be accessible and intuitive. Many companies claim to be versatile, but this software actually is designed for a wide variety of industries, making it one of the only options out there for B&Bs or bike rental shops, and a better option than most for medium-sized spas and salons. It is a perfect tool for businesses that want to offer combination services while managing limited resources and limited staff (see a full list of features here). It is distinct from other appointment booking software other ways as well: first, it’s designed for serious scalability – which again validates its claim to be “the only real-time distributed booking and reservation system that works for all business types” –  and second, it integrates with a vast number of 3rd-party apps all over the world. This is a company that prides itself on innovation and flexibility.

Plans run from $19.95/month to $69.95/month, or you can scale up to an Enterprise plan, which are priced on an individual basis. Customer service comes free with your account. Like most companies, BookingBug relies heavily on email support, but phone support is available for some of the more expensive plans. We received helpful responses to our email inquiries within hours – always a great sign.

One terrific thing about BookingBug is that it offers your customers the option to make online payments (full or partial, including pre-payment and bulk payments); you can also issue full or partial refunds directly through the site via one of the software’s numerous payment integrations. BookingBug integrates with programs like MailChimp, WordPress, Facebook, and Dropbox as well.

There isn’t much negative feedback about the company online or in user reviews. Granted, some people have complained about issues with their mobile apps, but BookingBug’s receptivity and responsiveness to these issues speaks well about the company’s commitment to customer service.

To read our full review of BookingBug, click here.

Runner Up: Bookeo

bookeo-logo

Bookeo is cloud-based booking software with a lot to offer. Not only does it include important booking features, but it provides a surprising variety of marketing solutions, integrates with many payment platforms and third party applications, and boasts excellent security features. This is innovative software as it is, and Bookeo continues to improve with age; significant new feature releases occur every few months, and updates are frequent. The only consistent complaint disappointed reviewers have is with its lack of phone support. (Bookeo relies on email and a store of 300 tutorials for its customer support.)

Bookeo’s pricing differs by product (in other words, by whether you want to book appointments, classes, or tours), but each version offers a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee on the first paid month of subscription. Bookeo accounts do not require set-up or processing fees and you don’t have to sign a contract – always a good sign.

One of the best things about Bookeo is that it is user-friendly. Action items and information are intuitive and clearly distinguishable, and the software in general is organized neatly, in a very manageable way. There isn’t much setup support, unfortunately, but the self-help tutorials available are precise, and sufficient enough to help you circumvent most major problems.

Customer service centers on the Bookeo Help Portal, which consists of 300 tutorials and an email support form. There is no phone support, however, and this is the only consistent complaint from disappointed reviewers. You can receive some support via a live chat option on Bookeo’s promotional website.

Read more about Bookeo here, in our full review.

Email Marketing Software

Winner: MailChimp

mailchimp-logo

At Merchant Maverick, we’re all in agreement that MailChimp is the boss when it comes to email marketing. It’s a mature, time-tested software with reasonable pricing plans, a great selection of features, and tons of integration, and it scales well to just about any size campaign. Better yet, for users with modest needs, MailChimp offers a robust, flat-out generous free plan which lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month. There’s only one real catch: if you do your email marketing with the free plan, there will be a small MailChimp badge at the bottom of every email you send out. 

Paid plans come in two basic varieties: send-based (pay as you go) and list-based (monthly). These plans are fairly specific and complex, so if you’d like more details about pricing you should navigate here.

MailChimp is generally very easy to use, and signing up for a MailChimp account is simple; enter a name and email address and you’re on your way. The customer support system is pretty extensive as well, though it lacks telephone support, which is slightly disappointing. However, our experience with them has been good; representatives were courteous and well-informed, and inquiries were answered in anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 hours, depending on urgency. MailChimp’s biggest selling point, however, is that it offers over 500 integrations and add-ons. (These include Google Analytics, Zendesk, SHopify, Magento, and Salesforce).

Check out our full review of MailChimp here.

Runner-Up: AWeber

AWeber_EMDlogo_blue

AWeber appeals to a smaller niche than MailChimp, but it’s still incredibly easy to use and quite affordable. It comes with some very nice features, especially for businesses which want to send all new subscribers the same series of messages: the autoresponder setup in particular is easy, intuitive, and well explained within the program, and users have a lot of options. 

AWeber offers a free 30-day trial for lists of up to 500 subscribers. After that first month, there is a single list-based pricing plan available. It’s reasonably priced for the most part, but so robust that very small companies may find they are paying for lots of extra features they may not even require. If you don’t need much from your email marketing tool, you might be better off with MailChimp’s generous free plan.

In general, AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and high functionality. Navigation is remarkably intuitive, considering the number of features available. The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor has some quite impressive characteristics, and recent updates to the software have have managed to significantly improve the email design experience. Additionally, the analytics and reporting capabilities are well above par for an email marketing tool of this type, as are AWeber’s investment in numerous 3rd-party integrations.

Our experiences with customer support have been positive overall. As a rule, we’ve found AWeber’s representatives to be friendly, helpful, and prompt in responding to queries. Response times to our inquiries varied in time between 20 minutes and 6 business hours.

Read our full review of AWeber here.

Project Management Software

Winner: Trello

trello-logo-blue

Trello is a visually-oriented, Kanban-based project management tool that works by allowing users to see and manage their tasks and projects via detailed ‘cards’ which are then pinned onto ‘boards.’ At its most basic level, Trello is an ingenious way to create and organize a set of virtual 3×5 cards without the risk of misplacing them, but it also can also work as a simple task management tool, offering features like file storage and automatic email notifications.

The standard, free version of Trello allows for unlimited boards, users, and attachments (with a 10 MB max per file upload). However, for a fee, Trello also offers two upgraded versions of the software: $3.75/user or $5/user

Trello’s simple, visually-appealing UI makes it incredibly easy to use; there is almost no learning curve involved. A mere five minutes after I signed up I was able to navigate the software quickly, creating cards and boards like a pro. It may be integrated with several 3rd party apps, including Zapier, Google Drive, Box. Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Trello provides email support (via [email protected]) to all users during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST).

Not only is this software reasonably priced, but it is characterized by elegance, simplicity, and user-friendliness. It would be difficult to find a basic project management solution with a more intuitive, visually-appealing design. And in terms of sheer adoptability – of getting your employees to actually use a software-based task management tool – Trello scores extremely high.

You can check out our full review of Trello if you’d like more information.

Runner Up: Basecamp

basecamp-logo

With over 9,000,000 current users, Basecamp is considered the most popular cloud-based project management software system of all time. It is, without doubt, one of the most user-friendly project management programs out there. When it comes down to brass tacks, simplicity is an enormously valuable characteristic, and Basecamp is just that – simple. This is project management software at its most basic and effortless level.

This software is celebrated for its no-frills, no-fuss pricing system. There are no hidden fees and no per-user costs. Plans range from $20/month to $150/month. Features include task tracking, a calendar, email notifications and a daily recap of activities, text documents (basically giant legal pads), and very simple reporting.

Basecamp is known for fast, reliable service. While they don’t provide the level of immediate personal support that you can get from other software companies (read: no phone or live chat support), the folks at Basecamp respond quickly to email requests and offer a large variety of ready-made aids and live training tools.

Basecamp itself is a pretty basic program, but there are a huge number of optional 3rd party applications available if you want or need to increase software’s functionality. You can see a complete list of Basecamp integrations on the official product website

If you have plain, bread-and-butter management requirements, we think you’ll find that Basecamp is a suitable, extremely affordable way to go. One of the best things about Basecamp is the fact that it is designed, updated, and supported by an established parent company. It is a sure bet, in other words.

Read more about Basecamp in our full review.

Shipping Software

Winner: ShipStation

shipstation-logo

ShipStation is a reasonably-priced, web-based shipping solution for eCommerce retailers. Designed to streamline the fulfillment process as much as possible, this software has invested in a huge number of integrations that make it possible for you to sync up your business with the most popular sales channels, shopping carts, payment gateways, and mail carriers.

Pricing plans range from $25/month to $145/month. There’s a free 30-day trial that includes access to all features, with no credit card required. If you’re not satisfied with the product within 90 days, ShipStation offers a full refund, no questions asked.

The user interface can be a bit overwhelming at first, as there multiple options, menus, and sub-menus displayed on most pages. A bit of patience is definitely required when you start out, though you can take advantage of a number of video tutorials, a large knowledge base, and a pretty robust community forum if you run into trouble. Actually, you can have your own personal account manager if you want, and this person will help guide you through the setup phase of your account. Some of the higher paid plans can receive chat support as well. In general, customer support is slightly disappointing, and the responses we received to queries were somewhat boilerplate and indifferent.

One of ShipStation’s biggest selling points is that it integrates with an enormous number of carriers, marketplaces and shopping carts, especially when compared to the competition, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Fulfillment by Amazon, as well as Shopify, Etsy, Magento, Square, eBay, etc. The list goes on.

Check out our full review of ShipStation for more information.

Runner-Up: ShipWorks

shipworks-logo

ShipWorks is probably the best shipping software available, though unfortunately it’s a PC-only app (which removes about half of the world’s users) and the learning curve is extremely high. The good news is that this software, which is designed to streamline the order fulfillment process for small to large businesses, has many amazing features you can’t find in other shipping applications. With a few clicks, ShipWorks can download shipping information from an online sales channel, calculate and print postage, generate labels, packing slips, and more. Combine this functionality with integrations for over 40 different mail carriers and eCommerce platforms, and you’ve got a shipping solution that really packs a wallop. Additionally, ShipWorks scales well, in a way that its SaaS competitors don’t.

Cost per month is determined by two different factors: shipment volume and number of licenses. Shipment volume is divided into three tiers:

  • $14.95/month for 0-99 shipments/month
  • $29.95/month for 100-999 shipments/month
  • $49.95/month for 1,000+ shipments/month

The price for shipment volume is then added to your licensing fee to determine the monthly bill. How much you pay for licensing is based on the number of online sales channels you use with ShipWorks.

Our own experiences with ShipWorks support have been positive. Turnaround times on support tickets were 24 hours or less, and we never had trouble reaching anybody on the phone. The Knowledge Base is extensive, and covers everything from setup and configuration to online marketplaces and shipping providers. What’s more, the articles are clearly written and provide plenty of screenshots.

As I mentioned above, ShipWorks integrates with a huge variety of shipping carriers and online marketplaces (including USPS, FedEx, UPS, Magento, Etsy, Shopify, Volusion), but if you happen to use a store that isn’t directly supported by ShipWorks, you can always work with a developer and use the ShipWorks Generic API to create your own integrations.

Click here to read our full review of ShipWorks.

Loyalty Rewards Software

Winner: Sweet Tooth

sweet-tooth-rewards-logo

Sweet Tooth is a prolific loyalty rewards software that currently works with over 3500 merchants worldwide, including Delta, Universal, and Olympus. Sweet Tooth is dedicated to increasing customer engagement, and case studies from many of the clients mentioned above have demonstrated nearly 20% increases in customer lifetime values, sales and repeat purchases. It is complex software with a high learning curve, but in general, the benefits of using a robust loyalty rewards software outweigh the inconvenience of having to learn how to use it! Sweet Tooth is an ideal solution for both eCommerce merchants and merchants who use combined methods of commerce.

Sweet Tooth works best – and is most full featured – when it’s used through Magento, though you can use a lighter, simpler version of Sweet Tooth on BigCommerce or Shopify (this is free for up to 500 customers). Sweet Tooth subscription plans are offered monthly and automatically renew unless cancelled. Plans begin at $49/month, and are broken down by loyalty point transactions and annual revenue generated on Magento. If your activity exceeds the limitations of your plan you will be required to upgrade to the next available plan. You can view the full pricing details for Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento on the Sweet Tooth website.

Customer service is available Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST. Overall, our experience with Sweet Tooth has been positive. Everyone we’ve spoken to at the company has been knowledgeable and friendly, and most reviewers on Magento cite the technical support as an essential part of their loyalty program.

Read our full review of Sweet Tooth if you’re interested in learning more.

Runner-Up: Belly

belly-logo

Belly provides a more hassle-free loyalty rewards program than Sweet Tooth, and is ideal for smaller businesses with brick and mortar store fronts (such as bakeries, cafes, grocers, bars, spas, fitness clubs and boutiques). What’s really unique about Belly, though, are its customizeable rewards offerings and “all in one box” setup, which includes an iPad (with stand and combination lock), data reports, a personal support representative, social media integrations, and email marketing tools. Even more significantly, Belly customers get a mobile page for their business on the Belly app, where potential customers can look to find Belly-compatible businesses.

Monthly subscription costs range from $99 – $199, and all contracts run for 12 months. The cost of the iPad, iPad stand, application software, and unlimited rewards cards are included in the subscription costs for the highest plan, but an additional $150 installation fee is charged for lower plans.

Right now there are only a few drawbacks to Belly, most important of which is its steep price. Customer service can be a bit spotty as well, and unfortunately, not enough other businesses currently use it, which doesn’t provide much incentive to customers to get in the Belly network. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an easy, no-worries loyalty program, you can’t go far wrong with Belly.

Read our full review of Belly for more details and information.

Website Building Software

Winner: Wix

 

wix

Wix is our number one choice for web building software, and it’s not difficult to understand why. With its sleek editing interface and multiple selection of apps and integrations, it is an extremely effective do-it-yourself website designer. In addition to being easy to use, Wix provides a great selection of unique and visually appealing templates (there are hundreds to choose from).

The free version of Wix is provided to anyone who signs up, though any website you create under the free plan will be branded with the Wix logo. Paid plans range from $4.08/month to $24.90/month. Wix’s store offers payment processing through a handful of vendors, including PayPal, WebMoney, Skrill, and PayU.

All in all, Wix is intuitive and user-friendly. Within a few hours, you should be able to take a template, mess around for a bit with the editing tools, and build yourself an incredibly fine looking website.

Because Wix allows developers to create and share their own add-ons, other users are given the opportunity to expand and diversify their websites as well. Some of the most popular integrations available include online shop expansions (like the Etsy app), the Wix Hotels premium booking system, live Instagram feeds, website profile systems, and a variety of other site boosting applications

There is one downside to the software: unlike most other website-building services, Wix does not offer 24/7 live-chat or provide an email response system. There is a toll-free number you can call for help with technical issues, but be aware that you could possibly be put on hold for an unspecified amount of time.

Click here to read our full review of Wix.

Runner-Up: Jimdo

Jimdo-Logo

With its reasonable price points and clever, yet simplistic editor, Jimdo has made a mark on the website building industry. Managing to be both straightforward and comprehensive, Jimdo allows users to make custom, professional looking websites. Templates are provided, of course, but you’re not bound to the confines of the template you choose; you have total freedom to edit and can essentially be as hands-on about the design process as you want.

Jimdo plans range from free to $20/month, and all plans come with an HTML5 WYSIWYG web editor, usage of professional-grade templates, social media tools, a mobile device editing view, blogging tools, photo galleries, Google Maps, contact forms, direct video embedding, widget integration, optimized mobile websites, and unlimited bandwidth.

While the only online payment processor currently supported by Jimdo is PayPal, a selection of various real-world payment methods can be activated in a website’s store, including invoicing, payment-in-advance, collection-upon-delivery, local pickup, and local delivery.

This is an easy-to-use service that somehow still manages to astound with the depth of its overall functionality. Some things may be a bit too simple, and Jimdo isn’t sophisticated enough to work as a tool for a professional web designer, but it is perfectly suited – price-wise and in ease-of-use – for small businesses who would otherwise have to hire out their web design services.

Read our full review of Jimdo here.

The post Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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What’s EMV Compliance?

emv-chip-and-pin

You might have observed that the newest charge card looks a little diverse from your last. That conspicuous computer nick baked into the plastic represents a brand new security standard, EMV Compliance. The brand new standard has been folded in the U . s . States this season and it’ll slightly change the way you want creditOrmoney cards in the check out.

How Can This Be Happening?

It might not appear in many economic studies, but charge card fraud is really a multi-big industry, using the U . s . States comprising roughly 1 / 2 of all charge card fraud on the planet. Why is America so vulnerable? Unlike the majority of all of those other world, the U.S. has trusted a mix of archaic magnetic strip technology and handwritten signatures to process charge card transactions. To create a fraudulent, in-person transaction, all of the fraudster must do is clone the magnetic strip and forge the signature. Banks have typically been held responsible for the fraudulent charges.

In order to curb losses, the American government introduced legislation that required effect by October first, 2015. This law aims to create the country into some thing carefully resembling the EMV standards which have been accustomed to reduce charge card fraud in other areas around the globe for more than ten years.

So How Exactly Does EMV Compliance Affect Banks and Retailers?

Charge cards compliant with EMV standards (Europay, Visa, and Mastercard) make use of an embedded microchip to authenticate the charge card during the time of each transaction, presuming the terminal can also be EMV compliant. This will make the credit card hard to clone. To do the authentication, the credit card is placed in to the EMV-compatible POS terminal or, within the situation of newer contactless cards, in close closeness to some Near Field Communication-enabled EMV terminal.

The American adoption of the decade-old technologies have a couple of quirks. The very first is this is entirely optional. That&#8217s right, neither banks nor retailers they are under any obligation to begin using EMV cards. Nobody&#8217s likely to come and shut lower your registers or prevent you from processing charge cards should you don&#8217t. The brand new law is really a liability standard made to encourage adoption of EMV cards by banks and EMV terminals by retailers.

It really works likes this. If charge card fraud is committed by having an EMV card in an EMV terminal, the fraudulent charges is going to be resolved pretty much in the same manner they are. Exactly the same pertains to non-EMV cards used at non-EMV POS terminals. The wrinkle is necessary during asymmetrical transactions, where either the credit card or even the terminal isn’t compliant. Within this situation, whichever entity didn’t result in the EMV investment is going to be attributed for that fraudulent charges. Because of the &#8220soft&#8221 nature from the law, don’t be surprised compatibility to unveil in waves as banks and retailers calculate the danger versus. cost ratios of non-compliance. It&#8217ll be a couple of years before EMV become ubiquitous.

Pay-at-the-pump card transactions are exempted in the new liability standards until October 2017.

Could It Be All It&#8217s Cracked As Much As Be?

Not necessarily. Not, anyway. What isn&#8217t being adopted, towards the concern of some security experts, may be the PIN feature that&#8217s in combination with EMV in lots of parts around the globe, with debit transactions within the U.S. You&#8217ll be making use of your signature at the purpose of purchase, that is broadly considered a much less efficient security feature than the usual Flag or even the biometric thumbprint combined with Apple Pay. While this helps cut lower on cloned charge card fraud, it it’s still fairly simple to use stolen cards. Used, signatures are more inclined to be examined following a charge is disputed than as a good security measure at POS.

Another flaw: since the first round of recent cards continue to be associated with a credit number symbolized on magnetic strips (for compatibility with older terminals), it’s still easy to clone the credit card and employ it with older terminals. Because this is a transitional period, expect which include to become removed eventually. And, obviously, it will little to combat online charge card fraud.

In The Event You Upgrade?

Could it be worthwhile for retailers to upgrade immediately? It depends. Consider it just like a one-time acquisition of collision insurance in your automobile: you don&#8217t require it they are driving your vehicle, and you’ll never enter a vehicle accident, however if you simply do, you&#8217ll be happy you organized that cash.

Are you currently within an area with many different charge card fraud? Will getting an additional layer of fraud protection cause you to feel convenient when performing your company? Should you just lately purchased five non-EMV compliant POS terminals, the price of upgrading so rapidly might not be justified within the immediate future, as long as the company still supports magnetic strip transactions.

If, however, you&#8217re due for many new POS terminals, you need to most likely make the leap. There’s a couple notes of caution, however. The very first is that you ought to make certain the brand new terminal works with bank card EMV standards, that have been lagging behind individuals for charge cards. The second reason is to keep close track of the first criticisms from the signature-based EMV system, as other nations that adopted the conventional rapidly migrated to PIN-based transactions soon after. You&#8217ll wish to make certain you&#8217re covered for your not-unlikely eventuality.

With all of that in your mind, if the idea of fraudulent charges doesn&#8217t help you stay up during the night, the wisest approach right now is most likely to hang about until you have to change your POS hardware anyway, then make certain what you’ll get can be the most recent security standards.

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Are You Currently Meeting EMV Standards?

meeting EMV standards

The shift originates! I understand denial continues to be establishing pretty hard, and when you’re similar to retailers, you’re only beginning to understand that it may be smart to exchange your magstripe readers to have an EMV-enabled device. Regrettably, whether you’ve got the correct equipment or otherwise, you’ll still might be responsible for certain kinds of charge card fraud. So it’s time for you to shake the sand from individuals boots and obtain an advantage on these new rules or perhaps your business are affected for this.

What’s the EMV Standard Exactly?

EMV is short for for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the 3 firms that first produced the conventional in 1994 (yes, this idea is a lengthy amount of time in the making). Since 1999, EMVCo—owned by Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, UnionPay, and Discover—has been the entity behind EMV standards.

The purpose of the EMV shift would be to strengthen security by embedding “smart” micro-processor computer chips into charge cards. These chips tend to be more heavily encrypted compared to magnetic stripes available on traditional charge cards, avoiding fraud a lot more effectively. Obviously, as these cards have an alternative way of storing sensitive data, retailers will need an additional way to read them. By October 1st, if you don’t possess a device able to studying the brand new chips (forcing your clients to swipe their cards rather of dipping them) you have the effect of certain fraudulent charges created using a counterfeit or stolen nick card.

How Can This Be Happening?

As technology advances, our economy is relying more heavily on debit and credit cards than in the past. Since cards are simpler to steal and forge than cash or checks, we’re searching in a natural rise in swipe card fraud. This task-in technologies are an essential change to keep track of the more and more sophisticated data breaches and skimming techniques. It’s a kind of arms race by which each side need to keep improving their technology so as have an edge on another. This EMV transition is certainly victory around the security side since Europe has witnessed an 80% decrease in charge card fraud using the implementation of EMV standards. Meanwhile, the U.S. has possessed a 47% rise in fraud because we’ve taken such a long time to meet up with already EMV compliant regions like Canada as well as other areas of Europe, Asia, and South America.

Is Everybody Aboard?

Virtually. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Uncover all announced their step-by-step plans for shifting certain kinds of fraud liability from themselves towards the retailers. On the more global scale, most countries have previously implemented or are at some stage in applying EMV nick technology for debit and charge cards. When I pointed out before, the U . s . States is a touch late towards the party, but we’re getting there.

What This Signifies for Retailers

To put it simply, should you don’t want to accept possibility of getting to fork over a collection of cash, you’ll have to safeguard yourself from fraud liability by buying new EMV-compliant charge card processing equipment. For most retailers, it might be a good idea to install new systems as quickly as possible, but when you’re still not convinced it might be a pertinent investment, browse the article Do You Actually Need An EMV Terminal?

Note, though, the liability shift isn’t relevant to CNP (card not present) transactions. Phone order and web order transactions is going to be worked with because they always were, and therefore should you never really are exposed to a charge card, you most likely won’t need to bother about being EMV compliant.

Implications for Consumers

Apart from a sense of elevated security and also the task of really finding out how to begin using these cards, consumers won’t experience as most of the changes or hassles of EMV implementation—certainly not as much as the retailers who’ve to buy the brand new equipment and undertake the additional liability. Until nick card dipping gets to be more common, though, you’ll most likely see some slower moving lines because it requires a couple more seconds to process nick cards and never all clients are quite sure cooking techniques yet.

Steps to consider like a Merchant

(Before you get the EMV equipment)

  1. Don’t panic, but don’t get too comfortable.
  2. Verify customer ID cards when processing charge card transactions.
  3. Be positive about locating the EMV equipment and payment processing options that actually work good for you.
  4. Check this out publish on buying an EMV nick card terminal.

Looking Around

If you’ve discovered that your payment processor isn’t quite EMV-compliant yet or they’re charging a leg along with a leg for any new machine, you’ll most likely be thinking about switching providers. Should you decide you are looking at doing that, you’ll would like to get quotes from a minimum of three different trustworthy providers to make certain you are receiving the best offer. This publish on negotiating the very best charge card processing deal will be able to help, but when you’re still baffled, tell us and we’ll lend a hands.

What’s Going To a brand new EMV Card Readers Require Me To Pay?

Though you can buy new readers from the couple different sources, the particular cost largely depends upon the company and also the equipment you choose to get. For example, there’s a couple compact, mobile EMV readers that exist for approximately $30, some countertop nick terminals (with built-in receipt printers and pin pads) average within the $200 to $400 range.

Based on the number of devices you’ll need and just what your business’s revenue stream is searching like, you might be thinking about leasing an EMV charge card terminal, but that’s certainly something I wouldn’t recommend. Read this short article for the entire story, but essentially the thing is that you’ll most likely finish up spending hundreds more about the device than really worth.

Summing Up

If you’re already setup having a nick card readers, congratulations! You’re formally EMV-compliant. Should you don’t accept any in-person payments, you’re ready too. If you’re presently accepting charge cards with no EMV-enabled device, however, don’t panic. Not, a minimum of. You shouldn’t encounter a lot of problems this early hanging around, however the charge card market is evolving rapidly and you’ll need to maintain the rules to safeguard your company. Since the technological bar continues to be elevated, fraudsters will likely be searching for individuals companies which are still vulnerable. Don’t be caught unawares!

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So How Exactly Does the 2015 EMV Liability Shift Modify the Service Industry?

Yoga Class, Group of People Relaxing and Doing Yoga. Child's Pos

Odds are, should you run a small company, you&#8217ve heard something concerning the EMV liability shift that can take effect in October 2015. The shift will modify the retail industry in apparent ways, but companies that provide services instead of tangible goods is going to be equally affected.

Just how much you&#8217ll suffer depends upon the way you process charge card payments.

Card Present Transactions

In case your service business bills in-person with PoS hardware, then you definitely&#8217ll be facing exactly the same EMV atmosphere as retailers. Beginning in October, liability for fraudulent charges created using the charge card present will fall around the party who hasn&#8217t made a good investment in EMV security measures.

For that card provider, purchasing EMV security measures means equipping charge cards with security chips which are harder to counterfeit than magnetic strips. For that merchant, this means using EMV PoS hardware that can engage in the credit card&#8217s security nick. If both (or neither) parties make an investment, then liability is going to be resolved in the same way to the way it was prior to the shift. However, if perhaps one party has adopted EMV technology, the party that didn&#8217t result in the investment is going to be held liable.

Should you choose process lots of in-person transactions, but don&#8217t possess a traditional retail PoS hardware setup, there’s a healthy quantity of peripheral possibilities that will help you to make use of the new standard.

Card Not Present

Should you process charge cards as card-not-present (CNP) transactions&#8211online, over the telephone, or with an online payment gateway integrated with, say, booking software&#8211then there&#8217s both negative and positive news ahead. Around the vibrant side, the brand new EMV standards won&#8217t directly change how you conduct business. You&#8217ll be processing EMV cards in line with the customer&#8217s charge card number.

Unhealthy news is you&#8217ll most likely soon be feeling a butterfly effect rippling out of the new standards. Unlike conventional knowledge, CNP shenanigans presently constitute a reasonably small minority of charge card fraud: under one-in-five fraudulent transactions. If Europe&#8217s experience is any suggestion, that&#8217s going to change. Fraudsters, who’ll are in possession of to deal with counterfeit-resistant EMV-technology, will probably turn their attention to another easiest target: CNP transactions. Not simply will that boost the chances that the business are experiencing CNP fraud, but payment gateways and banks, worried about the vulnerabilities, will start to adopt new standards and terms/conditions hoping of minimizing their exposure.

Up to lately, banks in the usa have largely considered CNP fraud a small nuisance because they could chargeback fraudulent purchases towards the merchant. Retailers have since responded by adopting voluntary security measures like 3DSecure, now of EMVCo., to assist avoid chargebacks. While a number of these systems possess some serious flaws right now, elevated CNP fraud will probably increase interest and research inside them, particularly any system that can engage in EMV or tokenization.

In The Event You Worry?

Not necessarily. Not. America&#8217s EMV roll-out continues to be continuing and can without doubt work bugs from the system within the next couple of years. Meanwhile, you&#8217ll wish to stay awake-to-date around the newest security developments, specifically if you&#8217re processing CNP transactions, as internet security standards find more great ways to navigate the brand new charge card security frontier.

The publish So How Exactly Does the 2015 EMV Liability Shift Modify the Service Industry? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Finding the right EMV Hardware

woman paying with EMV terminal hardware

The EMV liability has formally shifted, and lots of companies haven’t switched to fancy new terminals yet. If you’re certainly one of individuals companies, we know. You would like the very best EMV terminals for your company, however, you don&#8217t have plenty of time to make sure that 1) you&#8217re obtaining the best hardware, and a pair of) you&#8217re getting a great deal on stated hardware.

What about we help make your job simpler? We&#8217ve been looking to find the best new, EMV-compliant terminals available on the market so you don&#8217t need to. Whether your company is small or large, retail or industrial, you&#8217re sure to locate a terminal that fills your requirements.

The Minimalistic Terminals: Square

best emv terminals

Square happens to be among the front runners in innovation, therefore it wasn&#8217t surprising they released certainly one of their readers, the headphone jack nick readers, completely in 2014. In the event that version doesn&#8217t have sufficient features for you personally, they&#8217ve had a couple other available choices that may.

Nick Card Readers ($29): At $29, this is among the least expensive EMV terminals available on the market. We’ve become our on the job one of these simple little guys so we were very impressed. The cash doesn&#8217t enable you to get everything, however it will get you sufficient. This terminal is capable of doing processing nick cards in addition to magstripes. Like the majority of Square products, it doesn’t possess a PIN pad, so any nick-and-PIN cards will default to some signature rather (read this article to understand why that may become an issue in the future). If you are using Square, and all that you should do is process nick cards, this can be the readers for you personally.

Contactless + Nick Readers ($49): This readers continues to be small, sleek, and glossy (and, obviously, square), but it features a couple of more features than Square&#8217s other version. Namely, it&#8217s wireless (though it is also connected to Square&#8217s iPad stand) and accepts NFC. It’s also suitable for Android and iOS devices.

This device does not do magstripes, but Square will be sending a free headphone jack magstripe swiper while card swiping continues to be necessary, or if you’re planning on making use of it having a Square stand, the stand includes a build-in swiper. Regrettably, this reader won&#8217t be accessible until sometime this fall. However, Square covers any fraudulent charges for now.

The POS-Friendly Terminal: Miura M010

best emv terminals

This is actually the preferred countertop terminal for several different mobile POS&#8217s including Square, Paypal Here, and Shopify. It&#8217s a surprisingly affordable terminal that also has all you&#8217re have to for that near future: it&#8217s bluetooth, able to processing nick-and-PIN cards, and NFC enabled. If you’re searching for one of these simple, make certain to have it out of your POS provider, because oftentimes they aren’t mix-compatible. Also, remember that while Paypal Here and Shopify&#8217s Miura products are suitable for android and ios, for whatever reason Square&#8217s is just suitable for iOS.

For Square you are able to purchase one for $129. For Shopify, you may also purchase one for $129, however they&#8217re on pre-order (like Square, they&#8217ll get the liability until your device arrives). For Paypal Here, you are able to purchase one for $149, however if you simply process greater than $3,000 inside the first three several weeks after activation, you receive a $100 rebate.

Another POS-Friendly Terminals: Ingenico iPP and iCMP

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Shopkeep and Bindo are providing two Ingenico readers: the iCMP and also the iPP320/350.

Ingenico iPP320/350 (~$299): Here’s your run-of-the-mill wired terminal that does nick-and-PIN, magstripes, and NFC. Shopkeep is providing the iPP320, Bindo is providing the iPP350. The only real difference backward and forward may be the 350 includes a color display.

Ingenico iCMP (~$249): Here’s your run-of-the-mill wireless terminal. Additionally, it does nick-and-PIN, magstripes, and NFC, however it connects for your smartphone, tablet or computer POS via Bluetooth. There&#8217s no requirement for another data plan just for that terminal (such as the ones needed by traditional wireless terminals) which majorly cuts your monthly expense.

The Rugged Terminal: Verifone VX520 + (optional) Verifone VX805

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The Verifone VX520 is probably the most widely used standard smart terminal available. It&#8217s likely to set you back a little more, however it&#8217s likely to do its project for a really lengthy time (the merchandise description aptly describes it as being &#8220rugged&#8221). It&#8217s able to processing all you&#8217ll require it to (nick-and-PIN, magstripes, NFC) and, optionally, you are able to connect the Verifone VX805 so you’ve a person-facing pinpad. We&#8217ve taken an individual see this one and may make sure it will, actually, do its job. It&#8217s nothing special, however it&#8217ll do what you really need it to.

The conventional VX520 is wired, however they provide a wireless one too: the VX520 GPRS. Appears like if you prefer a wireless one, you&#8217re going to need to have it from a 3rd party, because all of the payment processors provide the standard version.

You are able to pick this terminal up from the majority of the most popular credit card merchant account processors. Dharma is providing it for $299, or $499 for that 520 and 805. Payment Depot can also be offering it for $299. And CDGcommerce offering leases from the 520 and 805 for $79/year, Normally, we don&#8217t recommend leasing a terminal, but if you need to, we believe that CDGcommerce has an excellent deal. Obviously, you might have the ability to buy the terminal cheaper from another source and also have it reprogrammed.

The Bare-Bones Terminal: Ingenico iCT220

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In case your account processor doesn&#8217t provide the Verifone VX520, they most likely provide the Ingenico iCT220. It&#8217s able to processing nick-and-PIN, however it&#8217s incompetent at doing NFC. So, should you&#8217re not anticipating the requirement for NFC in the near future, you might like to save a couple of dollars and choose that one.- Helcim, for instance, is selling it for $199.

* If you’re anticipating the requirement for NFC, many payment processors also sell the 250, that has NFC also it&#8217s colored. However, you&#8217re searching around $329, which might be more costly compared to Verifone VX520.

The Conventional Wireless Terminal: First Data FD130

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Require a heavy-duty standard wireless terminal? First Data FD130 may be the best choice. It&#8217s able to processing all kinds of payments, also it&#8217s got an advantage around the competition since it&#8217s wireless. We all do possess some other standard, wireless terminals out there, however this the first is built just like a brick. Your Miura may not last forever, however this you will. It ought to be sturdy, since it applies to around $339.

The Long Run-Proof Terminal: Poynt POS

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Produced by the fellow responsible for Google Wallet, Poynt is really a &#8220future proof&#8221 terminal with integrated POS software. This neat device can perform all you need it to&#8212swipe cards, dip cards, enter signatures or PINs, accept NFC payments, print receipts, scan barcodes and QR codes, as well as track where you are via Gps navigation. It arrives with two different screens, there&#8217s you don’t need to buy a separate device or switch the screen around, also it can link via bluetooth, 3G or wireless.

The developers declare that it&#8217s &#8220future proof&#8221 simply because they&#8217re constantly developing newly discovered apps so it may be customized for any kind of business. Regrettably, it&#8217s unavailable towards the public quite yet, however it&#8217s rumored to become selling for $299 a pop. To have an attractive, fully functioning, wireless, affordable, two-screened little terminal, it may be well worth the wait.

The Beautiful Terminals: Clover POS

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If you prefer a terminal by having an integrated POS, but could&#8217t watch for Poynt, you might like to consider Clover. Unlike Poynt, the company provides a few different terminal options, which usually are meant to be utilized together. The downside? Clover&#8217s up-front prices are usually the greatest out there.

First, Clover offers the Station (~$999): a 11.6&#8243 display and reciept printer that&#8217s able to processing all payment methods. The screen can swivel between your cashier and also the customer for ease-of-use also it, obviously, has got the built-in Clover POS.

Additionally they offer the Clover Mobile (~$699) and the Clover Mini (~$399 or $449 for that 3G option). Both are created to be transported around. They are able to process all payment methods, and also have a couple of additional features which i&#8217ll let our reviews for that Station, the Mobile and the Small explain. Suffice to state: should you&#8217re searching for any terminal that may do more than merely scan cards, you&#8217re likely to have to have one by having an integrated POS.

Clover is provided by a few payment processors, for example Payment Depot, but because always, you will be able to purchase it from a 3rd party (should you choose, look out for scams).

Honorable Mention: Flint

Completely disgusted using the whole condition of card-present transactions, and need you can get from it entirely? There&#8217s a POS for your. Flint is our very favorite mobile payment POS system, and a part of its appeal is within its simplicity. Rather of dipping or swiping, you use your phone&#8217s camera to scan within the customer&#8217s charge card number. Technically, this kind of transaction is card-not-present, there&#8217s no requirement for any new hardware. Or any hardware at all (apart from a smartphone).

Should you&#8217re a company that may pull off checking in charge cards, it&#8217s unequalled the simplicity and costs of Flint. Should you&#8217re a brick-and-mortar store, or perhaps a bigger business, however, you might like to keep searching.

Before Buying&#8230

We&#8217ve had a couple of last words.

  • Make certain your EMV terminal is going to be suitable for your payment processor and POS software. There&#8217s nothing worse than getting new hardware after which learning it&#8217s not going to utilize your present setup.
  • That being stated, your payment processor might charge a higher cost or just won’t reprogram third-party machines. We&#8217ve spoken before about how exactly this is kind of an inexpensive move ahead operator, also it&#8217s your decision to determine how to handle that information.
  • Don&#8217t lease terminals. CDGcommerce may be the best, but then, consider the deal cautiously.
  • Many POS&#8217s aren’t quite ready for that liability shift. If yours isn&#8217t, they likely cover the liability until they’re ready. That’s, if you purchase or pre-order equipment from them.

It may be overwhelming to possess a wide variety of options, but around the plus side, you will see one that’s suitable for your company: you just need to think it is. Best of luck!

The publish Finding the right EMV Hardware made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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