Protecting your business transactions

5 min read

Having total security over your business information seems like a thing of the past.

As technology has grown more sophisticated, the resources and strategies of hackers have grown more effective, leading to businesses spending small fortunes on IT security. But as some recent high profile attacks have shown, it doesn’t always help. Just look at the number of recent high-profile cyber attacks on some of the biggest companies and brands in the world.

For instance, on September 8, The Home Depot confirmed that it had fallen victim to potentially the biggest breach of security card details in history. The Home Depot may be the latest victim, but it is merely at the front of a long line of high profile attacks that have been aimed at disrupting businesses. Late last year, as many as 70 million customers had their card details stolen after an attack on global retailer Target, with fraudsters using the same malware as the Home Depot breach 10 months later. And the Sony hacking scandal continues to gain coverage, and momentum.

Shares in both Target and The Home Depot continued to tumble after the attacks eroded customer trust and faith in the service. Fortunately, there are alternative methods to reduce a company’s susceptibility to payment information breaches.

Alternative payment methods for SMEs

The resources to create a robust and impenetrable digital fortress are not available to most. For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited funding, other solutions may be necessary to ensure their customer details and reputation stay intact.

For those with a regular customer base, direct debit for business solutions can give both parties a safer method of sending and receiving payment.

The protection offered via direct debit services can reduce the success of attacks to customers’ details, while offering SMEs a unique selection of benefits.

Protect customer information

The ways that hackers harvest and defraud customer information have changed in the past few years from card-in-hand fraud to more guileful methods.

Research by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) shows that physical theft methods like counterfeiting and skimming have plummeted by 23 per cent in the past five years. At the same time, card-not-present fraud schemes have risen to make up 72 per cent of all card fraud last year.

Alternative solutions are available.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a framework designed to protect businesses and their customer’s payment data. PCI DSS helps businesses prevent, detect and react to security breaches by providing organisations with a global security standard and a rating system.

Direct debit integration through a fully PCI compliant provider offers a reliable and safe payment solution for your business.

Safeguard your reputation

The cost of card and cheque fraud last year amounted to more than $310 million dollars, according to the APCA.

That’s not an insignificant amount of money – if it were stacked in dollar coins, the length of it would cross Sydney Harbour Bridge nine times over. However, for large businesses with multi-billion dollar turnovers, it’s not the end of the world.

For SMEs, on the other hand, the loss of reputation and trust the customer has in the business’s services can be fatal.

Small businesses tend to thrive in local communities. They often have a close connection to the public and benefit from a personal service that big enterprises just can’t compete with. Eroding that trust would likely be a major blow to continued custom.

Protecting the faith a customer has in a business should be a long-term strategy for any organisation. Keep customers happy and business flowing with a sophisticated direct debit service.