Many businesses and charities are making the move to process payments via mobile device. Implementing a mobile payment system requires little infrastructure or technical knowhow and is relatively inexpensive. However, as with any new payment innovation, hackers are always trying to access customer information, and it's important to consider the risks.
Keep in mind that not all mobile methods and readers are created equal. So, it's important to do your homework before jumping in.
BBB provides tips on protecting your customers' sensitive information and for choosing the right mobile payment provider to suit your business' needs.
n Protect your phone or tablet. How easy is it for someone to access your Smartphone? If you are using your personal phone or tablet to process payments, it needs to be protected at all times. Make sure your phone and app are password protected, and limit access to employees. It's also a good idea to have remote access to your phone's apps, so in case it gets lost or stolen, the app can be deleted. Have your payment processor's contact information saved in several places so they can freeze your account if necessary.
n Confirm your transactions. Most mobile payment processors allow you to view your total transactions by the end of that business day. Check your transactions every day to make sure they are all accounted for and to ensure there is no suspicious activity. Be familiar with your payment processing service's payment schedule. If your plan is set up to receive all funds by the next business day, make sure they are deposited. If you are set up to receive funds once or twice a month, use good bookkeeping practices to ensure all payments are received on time.
n Choose the service that fits your needs. There are many different plans to choose from. Shop around and find a plan that fits your company's unique needs. If you don't use your device very often, consider a plan that doesn't charge a monthly fee but charges slightly higher transaction rates. If you rarely swipe cards but manually enter credit card numbers often, some services charge higher fees or hold your funds for longer. Find out your monthly average for credit card transactions and make sure that number falls within a service's credit limit. Don't hesitate to ask questions to a service provider regarding details of the agreement.
n Read the Terms and Conditions. Every company's terms and conditions are different. BBB receives complaints of all kinds regarding processing companies, however, in most cases, the customer has agreed to the company's terms. Be aware of all service fees and all rights you are giving to the processor.
n Have your business documents handy. Because of the new and fast nature of mobile payments, processing companies are protecting themselves from liabilities. Be ready to verify your identity and the legitimacy of your business if necessary.
n Check with BBB. Before choosing a company, check their track record by going to bbb.org.
For more tips on how to be a savvy business owner, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373.