If you’ve been in business for long (or have been a patron at an old-school establishment), you’re likely all too familiar with the dreaded credit card processing authorization form. We say “dreaded” because these forms pose a number of issues for business owners that range from cumbersome to dangerous.
Credit card processing authorization forms require customers to write down their full name, billing address, card type, credit card number, expiration date, CVV and provide a signature … on paper. This process is cumbersome because the information must then be keyed into a payment processing system. It’s dangerous because all this information is sensitive and personal and can result in unauthorized transactions, should it land in malicious hands.
Because this information is written on physical paper, it’s easy for a rogue employee or customer to access it. If your employees aren’t careful about properly destroying this material, it can be found by countless people on its way to the landfill. Furthermore, a data breach that’s tied to your business can result in PCI fines based on the number of customers impacted. If you store these records on site or in storage, those areas also add to your risk.
There may be a number of reasons why your business has yet to move past these old-fashioned authorization forms. Technology upgrades can often be expensive, it can be challenging to imagine (and adjust to) a new process and one upgrade may require additional updates. That being said, your business cannot afford the costs — and lost customers — that come with a data breach. Add in the time lost manually keying in these forms, filing them away and inconveniencing customers with filling them out, and you have more than enough reason to make a switch.
So, what’s the most secure way to accept payments today?
As stated previously, a few upgrades may be necessary to ditch credit card processing authorization forms in their entirety. We recommend researching Virtual Terminals that allow you to run and store your transactions online. This software solution poses several benefits:
When shopping for a Virtual Terminal, consider only those that offer cards stored on file via tokenization. Cards on file enable one-click refunds, edits, voids and recharges from within the system, which is especially helpful for businesses that deal with a lot of repeat customers and, hence, may have traditionally stored credit card processing authorization forms.
Tokenization is a data-security method that replaces sensitive cardholder information with a randomly generated string, known as a token. This string, e.g. (EO5L-X03K-S2LX-79BQ) has no value if breached and can only be decoded by the Payment Processor at the end of the authorization process.
With a Virtual Terminal that can store cardholder data securely in the cloud, you’ve eliminated your need for old-school credit card processing authorization forms, reduced your PCI vulnerabilities and saved time on every transaction you take going forward. No more requesting physical forms to be filled out only to have to key them in.
Moving to the cloud also increases trust for customers who may be wary of writing their personal information on paper, which is subject to loss or theft. Do right by them and modernize your business by moving away from credit card processing authorization forms today.
Do you still use credit card processing authorization forms? Are you eager or wary to switch to paperless alternatives? We’d love to hear your thoughts!