With our week’s focus on startups, we consulted the experts at ProPay, a company that has provided payment services to businesses of all sizes since 1997. Our panel included: Bryce Thacker, Executive Vice-President of Sales, Scott Nelson, Vice-President of Marketing, and Lance Rich, Executive Vice-President of Risk and Customer Services.
Initially, ProPay focused on merchant and micro merchant services.
“In the early 2000s, we decided to take a niche focus with direct selling. It proved to be a very good move for us,” said Thacker. “Our goal was to facilitate the movement of funds between corporate entities and their distributors efficiently and securely.” The company soon added a suite of services unique to the direct selling industry.
ProPay offers innovative solutions that include secure payment options and reduced transaction costs through their streamlined systems for end-to-end processing of payments and has added a mobile focus enabling small businesses, entrepreneurs, distributors, and consultants to accept payments anytime, anywhere, in-person, online and offline.
When hackers obtain information, it’s often taken during the data transmission process. To help alleviate this risk, ProPay has developed ProtectPay, an end-to-end encryption and tokenization service. “A token is a unique identifier that replaces card data… and is meaningless to hackers or data thieves,” said Thacker. According to the company’s website, this service allows the acceptance of credit cards, debit cards, and ACH payments without storing, processing, or transmitting the data. With this data removed, the risk of losing that data is also removed from the corporate entity. For Party Plan companies, the mobile swipe, encryption, and secure transmission eliminates the need for sensitive cardholder information to be written down, an act that could compromise the security of that information.
Once cardholder data has been compromised, or even suspected of being compromised, cardholders must be notified, card replacement fees may be assessed, and other industry penalties and fines must be paid. Thacker advised, “There is real value in removing this sensitive data from your environment so you can focus on building your core business, rather than on data security.”
When conducting business, Rich suggests several things to protect you and your customer’s personal information. “It’s important to know your customers–a task made easier with a party plan since you’re meeting with people face–to–face,” he said. Some people take advantage of smaller merchants by preying on their inexperience. Be extra cautious as you learn and grow your business.
Large companies are usually more experienced at recognizing red flags. Thacker said there were several things ProPay looks for during payment processing such as exceptionally large orders and aberrant behavior like a number of repeat orders using the same card. These types of events trigger additional cautionary steps beyond even the initial granted authorization. “Some people think that if the buyer uses a credit card that’s approved, that means the transaction is all clear and there won’t be a problem, but that’s not always the case,” he said. ProPay continuously monitors transactions to help to keep the risk of fraud low.
Choosing an experienced vender like ProPay can save a great deal of time, money, and energy. Doing your homework so you can secure the services of an established company with a proven security record is wise. “Look for someone who can be a strategic partner and not just a fee provider,” Thacker advises.
Thacker said ProPay systems allow for quick and secure end-to-end payment processing, but managing payments on your own requires a little more patience. Fraud rings look for a quick payout and someone in a tremendous hurry should raise a red flag.
Be certain to keep careful track of your sales records (but do not write down and store any personal information that puts you or your customers at risk of theft.) In the event of a billing dispute, having detailed, accurate records will help resolve those issues. Individual cardholders have more protection against theft than small merchants so practicing due diligence can make all the difference should the security of your financial information be compromised.
When the proper steps are taken, many risks, headaches, and burdens around security can be substantially decreased. Contracting with a company like ProPay allows utilization of the most progressive methods of securing sensitive payment information.
For more information, go to propay’s website or call the company directly at 888.227.9856.