This Holiday, Don’t Let “The Grinch” Steal Your Data.

The Holiday Season represents a tremendous opportunity for merchants looking to capitalize on ecommerce sales. With the increasing threat of cyber attacks and data security breaches, it also presents a unique set of challenges for business owners looking to capitalize on the seasonal uptick in online shopping.

The 2016 holiday shopping season is going to keep a lot of data security professionals busy.

ThreatMetrix, a digital identity company, recently released a 2016 cybercrime report in which they predicted a sharp increase in cyber attacks targeting key retailers during the 2016 holiday season; with a potential 50 million cybercrime attacks during the peak shopping week.

In addition to the substantial volume of predicted attacks, the complexity of these cybercrimes continues to evolve.

“Attacks have evolved from being one-dimensional with a singular purpose to being a Frankenstein’s monster of attack vectors, using bots, social engineering and remote access stealth in various combinations,” says Vanita Pandey, vice president of strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix. “Fraud prevention is no longer simply about timely detection but about getting under the skin of evolving attack patterns to better thwart the rise of cybercrime.”

The increasing complexity of these attacks – and the preventative measures that ward against them – come at a time when most retailers and etailers are overestimating the efficacy of their endpoint security.

In a recent Tripwire study conducted by Dimensional Research, retail IT professionals were found to be overconfident in their ability to efficiently identify and mitigate a cyber attack. Seventy-one percent believed they could detect configuration changes to endpoint devices on their organizations’ networks within hours, but only fifty-one percent knew exactly how long the process takes.

The combination of increasingly complex cyber crime attacks, and overconfidence in endpoint security, means the solution providers who can deliver on the promise of increased fraud protection will help their clients move confidently through another busy holiday season for ecommerce shopping

Consumers ready to buy, but also worry.

Reports from another recent payments study suggests online shopping will continue to surge this holiday season, but this promise also comes with increasing consumer concerns about the security of cardholder data.

76 percent of 1,900 consumer respondents in the United States and UK, plan to shop online this holiday season. Many are planning to spend as much or more than they’ve spent online in the past: 55 percent of respondents said they’ll spend the same amount and 19 percent are planning to spend more.

Despite this optimistic outlook, consumers are increasingly reticent about security.

When asked if they’re concerned about security when disclosing their credit card and bank information online, 74 percent of these same respondents agreed – and 45 percent strongly agreed.

Consumer concerns are amplified when considering shopping at retailers that have recently experienced a data breach. More than half of respondents, 57 percent in total, said they would not shop with retailers who had experienced a breach. Almost a third, 31 percent, said they strongly agree that they would avoid that retailer.

So, what does all of this mean for online entrepreneurs? It means this holiday season is shaping up as a tremendous opportunity – but one data breach could not only compromise the security of a customer-base, it could undermine the merchant’s ability to maximize the pending holiday shopping surge

Payscout is here to help.

Fortunately, for both payment solution providers and the merchants they serve, Payscout can help.

With a leading global team of managed risk analysts and fraud-management experts, Payscout is poised to protect retail and ecommerce businesses with automated fraud screening and manual review to ensure the business – and its customers – remain secure.

Click here to learn more about Payscout’s fraud management tools.

Moreover, just in time for the holiday season, Payscout recently announced a partnership with Protocol, a recognized thought leader in data security standards for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance. Payscout and Protocol will work together to build a strong data security foundation built on best practices, but also customized on how each merchant client handles and processes cardholder data.

There is a lot on the line for business owners this holiday season – and all year long. Entrepreneurs should focus on doing what they do best: providing the goods and services that help earn their customers’ loyalty.

When it comes to data and security, leave it to a global payment processing partner with Integrity/Trust and Reliability built into the very foundation of its business.

This holiday, Payscout is here for online entrepreneurs and their payment services providers, to make the most of a promising shopping season.

Virtual Reality is the Future of Global Ecommerce.

Virtual reality (VR) is poised to revolutionize the way consumers interact with products and services – and Payscout has developed innovative technology to facilitate payment transactions within virtual reality experiences.

Perhaps no technology has elicited more enthusiasm and excitement than the recent rise of VR technology. In the past decade alone, the world has seen major, rapid advancement in the development of VR technology.

The omnipresence of smartphones with high-density displays and 3D graphic capabilities has enabled a generation of lightweight and practical VR devices. Those devices also happen to double as mobile payment technology tools, with transactions via mobile payment technologies predicted to reach 9.9 billion in 2018.

The confluence of these technological and economic advancements – VR technology, global ecommerce and the rise of mobile payment technologies – is poised to revolutionize the omnichannel retail experience.

Nonny de la Pena, the Founder of Emblematic Group, and commonly referenced as, “The Godmother of Virtual Reality,” recently explained the power of VR this way:

“Because VR offers the audience the sensation of ‘being there,’ it creates a visceral connection to the events unfolding in front of the viewer.”

Many analysts are predicting that these visceral connections will translate to commerce in massive and profound ways.

Deloitte predicts VR will be a billion-dollar industry by the end of 2016. Goldman Sachs estimates the global VR and AR market will reach $110 billion by 2020, and a recent analyst report from Citigroup suggests VR/AR will become a $674 billion market by 2025.

So, how can merchants and entrepreneurs gain first-mover advantage in the world of VR, and position themselves to take advantage of these projections?

Payscout has a solution.  

In May 2016, Payscout demoed a simulated VR shopping check-out experience at the 2016 CNP Expo in Orlando. One month later, Payscout showcased a simulated VR debt payment experience at the ACA International Convention in Denver.

But, these were merely simulations. When the time came to build the technology to allow for real-time transactions to take place within a VR experience, the Payscout team was up to task.

In October 2016, Payscout developed a VR commerce solution that enables the purchasing of an embedded product within a VR short film. Working with the Film Antics production company, the team shot a three-minute VR short, with prominently featured product placement. The  feature was followed by the opportunity to purchase the product within a virtual store – all contained within the VR experience – and the transaction  is powered by Payscout’s proprietary payment gateway.

The revolutionary implications of this emerging technology are limitless – from changing the way product placement occurs in feature films to non-profit applications for donations in immersive, 360-degree experiences.

In a recent interview with Multichannel Merchant, Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown stated, “Virtual reality commerce will evolve in different ways than ecommerce did, primarily because it uses a different set of parameters and production requirements. The sophisticated interface will appeal to retailers that offer products which show well in the three-dimensional environment or are popular enough to capture on-demand engagement.”

And, when retailers are ready to capture that engagement, Payscout is the payment processing partner positioned and ready to provide the solution.

Be Among the World’s Best Communicators

Native English speakers are some of the worst communicators in the world — but there are steps we can take to improve!

At Payscout, one of our strengths lies in guiding entrepreneurs through the process of taking their business cross-border through our “Go Global Now” technology platform. A key component in that process is the concept of cultural empathy, which is the ability to accept another cultural point of view and interact accordingly.
We were reminded of the importance of cultural empathy when we saw this headline from the BBC:

Native English Speakers are the World’s Worst Communicators

The article covers a pattern of behavior that occurs when native English speakers are interacting with non-native English speakers – and it turns out a lot is being lost in the absence of translation.

“A lot of native speakers are happy that English has become the world’s global language. They feel they don’t have to spend time learning another language,” says Chong. “But… often you have a boardroom full of people from different countries communicating in English and all understanding each other and then suddenly the American or Brit walks into the room and nobody can understand them.”

As a global payment processing provider, it is essential to take time to think about clear and effective communication – especially when speaking with non-native English speakers.

There are several key takeaways in the article and we have highlighted several below.

When communicating with non-native English speakers:

  1. Speak purposefully and carefully
  2. Be short, direct, and clear
  3. Enunciate and be aware of how fast you are talking
  4. Avoid making jokes and using sarcasm, slang, or abbreviations
  5. Listen and give others a chance to speak
  6. Ask for confirmation when making important points or decisions

Ultimately, clear and effective communication is about being thoughtful. At Payscout, we’re not only a global company: We strive to become the thought-leading global payment processing provider in the world, and being empathetic when communicating with non-native English speakers is a simple and essential way that we demonstrate our thought leadership.

How to Build Strong Corporate Culture

Hint: It starts with a little something called VMCB.

At Payscout, our mission is “to support the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time.”

We love entrepreneurs because we are entrepreneurs. We know that one of the biggest challenges for a business leader is creating a strong corporate culture that serves as a foundation for the business to grow and scale.

But, how does an entrepreneur go about creating culture? Most are adept at their particular area of business – providing their unique product or service in a way that builds customer loyalty – but many entrepreneurs are not experts in corporate culture.

What if there was a framework or template that entrepreneurs could use to lay the foundation for a strong corporate culture? A corporate culture blueprint that would serve as a decision-making guideline for the company and  also facilitate global scalability.
Well, that framework does exist, and it fits into four simple letters: VMCB.

While delivering a guest lecture at UCLA, Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown discussed this framework when he said: “These are the fundamentals of creating culture. Every entrepreneur should identify a Vision, Mission Statement, Cultural Attributes, and Belief.”

It starts with Vision.

Business leaders are aspirational, but establishing a clearly-defined Vision Statement helps to articulate those aspirations and set a goal for what the leader has set out to achieve. At Payscout, our Vision is “to become the thought leading and fastest growing global payment processing provider in the world.”

The Vision statement sets a course for the company and helps guide employee decision-making. Following on the language in the Vision, every decision can be viewed through this lens. At Payscout, we ask ourselves, “Is this thought leading?” and “Will this help us become the fastest growing?” The Vision not only helps articulate a company’s goals, it helps guide the decision-making that will serve to achieve the goal.

Achieved through our Mission Statement

We opened this blog post with our Mission Statement: “to support the entrepreneurial dream one transaction at a time.” The key terms in the Mission are “support,” “entrepreneurial,” and “one transaction at a time,” which means every potential customer interaction – each individual touchpoint – is an opportunity for the Payscout team to support an entrepreneur in his/her efforts to achieve success.

Supported by our Cultural Attributes

Like the Vision and Mission Statement, every company’s Cultural Attributes will be unique, crafted specifically for their business and their singular approach. Payscout’s eight cultural attributes are: Integrity/Trust, Reliability, Innovation, Feedback Welcomed, Best Idea Wins, Fun, Customer Happiness, and Always Learning. 

As a global payment processing provider, our customers trust us with their money and rely on receiving services in exchange. It is essential to earn that trust by acting with integrity in every touch point with the customer. Transactions must be handled in an efficient and expedient manner, creating the need for both reliability and innovation as other parts of our company culture.

Creating a collaborative work environment can bring out the best in employees, which is why feedback is welcomedfrom every Payscout employee and the best ideas win. Encouraging new ideas, and evaluating them based on merit, helps to foster a spirit of entrepreneurialism among our people; which is exactly how we want them to approach supporting the business:   as if it is their own.

fun working environment creates a healthy atmosphere that encourages staff to excel. By celebrating what brings your company’s vision forward, employee morale can be boosted. Success is there to be enjoyed.

Customer happiness is vital to the health of a small business. In order for a customer to be satisfied with services received, they must have a clear understanding of what services the company provides. For that reason, education is essential, and an entrepreneur must be always learning. It is easy to rest on one’s laurels once a certain level of success is achieved, but in order for a business to truly grow beyond that point, the entrepreneur must grow with it.

Inspired by our Belief

Payscout’s Vision, Mission Statement, and Cultural Attributes are all rooted in the Belief, “every individual has a social responsibility to make the world a better place.”

Taken together, the Vision, Mission Statement, Cultural Attributes, and Belief (VMCB) are the foundation of the Payscout culture. By establishing their own VMCB, entrepreneurs can create a foundation for a strong corporate culture that will pay significant dividends in the long run.

What’s the payoff of creating strong corporate culture?

Here are two examples: In a recent employee climate survey at Payscout, 97.3% of employees agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I would recommend this as a good place to work to my friends and family.” There is perhaps, no better measure of employee satisfaction, but that’s just one measure of great culture. Payscout was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing privately-held companies by Inc. Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The company ranked #2,416 in 2014, #434 in 2015, and #383 in 2016 on the Inc. 500/5000 list. That is a direct benefit of the strong corporate culture that was established at Payscout – and establishing the VMCB and utilizing it for decision making is the secret.

So, now that you have the secret to creating strong corporate culture, get out there and achieve your entrepreneurial dream.