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.

Fintech Industry Expands Access for Underserved Communities.

The oldest person ever to complete an Ironman Triathlon, Sister Madonna Buder, once said, “We have all been given different talents. And when we find them, we are obligated to use them for the greater good.”

For the fintech industry, that talent lies in providing expanded access to financial resources, and according to a recent report from the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the industry is using their talents for the greater good.

The ETA, a global trade association representing the payments technology industry, has published a white paper that explores how their member companies have introduced new products and services that expand access to underserved communities. Providing ATM access for the disabled, enabling remote check depositing for the elderly, and expanding access to credit for small business owners are just a few examples of those products and services.

The white paper is a testament to the significant progress financial institutions and the fintech industry are making to achieve an inclusive financial system that addresses the financial needs of underserved consumers.

For a fintech company that believes, “every individual has a social responsibility to make the world a better place,” the white paper is welcome news for Payscout – and affirmation that our ETA membership puts us in good company.

Payscout recently announced a partnership with the Jefferson Awards Foundation to serve as one of the Foundation’s “champions” and engage in meaningful community service. The partnership is a part of Payscout Gives– a series of community outreach initiatives that focus on supporting education and social entrepreneurship.

The products and services described in the ETA’s white paper suggest many members of the fintech community share in Payscout’s essential belief. That’s great news – because finance and technology are powerful tools. Like few other industries, fintech is uniquely positioned to leverage those tools (their “talents”) for the betterment of underserved communities.

Sister Madonna Buder would be proud.

Honoring Our Future’s Social Entrepreneurs

Payscout partnered with the Jefferson Awards Foundation to mentor Van Nuys Middle School students and support their social entrepreneurship endeavor, Operation: Blankets of Love. On Friday, May 26, Payscout and the Jefferson Awards Foundation presented a banner honoring the Middle Schoolers’ Silver Leadership award for their inspirational social entrepreneurship.  The Appreciation and Celebration Event at Van Nuys Middle School, at which Payscout presented a banner alongside the Jefferson Awards Foundation, welcomed representatives from the LA Chamber of Commerce, the LA Unified School District (Superintendent Michelle King was a Special Honoree at the event), and Ms. Candy Williams, CEO of Empowered Gifts was on hand, as well. Payscout is the first Champion of the Jefferson Awards Foundation in Los Angeles. The partnership aligns with Payscout’s Belief statement: “Every individual has a social responsibility to make the world a better place.”  As LA’s first JAF Champion, Payscout launched a mentoring project with the Van Nuys Middle School as part of the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s Students in Action program. JAF launched the Students In Action program in 2006 with a goal of developing today’s students into tomorrow’s community leaders. The three pillars of the program are Leadership, Engagement, and Impact, and on Thursday, over 140 high school and middle schoolers from the greater Los Angeles area gathered for a day spent honing their leadership abilities. “We’re elated and thrilled to have a partner like Payscout to support and participate in an event where we power students to have maximum impact on the issues they care about most through our Students In Action program,” said Jackeline Muñoz, Greater Los Angeles Regional Program Manager at the Jefferson Awards Foundation. “We are empowering the leaders of tomorrow, and Juan and the Payscout team not only had a direct impact in helping make our training a success, but they also serve as an extraordinary example of compassionate leadership.”

Adding a Payment Gateway to Your Website

A payment gateway is an important component in any business payment processing model. It is used to ensure that every transaction between the merchant and a consumer undergoes proper processing and it is also how one determines whether to accept or decline a transaction.

With a payment gateway, you can feel assured your business is safe and well protected while also ensuring electronic payments are made quickly and smoothly. If you are looking to install a payment gateway on your website, check out our three tips to help get you get started.

  1. Consider the needs of your business: You should determine your overall sales and the amount of money that you process from debit and credit card sales and determine if it is worth installing a payment gateway.
  2. Compare gateway providers: You should always look for a better company that will provide you with the best payment gateway for your business. Try to find a provider that is transparent about the fees they charge you and one that is also willing to be flexible about finding the payment plan that fits your business needs best.
  3. Be aware of the fee structure: There are important things you’ll need to know when choosing a payment gateway provider, such as fees, monthly charges and contract termination penalties. Some providers try to hide their fees from their customers, so make sure you request a fee structure to ensure you clearly understand what you are paying for!

Payment gateways are a huge part of doing business online, so it is important that you choose a gateway provider that fits your unique business needs. At Payscout, we pride ourselves in being able to work with our clients to provide the best services possible. Check out our website for more information on how to set-up a payment gateway, or contact one of our customer service specialists at 888-689-6088 to learn how we can help you with establishing a payment gateway account.

 

 

Trends in Mobile Payment Processing

Today, the most common methods of payment in almost any business industry are via debit and credit card. If you are not accepting card payment, you are most likely losing out on sales. After all, statistics show that three out of every four retail transactions done in the United States are preformed using a credit or debit card, and often times, these transactions occur via an online marketplace. Gone are the days when merchants are tied to counters and conventional offline stores.

Mobile card processing also enables retail business owners to reach their target market wherever they go.

Retail business owners can now leave their store behind and go to where the consumers are. Regardless of the industry you are in, you will definitely benefit from mobile payment processing.

One up-and-coming mobile payments trend that retail owners should be paying attention to is the use of mobile wallets. Mobile wallets are apps that allow you to pay with your credit card using your phone instead of a physical card. This is a huge advancement in payments technology, merging the security of a payment card with the ease and convenience of a smartphone. Mobile wallets are available on both iPhone and Android enabled devices and are gaining swiftly in popularity, with 11% of the American population making use of these apps.

Make sure you are staying on trend as a business owner; contact one of our customer service specialists today at 888-689-6088 to see how you can begin accepting payments from mobile wallets.

 

The Top Five Reasons Small Businesses Should Accept Credit and Debit Card Payments

One of many things you need to consider as a small business owner is which payment options to offer your customers. Paying via a credit or debit card has quickly become the most popular method of payment around the globe. Despite this fact, many small business owners refuse to accept credit cards, because they think there are costly fees that will only drain their potential profits.

This is a common misconception that could be costing you sales and hurting your bottom line more than any fee ever could. Apart from opening new sales avenues for your businesses, here are the top five reasons that you as a small business should consider accepting credit cards.

  1. Credit cards encourage buying: Shoppers feel in control when they use credit and debit cards. Some studies even indicate that customers spend more when they’re paying with plastic instead of cash, most likely due to the credit line their card provides.
  2. Accepting credit cards can improve cash flow: Credit card transactions are processed and settled quickly, meaning no more waiting for checks to clear and no more waiting to collect from your customers.
  3. Accepting credit cards eliminates the risk of accepting a bad check: A bounced check can be costly. Not only does it take a chunk out of your profit, it also costs you time trying to track down the customer to collect a payment. With credit cards, transactions are screened as they are processed to reduce the risk of fraud.
  4. Debit and credit cards are convenient for shoppers: Let’s face it, the days where people carried a significant amount of cash around them are over. Customers are carrying plastic and are specifically looking for businesses who will accept their cards. Also, with credit card companies offering cards that earn points, mileage and other rewards, more and more people are opting to pay for products with their credit cards. Keep competitive by accepting credit as well as debit.
  5. Accepting credit cards is relatively inexpensive: Credit and debit card processing is a highly-competitive industry, meaning you’ll likely find a merchant services package that suits your budget. Many business owners discover that the increase in sales generated by credit cards more than covers the costs involved.

In order to start accepting card-based transactions, you first need to open a merchant account with a qualified electronic transaction processer. Payscout can be there to help you every step of the way and answer any questions you might have about how to use credit cards to expand your business. Check out our website for more information or contact one of our customer service specialists at 888-689-6088 today!

Mobile Processing Equipment From Payscout

At Payscout, we pride ourselves on having a standard of excellence in customer service, and that standard extends to our products. We understand your business is sometimes constantly on the go, so you need mobile credit card equipment you can trust to hold up to the task.

Payscout integrates the iProcess Mobile Payment App into our mobile credit card processing bundle. The iProcess App is compatible with both iPhone and Android enabled devices and can process transactions anywhere in the world via wifi or a cell phone data connection.

We use the iProcess App with our system, because of its convenient and easy to use features. With iProcess you will enjoy:

  • Geotagging the location of the sale on the receipt
  • Receipts sent via e-mail or SMS
  • Capture of digital signatures and the addition of a tip to the total amount charged
  • Full or partial refunds from the Transaction History Log
  • Processing of keyed or swiped transactions with our Encrypted Swipe Solution
  • FREE to download application

You will also be assured every transaction performed with iProcess is safe since the App uses an encrypted card reader to protect both the merchant and consumer. This helps to provide a reliable, safe and easy transaction for all parties involved with the security of encryption that meets PCI-DSS requirements.

Why Choose Us?

On top of providing a free mobile card reader and subscription to the iProcess mobile processing platform, Payscout offers our mobile customers the following benefits:

  1. No set-up or activation fees
  2. No cancellation or early termination fees
  3. No annual fee
  4. No monthly statement fee
  5. Approvals within 48 hours
  6. 24/7 telephone technical support
  7. Rates = 1.95% per swipe + .19¢ *
  8. Low monthly mobile device fee of $5.00

* All proposed rates and fees provided by Payscout, Inc. are subject to credit approval.

To check to see if your phone is compatible with our system’s mobile processing application, head over to our website or contact one of our customer service representatives at 888-689-6088 to learn how we can help you grow your business!