11 13 2015

Small Business Holiday Security

11 13 2015

Safeguard Your Small Business This Holiday Shopping Season

Sometimes it requires a small business loan and greater investment in security to protect both you and your customers from fraud and identity theft. This is especially true during the holiday shopping season. By ensuring the safety of your customers and your company’s accounts, you not only build a lasting trust with these fickle shoppers, but you protect your financial interests.

The holiday shopping season is typically characterized by pandemonium, chaos and general disarray. As customers embark en masse to all of their favorite retail stores, cashiers get swamped, inventory ends up all across the floor and managers and owners must do all they can to stay at least one step ahead of the eager shoppers. Unfortunately, criminals thrive on this type of organized chaos. According to the National Retail Federation, total sales during the winter holiday shopping season are estimated to reach $630.5 billion this year, and criminals are eager to carve out their own little slice of this revenue.

Thankfully, there are several ways retailers and other small business owners can safeguard their merchandise, sensitive financial information and operations against criminals.

EMV readers

While most retailers will be familiar with the recent transition from regular magnetic stripe debit/credit cards to the EMV cards, not every owner has made the switch. For those unaware of the change, beginning Oct. 15, 2015, a liability shift occurred, which means banks will no longer be held responsible for fraudulent activity that happens on a magnetic stripe transaction if an EMV transaction is available. Instead the business will be held liable for any fraudulent activity. According to Ingenico Group, only about 60 percent of U.S. cardholders received EMV cards from their banks or card issuers. In addition, only 41 percent of small businesses have installed EMV readers, as many cited costs concerns and an absence of training, according to a TD Bank survey. By installing EMV point-of-sale terminals and ensuring employees accurately utilize this technology, owners can reduce the likelihood of fraudulent activity occurring and increase their POS security.

Hire extra security

While no one anticipates a melee to break out at a store, it’s unfortunately not unheard of. Two customers simultaneously reaching for the last highly sought-after product on the shelf can lead to a disparaging exchange of derogatory comments that can easily escalate if the proper precautions are not met. In another example, a brazen thief might attempt to pilfer expensive products in front of everyone. In either of these scenarios, having a security guard on duty can easily dissipate any tension or scare away a would-be thief.

Beef up cybersecurity

Hackers breaching servers and networks are becoming all too common. With so many transactions occurring at such a high level, it can be easy to lose track. In addition, cybercriminals are becoming more technologically savvy each and every day, which means small business owners – especially retailers – need to remain vigilant in their efforts to combat this increasingly prevalent form of crime. Speaking with IT professionals to build a more secure system will protect both your records and your customers’ accounts. And you can often lease IT equipment to help keep costs down and ensure you get the most up-to-date technology.

Employee training

Whether having introductory sessions for seasonal hires to refresher courses for long-time employees, it can never hurt to institute a few training courses. New workers might not yet have the eye for watching for fraudulent behavior, while loyal employees can sometimes become complacent. Incorporating some extra training classes keeps everyone on their toes and can even potentially reduce or diminish the chances of employees stealing or assisting with a theft at the company.

While all of these suggestions will ultimately cost a business owner additional overhead, the increased security and financial safeguards cannot be underestimated. Ensuring the safety of your customers’ and your company’s sensitive data builds brand trust and keeps more money in your pocket.

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Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.

 

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To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan.  What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number.  We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you.  We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

 

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The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

 

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I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.

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