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Hot topics in credit card processing for 2013

January 3, 2013

After a year of immense change in the payments industry, a trusted partnership with your processor has become even more important.

Merchants must work alongside processors to tackle ongoing challenges while keeping pace with changes in technology and compliance.

As we move into a New Year, count on your processor to guide you through these looming areas of development.

EMV readiness. The migration from traditional credit cards to smart cards with chip technology will gain momentum. Key deadlines are approaching, and processors must be fully capable of supporting EMV technology by April 2013. Merchants have a couple more years, but preparations for adapting to EMV should be underway now.

EMV will mean improved security and processing efficiency, but the transition, including point-of-sale system upgrades, can be a complex and demanding process. You should rely upon your processor’s knowledge, experience and support to make the journey a smooth one.

Increased adoption of ACH. The Automated Clearing House network will continue its steady year-on-year growth as the backbone for the electronic movement of money. The process already dominates transactions like direct deposit of payroll funds, tax refunds, and government benefits, and it will eventually eclipse card and check use.

Compared to other methods, ACH is convenient, fast, simple and high quality. Those benefits yield cost savings and an improved bottom line.

The war on fraud. Playing catch-up on the global transition to EMV makes the U.S. a key target for international fraudsters, while growth in eCommerce adds to the incidence of card-not-present (CNP) crime. Knowing how to spot the red flags — large orders, multiple transactions and new customers — is a vital element of defense. So are processes such as address verification, approval limits and verbal authorization of suspicious transactions.

In addition to these developments, continued compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) is crucial and mandatory for all merchants. It imposes rigorous standards in order to keep every player in the transaction process safe from potential fraud. Processors must continue to encourage merchants to be proactive in this endeavor.

In a year of such complex change and competition, processing transactions effectively is merely the foundation of a much broader service structure that nourishes a strong, long-term business relationship built on trust. You need a partner that is willing and able to offer service beyond processing. Counting on your association’s resources – particularly the knowledge and expertise of the partner they have carefully selected – will be critical to meet the challenges that lie ahead. At every step, MTG will be here.

SBAM members receive preferred pricing and special discounts through MTG – check it out!

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