With just a tablet and a tiny square, you can run your own business. The business tool Square is incredibly useful for processing credit card transactions in a portable way by combining the square with the use of a tablet.

 

So, what is Square?

 

Square is a software used by businesses to process credit card transactions, and it is known by its small square-shaped magnetic swipe reader that can be attached to either a tablet or a smartphone. This allows you to turn your device into a point-of-sale rather than using a traditional cash register and computer interface.

 

Paying for Square varies dependent on how much you want to include in your software, but there is a large variety of options. You also pay for Square through each individual transaction swiped through the Square reader. Square charges 2.75 percent per each swipe, dip, or tap of a credit card purchase processed through the reader, and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for any keyed-in transaction that occurs.

 

There are no monthly fees, and there are instant deposits available, with other deposits coming into your bank account after one to two business days of processing.

 

The Square Point of Sale software accepts credit and debit cards, checks, cash, and gift cards, can process credit cards even without internet connection, can provide digital or printed receipts, can charge invoices or monthly payments, and also reports on sales and inventory. Square does not charge for refunds, taxes, discounts, or tipping, and you can do this all on the Square Point of Sale app as well.

 

Square also provides a more complex software called Square for Retail, which includes all of the same features as the Point of Sale service, but with additional features as well. The Retail service lets you use a search-based point of sale, track multiple locations of inventory, manage and create customer profiles, and to issue employee timecards.

 

You can also add additional features such as E-commerce, which lets credit card transactions process through your website. You can also let customers book appointments, and you can create and send email marketing campaigns as well as starting up loyalty programs. These features do come at an additional fee, but you can select which ones best suit your needs.

 

Overall, Square provides a great alternative to a traditional cash register point of sale, as it is much more sleek, portable, and modern, and the software does provide plenty of options as an all-in-one service that can be customized to fit your needs and your pricing and budget range. The tiny Square reader itself is free, and you can also upgrade to a chip reader if you want one, which is 29 dollars. The service is definitely worth investing in for any starting business, as it provides anything you could need in terms of credit card processing and customer and employee communications.

With the use of smartphones, online shopping is at your fingertips. You can use your mobile web browser to shop with ease, or you can use one of the apps that many popular stores provide as an alternative to their mobile websites.

 

Many store’s websites, such as Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Amazon, have updated their websites to make them mobile-friendly, meaning that they are easy to navigate and view without having to zoom in or out, and the menu options are clean and easy to use on the smartphone touch screen.

 

All of the above listed website also have developed mobile apps that can be installed instead of visiting the website. These apps save your customer information such as your address and email address, as well as your credit card and shopping preferences if you so choose to input them.

 

There are also ways to online shop that are specifically meant for smartphone use. One example of this is Poshmark, which is a clothing resale and shopping app that eventually created a website after popular demand. This app allows smartphone users to search by their favourite brands or what specific item they are looking for, and to browse all items posted to the app that match the search query. Since posting items for sale is completely available to all users, there is a lot of content available. That’s why the app allows users to set their size preferences, so that they only see items that are within their size range. Credit card charges are processed through Postmark rather than through the individual sellers as an added measure of security.

 

When you shop from your smartphone, you also have the added advantage of utilizing your phone’s pay and wallet services (for example, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Wallet, or Google Wallet). These apps or services allow you to input and save your credit card information into your smartphone, and when you pay using a Pay service, the smartphone does not give away your credit card information when allowing the website or app to process your transaction while you are online shopping. Instead, it provides the mobile site or app with a unique transaction code or device code, that way your card information stays secure. And if you pay with an iPhone specifically, your purchases are protected by Touch ID, meaning the credit card owner’s fingerprint must be scanned in order for a charge to the credit card to be processed.

 

The internet and smartphones have brought about many changes in the way that we interact with the world around us, with the way that we go shopping being a major change. We are now able to shop from wherever we are in a secure and safe way with the protection features and services that our smartphones provide, and the online shopping experience continues to grow and evolve as our smartphones continue to grow and evolve, too.

There are very few things more irritating than a long, long layover at an airport between flights. However, if you have your wallet and your credit card in hand, you can kill time by turning the airport terminal into your mall and going on a shopping trip while you wait to catch your next flight.

 

Airport terminals have many different places to shop and swipe that credit card, besides the regular gift shop, especially in international terminals. You can visit different restaurants, treat yourself to a glass of wine, and even go on a shopping spree.

 

One great spot for a layover is the Vancouver Airport’s terminal, either on the domestic or the international side. With two different Starbucks locations, a Tim Hortons, fast food options such as A&W and Wendy’s, and sit-down restaurants and bars like Koho Restaurant and Bar, Lift Bar and Grill, and Vino Volo, to name a few, the dining options are plentiful.

 

You can also go shopping at stores like Burberry, Cartier, Gucci, and Victoria’s Secret, plus your typical airport stores such as Hudson News, souvenir shops, and duty-free stores, where purchases to your credit card are processed without any taxes or additional fees, and you can purchase items you will be allowed to carry with you on to your next destination.

 

With the swipe of a credit card, you can also indulge in services such as those at one of the four different Absolute Spa locations throughout the Vancouver Airport. Services such as massages, facials, hair styling, and waxing and hair removal services are available for purchase, allowing you to relax and unwind before your body has to process the stress of another long flight.

 

You can also use your credit card to prepare yourself for your next destination, by withdrawing money at the Royal Bank of Canada ATM and bringing it to one of the many ICE Currency Exchange locations that can be found throughout the airport. That way, you can make sure that you have the correct currency that you need for your next destination before you land, so you don’t have to stress and worry about finding a place to withdraw money and exchange it for the local currency upon arrival. And you have the time to do it at the airport, so why waste your precious vacation time in line at the currency exchange?

 

Even though layovers may seem like a big pain, they don’t have to be if you look at them a little differently. Rather than being bummed about a waste of a day or worrying about being bored for the entire duration of your day at the airport, see it as an interrupted chance to dine, shop, and indulge in spa services within the terminal without any other commitments to make (besides your connecting flight, of course!). So grab a glass of wine, put your feet up for a massage, and get your credit card ready to shop until you drop.

EMV………..Conforming to the global standard

EMV obviously helps to alleviate fraud at the POS, but it does not safeguard cardholder data once the payment method and consumer are confirmed. The cardholder and the card itself have now been validated through EMV but the actual card data is sent in the clear unless the merchant has layered on an encryption and tokenization solution to protect and remove sensitive card data from the merchant environment. A layered approach to fraud and security is the only way to truly be protected. Two important layers include: Card data security – A strong encryption and tokenization solution can bolster the security of the entire payment transaction and reduce PCI compliance efforts and Card fraud protection – Layer EMV with encryption and tokenization plus online fraud and verification tools

For a chip-based transaction, it’s possible to authorize the payment using either an online or offline process. When online authorization is used, transaction information is sent to the card issuer for approval. If an offline process is used, the transaction information is transferred from terminal directly to the chip card itself for authorization by the chip. Transaction authorization is then determined by issuer-defined risk parameters stored in the chip, rather than direct approval by the issuer. A hybrid process is also possible, whereby cardholder verification is conducted via offline PIN, and the transaction itself is authorized through online communication.

Making use of both online and offline authorization options both has lots of advantages. The online authorization allows for an additional layer of security and fraud protection, since most fraud mitigation tools function online, in real-time. Online authorization also simplifies chip production, encryption key management and merchant infrastructure, and it saves cost and reduces overall complexity.

The main advantage of allowing offline authorization is that it is consistent with global standards, ensuring compatibility and interoperability with international issuers’ payment devices. In addition, it also allows for transaction authorization functionality even in the absence of online connectivity as in Europe where almost 7 percent of all transactions rely on offline authorization.
For some issuers that choose to verify cardholders using an offline PIN validation process, there are several items to consider pertaining to PIN management. The issuer must provide a process for customers to change their offline PINs (which could involve using ATMs, IVR, merchants’ POS and/or in-branch services. If a card supports both online and offline PIN validation methods (as is the case for cards in most EMV countries), then separate online and offline PINs could exist. In this scenario, the issuer must either provide customer education on PIN management, or ensure that the PINs are synchronized to avoid cardholder confusion.

EMV Cards……….Bringing stability to the payment industry
EMV has played a great role in making fraud to become a thing of the past. Wherever EMV has been implemented comprehensively, including the objective PIN verification by the chip, there has been a significant fraud reduction ratio that has been achieved and sustained. In fact, EMV has become the only available technology to prevent card payment fraud from occurring in an efficient, systematic and globally interoperable way. Also, there has been no other technology that is advertised that has an alternative global deployment and support base and the maturity of EMV. Judging from the real perspective, EMV represents a typical example of a mature ecosystem with established roles and benefits for all stakeholders.
Since over a decade now, EMV possesses underlying standards that have been more stable. The necessary evolutionary changes have been managed carefully in a way that each new release or version is always backward compatible with prior releases. This ensures that the significant investments in software, hardware, communication networks and backend systems are protected. The standards are also accompanied by an efficient certification regime executed by EMVCo and the payment systems making sure the cards and devices interoperate worldwide.
There are huge numbers of industry suppliers from all over the world providing a vast portfolio of certified components. This ensures global competition on price and product quality and innovation. Thousands of banks, processors, and domestic and international payment systems in almost every country on the globe have integrated EMV into the fabric of their daily operations.
Judging from a real-world fraud-prevention standpoint, EMV is significantly more secure than traditional magstripe cards. Through the use of advanced encryption, embedded card risk analysis capabilities, and online and offline authentication, most of the traditional methods used to steal card data or to clone cards using magstripe technology are rendered worthless, or at the very least, very difficult to accomplish.
EMV specifications are the bedrock for contactless and mobile payment transactions. This relates to their functionality and transaction flow as well as to the associated security fundamentals. As a result, a mobile transaction is no different from a card transaction at the POS. Enabling the device side to perform contactless and mobile transactions means to implement these new features and security measures and change hardware and software of the devices

EMV Cards………Benefiting the entire payment value chain
EMV is embedded with the promise of reduced card payment fraud and enhanced global payments interoperability, and when combined with additional layers of security (like encryption and tokenization), it will definitely benefit the entire payments value chain. As the U.S. payments industry opts in into chip and pin, issuers and merchants are already flowing along in this new era of payment.
Because of EMV’s proven ability to dramatically reduce card payment fraud, there is a steady drumbeat that has pushed the U.S. electronic payments industry toward implementation. Now is the time for all major stakeholder organizations to take a seat at the table to collaborate on what form the new payments infrastructure should take. There are many options to consider and decisions to be made, but from lessons learned around the world it appears that EMV in the United States will confer the greatest fraud reduction and usability benefits if it is based on Chip and PIN with online authorization, with dual-interface chips and terminals that support both contact and contactless transactions to help support the consumer push towards mobile payments. This combination would seem to serve the greatest need and provide the most security value. In addition, stakeholders must plan for ways to educate consumers to minimize their confusion and problems with adopting the new payment procedures
Although EMV is often equated with “Chip and PIN,” they are not the same thing. Chip and PIN is just one possible implementation of the EMV technology. In fact, the technical specifications for EMV-enabled cards do not require a PIN, or a signature, or any other form of cardholder identity verification. Rather, the issuing bank specifies which cardholder verification services are required for a transaction with rules it places on the chip. Regardless, it is widely accepted that the combination of card validation via the chip, and cardholder authentication with a PIN provides the greatest protection against common consumer-level attacks like fraudulent use of lost or stolen cards, counterfeit cards and skimming
As global experience demonstrates, the adoption of chip technology can reduce fraud at the POS but can also drive higher card-not-present (CNP) fraud. In tandem with bringing in EMV at the POS, the issues of CNP have been addressed strategically with additional security layers such as fraud protection solutions and increased verification methods. This means that the infrastructure required to facilitate EMV payments are already in place, regardless of any remaining uncertainty surrounding how financial institutions choose to issue chip cards or merchants choose to accept them.

Credit card issuers Visa and MasterCard are making headlines lately by introducing a fix for the slow terminal checkout lines with the EMV enabled terminals. New software, designed to speed up the EMV enabled terminals and save consumers and merchant precious time at the checkout. It is much appreciated that the major card companies are seeking to improve this process, but it seems that these fixes that have been rolled out are just window dressing and not serious improvements in speed.
These latest steps by MasterCard and Visa to fix the slow terminal processing problem and the poorly planned out and worsely executed EMV transition could not be a worse fix. Right now, you cannot remove your card until the transaction is complete. This creates the perception that the transaction is slow and time consuming. Visa and MasterCards fix, changes the perception of the process, allowing the consumer to dip their card, and then remove it, does nothing to speed up the transaction.It changes the perception of slowness, without changing a thing. A customer still needs to stay put until the transaction is completed.
Even though these programs are questionable in the amount of time they will save in the transaction speed but there is a bigger issue at play here. A larger security issue with these new cards seems to be either ignored or the issuing companies are unwilling to address. European EMV cards require a PIN as a second layer of protection, instead of just a signature. For some reason the US issuers, Visa and MasterCard are unwilling to add the PIN security for the US issued EMV cards.

US card are being referred to as chip and signature cards. These cards are more secure than the old mag stripe card that they have replaced, but without the PIN, they can still be compromised and have valuable information stolen from them. For whatever reason Visa and MasterCard chose to not replace the antiquated signature verification with the newer and more secure PIN verification. Case and point, the signature verification has become so obsolete, that all card issuers have raised the maximum signature less transaction to $50 now. This encourages merchants to not require a signature on transactions less than $50.

Mag Stripe credit cards may start showing up in antique stores or on episodes of American Pickers. They were slim, easy to use, easy to max out, and the information that was kept in the magnetic strip on the back was some of the easiest financial information to steal bar none. Basically, it was a cassette tape on the back of your card.

And now, they have been upgraded from the 60’s to the 2010’s with new technology, new software, new hardware, and able to stop hackers and thieves……for the most part.

EMV technology chips, or The European MasterCard Visa chip are being added to all credit and debit cards in the United States. These chips not only change the process from swiping your card to dipping your card, but also encrypt the data in a way that makes it very hard for thieves to steal your data.

Of course, thieves have found a way to disable the EMV chip and force people to use their mag strip on the card. A simple tap from a nail in the perfect spot will disable the EMV chip and activate the mag strip. Both Visa and Mastercard are working on the solution for this now.

What might go wrong?

You can expect longer lines until people get used to the new procedures. People have been known to walk away and leave their cards in the reader and even more commonly, they pull the card out before the transaction is finished. Shoppers are going to have to learn a little patience when dealing with these new transactions.
Will this kill credit card fraud?
The new chip will make it much more difficult for criminals and hackers to counterfeit your credit card. Sadly, hackers and criminals spend all their time trying to figure out ways to beat the system. As of now, EMV is 4 steps ahead of all hackers and criminals. They are migrating to the internet now where using fraudulent cards is much easier pickings for them. But be aware, and protect your cards and your identities always.

MasterCard and Visa have jointly decided to push back the deadline for merchants to install EMV chip-card readers at gas pumps in the United States. Many merchants have stated they do not have enough time to complete the multibillion dollar upgrades.

Both companies state it is a priority for them to ensure that consumers have safe places to shop and use their cards. They will be working with both the fuel companies, station owners, industry associations, and third party vendors to make sure that this transition is a smooth process.

All merchants will now have until October 1, 2020 to upgrade to the new EMV chip technology for their businesses. Both companies will monitor payments and fraud trends at the pumps to assist their customers in discouraging fraud. Currently, banks are responsible for the fraudulent transactions that occur on a consumer’s card at the gas pump. Now that the deadline has been set, that liability will shift over to the station if they are not compliant after the deadline.

The process, so far, has been successful. To date, more than 1.7 million, that represent over 1/3 of the US store fronts are now accepting EMV cards correctly. Visa has seen a 43% reduction of counterfeit card fraud with merchants that are using the chip enabled technology.

One of the biggest challenges for the gas station owners is their older pumps will have to be completely replaced before the chip readers can be installed. This will require specialized vendors. And even 5 years after this mandate was announced, merchants are still facing a shortage of compliant POS terminals to purchase or lease.

Many industry sources point to the lack of a centralized organization to orchestrate the change over to the new technology. This process was mandated by three different agencies and companies, to help in the prevention of theft and fraud. But no one spent the time to standardize the process. When the first mandate date rolled out on October 1, 2015. Terminal suppliers, software programmers, merchant services companies and retailers were all being told different stories on how to implement. As a result, terminals were in short supply, the certification process was taking months instead of days to implement, and retailers were running for the hills to stay away from this fiasco until the dust had settled.

Now it is time to re-think your position on the EMV terminal. You have been given 3 more years grace, but don’t risk the fraud liability now. Start your process to implement your EMV technological upgrade now.

A high-risk merchant account in a layman’s term can be defined as a type of payment processing method that is specially designed for business enterprises that have been regarded as high-risk enterprises by banks. Some of the high-risk enterprises are software vendors, cosmetic surgeons, investment brokers, travel agencies, insurance brokers and legal gambling for whom such high-risk merchant account has been introduced.

 

The benefit of having a high-risk merchant account is that its function increases the operating costs of a business that enables the enterprise to reduce their bottom line. Certain companies in the market have dedicated their services to working together with risky merchants to provide them with the inexpensive rates. Due to this, a large number of businesses have started finding the market favorable which was not the case before, as the bank used to charge high fees for providing this service. Because of the presence of high-risk merchant account, now there are hundreds of businesses that are labeled as risky business as a result of the work they are involved in.

 

Nowadays, the business enterprises prefer to do every transaction online as online services come with a pot full of benefits. Hence, the transactions that are carried out online gave rise to online credit card processing services. Mostly, the transactions rest on the credit and debit cards which are now the most preferred mode of payment of the country. Looking to the fast- paced business world, to have a merchant account that allows credit card payment has become vital or else it will be like you are denying the benefits that you can get for your business, regardless of the size of your enterprise.

 

If you are aiming to become a successful online merchant, then it is necessary to acquire the online credit card processing services. Being a part of this service will enable to expand a number of users that your business can reach. The online credit card processing service offers you with a solution that helps in accessing your merchant account from any part of the world. Hence, it gives the surety of increased sales as you are not limiting your company to a specific region or country. Moreover, it even provides you with the service of opting for a multiple currency support due to which you can accept payments from anyone who is interested in your services or products. At the same time, if you have kept a default currency, then the bank will automatically convert all the payments to the preferred currency due to the active online credit card processing service.

 

An added advantage of online credit card processing service is that you can learn more about the target audience. It offers with a function that permits you to check out the detailed information about the customers which can help you to optimize your website, add functions or features that can appeal to the target audience. Overall, businesses wish to have a service provider that offers them solutions that are easy to use at an affordable cost and the one with all such services that benefits the business.