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As many businesses are transitioning to phone and internet orders for curb-service, carry-out and home delivery, it is important to remain mindful on how these orders are being processed. If you are simply entering credit card numbers directly into your point of sale systems and/or countertop terminals, you may be in for a bit of a surprise when you receive your invoice, as those fees are typically higher.

Most businesses are actively looking for ways to reduce costs to help them keep employees, make payroll, and ultimately weather this storm. To aid in your quest to save money, I’ve compiled a brief list of tips for accepting credit card payments over the phone or online:

  1. As you’re entering the card information, never skip over a prompt that comes up on the screen of your point of sale or countertop credit card terminal. The more data you can provide, the safer the transaction, and as a result, the lower the interchange.
  2. Enter the CVV code when prompted. If it is unavailable, choose “unreadable” as your response.
  3. If prompted for Order Number, either enter the value or use the last four digits of the card number.
  4. Ask customers for their billing address and zip code when prompted. Please note, for the street address or P.O. Box, you only need to enter the numeric portion.
Precautions to Keep Card Numbers Safe

Cybercriminals like to amp it up during times of crisis and fear. Once you have processed a successful card not present transaction, it is important to destroy or secure the customer’s credit card number so it cannot be stolen and used fraudulently. If you have written down the number, please shred it in such a manner that it can’t be reassembled and used. Otherwise, please store it in a locked file with limited access. (Note: You may not store the CVV number. It must always must be destroyed after use.)

Other Secure Processing Options
  • Virtual Terminals: Depending on your type of business, a virtual terminal with an encrypted keypad may be an ideal solution. That way, you won’t have to write down card numbers, and you’ll be able to safely store them for recurring or future transactions.
  • “Quick Payment” capabilities added to your website. Using this method, customers enter their own card information and their payment data can be safely stored for future use as well.

We all remain hopeful that the COVID-19 crisis will begin to taper down in the very near future. Until that time, we’ll continue to diligently work together to help each other through. If Wind River can be of any assistance, please feel free to drop me an email. I’m happy answer questions you may have or provide you with any additional information you may need.

Stay the course. Stay strong. Stay healthy.