The liability of hand entered credit & debit card sales

PCI compliance (Payment Card Industry) standards must be a consideration when processing sales over the phone and mail-in payments.  There's more liability with these kind of sales.  Why? The person taking the information is privy to all the card holder information.  If this information falls into the wrong hands, it's like giving the keys to the house.  Anyone with this info can use the card for their own benefit!  95% of the people are honest and only process the card for legitimate business.  But it does offer a great temptation to some to use it for their own gain.

What's to stop that employee from taking the info to make their own purchases,  to make their next purchase with your customer's card?   If the cardholder information is innocently laying on someone's desk, what's to stop another employee from writing that info down and use it that night to their benefit?  Who has all the liability?  Unfortunately, you do.

A Cardholder information breach can easily cost $50,000 to $150,000 the first year!  There's the forensic computer scan, the lawyers, fines and the cost of damages, and again, that's just the 1st year!  Just go to and search PCI to see real cases.  This is real and a real threat to your business. 

Online bill pay, payment received over the web, can provide a layer of insulation from this problem.  With proper encryption, this information entered is immediately encrypted, safe guarding Cardholder data.  The cardholder is entering the information in his computer so no one has the data at your company.  Online bill pay takes that liability from posture from your company.  Online bill pay eliminates the possibility of an employee obtaining information by seeing it on someone's desk. 

Online bill pay offers the security at a very small price.  The savings from the labor cost to hand process sales will most likely pay for the service.  There are web site payment services so you don't even have to have the expense of your own website!  Safe and secure, online bill pay let's company owners sleep well at night! 

Dave Proy is owner of and payment websites.  He can be contacted at

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