Wi11 Session to Offer Booksellers Tips on Data Security/PCI Compliance

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A Winter Institute 11 education session on Monday, January 25, will review data security and PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards to show booksellers how they can better protect their customers’ credit card data and their own businesses from liability.

The session, “Data Security and PCI Compliance: Important Steps to Protect Your Store and Your Customers,” will be led by Jim Hammons, a consultant at Total Computing Solutions, located in American Fork, Utah. The session will run from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Hammons’ presentation will provide helpful information on the recent universal switch to EMV chip card technology, and it should be useful to booksellers no matter what stage in the conversion process their store is.

“If a customer is using a fraudulent EMV card and you don’t have the equipment to properly read that card, you could be liable for the transaction,” said Hammons. “Basically what our question then is, ‘Do I trust the person standing in front of me?’ If I don’t, what can I do to reduce my risk?”

To combat rising data security breaches that mostly affect chain retailers, healthcare organizations, and even the federal government, the credit card industry has migrated to EMV chip card technology, which includes EMV-certified credit card processing equipment at the point of sale. The deadline of October 1, 2015, for retailers to switch over their POS system terminals to EMV technology has passed, but, Hammons noted, there is still much to be done by a majority of small businesses that have elected to make the switch.

The complexity of the switch-over process, which varies depending on the level of technology a business is using to process credit cards, has frustrated many small business owners. Due to constrained supply, at the moment there are many business owners who have not yet received the new pin pads they ordered for their POS terminals, Hammons said. Other business owners have reported that they are experiencing difficulty in getting the necessary certifications from the credit card processing companies, the banks, and the POS vendors in a timely manner, he noted.

Hammons said the Winter Institute session will teach booksellers general tips and best practices they can use to prevent credit card fraud, including what stores can do to reduce their risk while they wait to be completely switched over to EMV. A specific and relatively simple preventative strategy — one among many that will be discussed at the session, Hammons said — is to begin taking personal ID for any credit card purchases of more than $100.

While perpetrators of fraud are more likely to hit electronics or jewelry stores, which sell products of higher monetary value, Hammons said that bookstores are still possible targets, and that risk increases with each POS terminal that has not been switched over.

“This session will help you find out where you fit on the risk scale, and whether your technology can be adapted so it will work, how long you might have to wait to move to EMV, and what actions you can take to reduce your risk in the meantime,” said Hammons.