I don’t know how many times I get told in a weekend that no one checks ID’s anymore for Credit Card Transactions. Thats a scary thing to think about given that roughly half of my transactions are Credit/ Debit Cards. Think about it, when you go to a store or a vendor where they have to swipe your card you just blithely hand it over don’t you? You never even think about it until your card gets stolen and your account cleaned out. Then it starts to matter more. Trust me, my business partner found that out the hard way and now she is much more careful about checking ID’s.
As vendors it needs to matter more right from the get go. I have been accepting Credit Cards for over ten years, back when I had to use what we call a knuckle buster.
These days we have way better tech but the old truisms should still apply, if the card is not signed ask for an ID. Try to match the signature on the card with the signature on the screen (This gets hard when they sign with their finger but approximate). If the ID and The Card match but the card holder doesn’t match the ID refuse the transaction and call security. (Again, this can be hard if someone is in cosplay but try anyway.) These are all simple and easy things to do that take only minutes but can save you hours and even days of headache and hassle.
As Alastor ‘Mad Eye’ Moody used to say, “Constant Vigilance!” There are weekends though where I feel like Smokey the Bear.
And just like Smokey the Bear I feel like no one is freaking listening! I get it, you’re trying to get the sale and make your expenses but if you take a stolen card and it gets reported you have to pay back the money stolen and a fee with your credit card company so you’re out more money than you would have lost by turning away a suspicious customer.
Now some companies have built in protections for their clients. I know Square has one, I’m not sure about paypal but if you abuse the protections you can lose them, not to mention that if you get a reputation for accepting stolen credit cards it can damage your business in a huge way. Remember this is a reputation driven industry and you do NOT want a reputation for Credit Card Fraud.
Now there is one more thing I feel I should warn you about. The customer who claims their card was fraudulently used but really just has a case of buyer’s remorse and wants a refund but the con is over and they lost your business card. Or in some cases they’re just mean spirited. These people usually don’t mess with small ticket items like the stuff I sell but it can happen so my rule of thumb is no matter how small the transaction they MUST sign. It’s a lot harder for them to contest the purchase if their signature is on the receipt. And you’ll develop a sense of who is going to be a problem later on down the road as you gain experience.
I am including a link to some statistics on Credit Card Fraud below for your further edification and a link to a page about spotting a fake ID as well so you are all well prepared. I sincerely hope you never have to go through the hassle.
Good Luck! Constant Vigilance!!