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Payments 'Survivor' - the reality of fraud and secure payment solutions

The "reality" in reality television shows like "Survivor" is a misnomer. Instead of a script, these programs' storylines come together with the help of editors who choose what to keep in and what bits to leave on the cutting room floor. If you're the owner of a retail store or restaurant, however, you might feel like each day, week or month has you jumping through hoops and taking on challenges just like the contestants on "Survivor." Can you edit your reality? Let's take a look.

When fraudsters attack

Unfortunately, in your actual reality, you can't edit your life or the dilemmas that will face your business. One of these realities happens to be fraud. Small businesses, sadly, are much more susceptible to scams than larger companies, according to the 2014 Global Fraud Study from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The organization found the median loss for companies with under 100 employees was $154,000, while big businesses with more than 10,000 workers only lost $160,000 due to fraud.

Many small businesses fall victim to check cashing scams, have employees steal from them or encounter fraudulent card payments at the point of sale. How can your retail store or restaurant gain its "Survivor" style immunity and stay open to compete another day? You can find the answer in secure payment solutions.

Finding safety with your POS system

One of the reasons scam artists target stores and independent eateries is these enterprises usually only have one person doing the bookkeeping, Accounting Web noted. More mistakes are likely to occur with fewer eyes examining accounts. Not only can fraud hurt your bottom line, it can also damage your business's reputation. Longtime customers and the rest of the public could decide to pass your business by for fear that their financial information isn't safe on your system or with your employees.

Protect your business by using a point of sale system that makes security a priority. You can take steps such as accepting EMV cards, which are more resistant to duplication and card skimming than payment cards that expose the customer's financial data.

A POS solution that offers PCI compliance along with options such as routine vulnerability scans for potential fraudulent payments and individual passwords for each of your employees can minimize your risk of being a fraudster's next victim. Using complex passwords that you can change out frequently can ensure that no unauthorized people gain access to your POS and the sensitive customer data that it holds.

Besides changing passwords, you must consider end-to-end encryption, which keeps you and your patrons' financial data safe from the prying eyes of a third party as you transfer it from one device to another.

Remember, in order to keep your business safe from fraudsters and remain on the island, you need the proper fraud protection for your store or restaurant.