If you’re a merchant, chances are you’re being deluged with people telling you it is absolutely necessary to sell your goods and services online.
“If you’re not selling online, you’re falling behind!” is a popular saying.
We can all agree it is definitely reasonable to suggest that every business should have an online presence. But is it really necessary for every business to conduct their business and execute transactions on the internet?
National Merchants Association Director of Risk Pablo Nuñez that’s not necessarily true: “It depends on the merchant’s vision for their products or services,” Nuñez said. “Some services may or may not be sold online, it all depends on the operational goals.”
“For the merchants that decide this is the route they want to take, it’s usually to increase sales and to expand the target audience and, online sales allow every merchant to expand their operations past their physical borders.”
One big deterrent for merchants is the cost of doing business online. “(It really) depends on the amount of promotion that will follow the product,” Nuñez said. “Affiliates work on getting you webpage visitors whom that can ultimately can be converted over to sales. These can get pretty expensive pretty fast as these campaigns target a unique audience based on leads for matches whom fitting the merchant’s profile.”
Another big reason some merchants are hesitant is the issue of widespread card-not-present fraud and the damage it can do to a small business. “(It can hurt them) a lot!” Nuñez said. “Not having the proper tools in place can cause lots of damage to a business. Damages range from monetary, reputational or even a permanent blacklisting from credit card processing. Getting a large ticket, large quantity of product sale may not always be a good thing; knowing what to look out for and what to implement for a business whom that operates online is extremely crucial.”
Everyone remembers when Target announced in 2016 a data breach that happened in 2014. Nuñez asked whether data theft can even affect small mom and pop businesses. “Yes, it does – data breaches can definitely put a business out of business,” he said. “Conducting the necessary yearly scans for PCI compliance may not make you bullet proof, but can definitely make you a much more difficult target. These data breaches affect anyone who takes payments.”
Processors like National Merchants Association do have a role in protecting their merchants from these dangers. “Through merchant advocacy, we educate the merchant on industry regulations, industry mandates and industry best practice,” said Nuñez. “Depending on the merchant’s needs, we make the necessary recommendations to add to their online checkout process or their due diligence for knowing your customer.”
Nuñez suggests an array of products that can help identify the tough situations where fraud may be present: “We offer products that are Card Brand recommended tools — Verified by Visa, MasterCard Secure Code — IP geolocation, Address Verification, CVV, etc.,” Nuñez said. “Overall, we ask the merchants to give us a call when they may have a question as to how to approach their CP/CNP transactions.”