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Prevent Gift Card Fraud This Holiday Season

Posted on Fri, Dec 13 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a big season for scams and fraudulent activity. We often think of these in terms of email phishing attempts and fraudulent credit card transactions, but did you know gift cards are a prime target for this kind of activity, as well?

gift card fraud

According to the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center), gift card tampering and balance theft should be of concern to merchants. Because of their anonymous nature, "gift cards offer multiple outlets to turn them into cash, and can be used as a way to launder money."

We've all received gift cards in one form or another .... either an actual physical gift card, via e-mail, and even via social media or mobile.  Because gift cards are available in such a variety of forms there are multiple ways to commit fraudelent activity that not only harm consumers, but merchants as well.

One of the most "popular" forms of gift card fraud occurs when a theif steals an inactive card from a store display, then records the card number and access code and returns it back to the display. Once the card is purchased by a consumer and activated at the checkout register, the funds are then available for the thief to use online. All the thief has to do is regularly check the available balance to determine when the card is active.

Another method being used by criminals is copying the bar card information off of a merchant gift card. They then create duplicate/matching bar code stickers and attach them to multiple gift cards on the display. These gift cards are then purchased by unsuspecting consumers.  When activated, the actual funds are added to the thiefs original card rather than to the actual gift card purchased by the consumer.

A third method used by fraudsters is searching online for people who have gift cards listed for sale. They call the seller and ask the seller to confirm the balance available on the card via a three-way call between the seller, the "buyer", and the merchant's IVR. The seller then enters the card number and pin using their keypad during the three-way call. What they don't realize is that the "buyer" is using software to capture the card number and pin in the background. Armed with that information, they can use the funds online to make a purchase without ever paying the seller for the card.

Many retailers find that the biggest source of fraudelent activity is found in employees. A customer comes in to pay for merchandise using a gift card. When the transaction is complete, the customer's card still has a remaining balance, but the employee switches and gives them a card back that has no balance available. The employee then takes the customer's card and spends the remaining balance.

The best way to prevent fraud as a retailer is to be educated about the methods that thieves are using. This enables you to be proactive. A few suggestions for retailers:

  • If you use a card display, place it near your registers or where it always has a team member nearby.
  • Make certain that zero balance cards from customers are destroyed.
  • Keep close track of blank cards.
  • When purchasing gift cards for your business, be sure to talk with your provider about security measures included with the card. The small added cost for additional security can save you money over the long term from losses due to fraudulent activity.

About Novera Payment Solutions

Novera Payment Solutions is well known as a leader in the credit card payments industry and is committed to helping businesses improve their bottom line by providing significant savings on credit card processing fees through our innovative flat fee merchant account pricing model.

Novera Payment Solutions Advantange

  • Novera Payment Solutions's consultative approach allows us to thoroughly educate our clients, equipping them to better understand this complicated industry.

  • We take the mystery out of the credit card processing business.

  • We work with all types of businesses across the country.

Contact Novera to learn more about how we work with businesses  to provide the most fair and transparent pricing structure available on the market today for credit card processing and gift card program strategies!

 

Request FREE Gift Card Information

Tags: accept credit cards, gift card program, flat fee credit card processing, loyalty card program, credit card fraud, gift card fraud

Auto Dealer News : A Creative Use of Twitter for Your Dealership!

Posted on Mon, Dec 09 2013 @ 10:11 AM

In previous posts, we've discussed the fact that there are few things more frustrating to auto dealerships than losing precious recurring service business to the aftermarket. Fortunately, several strategies are available to help auto dealers to build service retention programs and to profit from them. Our recent post, "Keep Service Business at Your Autodealership", discussed using pre-paid maintenance plans, and well as service rewards and customer loyalty programs. Just as with pre-paid maintenance plans, customer loyalty card programs keep car owners coming back to your dealership through the life of the vehicle, allowing you to cultivate long term relationships with your customers and ultimately create repeat purchasers and referrers.

You can also use social media as a very powerful tool to draw service business back to your dealership!

There are many reasons you should be using Twitter to help market your auto dealership and build your brand, but did you know that Twitter also has a free SMS (text messaging) service? The best part is your customers do not have to have Twitter accounts. They can simply subscribe to receive your Twitter updates via text message, which are then received directly on their smart phones. What a great way to alert customers of service specials, remind them seasonal of service checkups, as well as promote other specials throughout the dealership.

auto dealer merchant accounts

Here's how it works:

  1. Create a Twitter account for your dealership. Once you have setup your account, you will have a Twitter handle.  For example, @NJCarDealer.
  2. Market your text alert service with signage at the dealership, in your ads, and in your other promotional materials.
  3. Your customers use their smart phones and send a text message to shortcode 40404 that reads FOLLOW NJCarDealer (replace NJCarDealer with your actual handle). Notice there is no mention of Twitter here ... your customer does not have to have a Twitter account. This service is called Fast Follow.
  4. Once your customer subscribes by sending this text message, they will receive anything you post to your Twitter account as an actual live text message on their smart phone. 

Why is this so powerful?

Besides the fact that Twitter makes this available to you free of charge, consider some of these stats from Anchor Mobile and LogMyCalls:

  1. 98% of text messages are read vs. 29% of Tweets vs. 12% of Facebook posts vs. 20% of emails.
  2. 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt.
  3. SMS coupons are 10x more likely to be redeemed than mail or newspaper coupons
  4. 70% of all people in the U.S. said they would like to receive offers on their mobile phones.
  5. The average person looks at their phone 150 times each day.

You already know that ngoing interaction with satisfied customers through the life of the vehicle builds relationships and customer loyalty. Considering giving Twitter a try!

About Novera Payment Solutions

Novera Payment Solutions is an industry leader in auto dealer service rewards programs, as well as flat fee credit card processing for automotive dealerships. With proven successful partnerships serving the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), the New York State Automobile Dealers Association (NYSADA), the Mississippi Independent Auto Dealers Assoc. (MIADA), and the Massachusettes Independent Auto Dealer Association, Novera Payment Solutions helps auto dealerships sell more cars and get additional service business from existing customers.

Learn more about Loyalty Cards and Service Rewards Programs for your dealership:

  • Get started with Novera's Loyalty & Service Rewards Program for Auto Dealers and increase your customer service visits

  • Use the Loyalty & Service Rewards Program to bring customers back to repurchase

  • See dramatic savings on your credit card processing fees with Novera's flat fee, transparent processing rates for auto dealers

Request a FREE Loyalty Program Information

Tags: accept credit cards, flat fee merchant account, auto dealer news, auto dealer software, accept mobile credit card payments, accept online credit cards, auto dealer credit card processing, auto dealer merchant accounts, auto dealer association, auto dealer service rewards program, loyalty card program

Boost Your Business with Gift Cards this Holiday Season!

Posted on Fri, Oct 25 2013 @ 01:28 PM

We have all received gift cards at some point and have likely given them as gifts to friends and family, as well. But have you ever considered offering gift cards for your OWN business?

The statistics about the gift card industry make it clear that if you are not offering them as an option for your customers, you may be missing out on sales.

According to GiftCardGranny.com:

  1. The average gift card user ends up spending an extra 20% beyond the value of the card.
  2. Retailers who switch from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards typically see a 50-100% increase in sales.
  3. 61% of gift card holders spend more than the amount of their gift card, and 75% of those who overspend spend 60% more than the value of their card.
  4. Around two-thirds of American consumers have purchased at least one gift card.

It's clear that not only is there a consumer demand for gift cards, but merchants definitely benefit financially from the consumers who use them.

Why not boost your business with gift card this holiday season?

Novera Payment Solutions offers an easy gift card program & customer loyalty card program. This program can be a terrific way to attract new customers while building loyalty with your existing customers at the same time. It can also reduce fraud and help increase brand awareness.

The gift cards are easily customizable to your individual business from both a branding perspective and a program perspective. Generally, gift cards "store" a pre-paid value which may be used for purchases, but they can also be "reloadable", or even used in a rewards program format. Our team will be happy to consult with you to help determine the best implementation for your business type.

gift card shutterstock 114878095

Get started today, and take what is in essence a “tax” on your business (credit
card processing) and turn that commodity into a powerful marketing tool that can help
your business grow new sales and improve repeat business from your existing customers, all while securing transparent flat fee pricing for credit card processing through a partnership
with Novera Payment Solutions!

For a limited time, Novera Payment Solutions is offering 100 FREE GIFT CARDS when you sign up for our payment processing service!

Request FREE Gift Card Information

 

 

 

 

Tags: accept credit cards, gift card program, accept online credit cards, flat fee credit card processing, loyalty card program

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