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Small Talk with Bank of America Merchant ServicesTM
News you can use for small business success.

Introducing Small Talk with Bank of America Merchant Services

Small business owners have a lot to handle these days. Corner stores compete against eCommerce giants, point-of-sale systems have jumped to the cloud and your customers want quicker and easier ways to shop.

The challenges can be intimidating, but as the realities of owning a small business change, the fact remains that we’re still here to help you navigate it all.

We invite you to jump into the first edition of Small Talk in which we spotlight some of the most important trends and opportunities facing small businesses today.

Get help cracking down on cyber criminals

While big data breaches at high profile companies tend to make all the headlines, that’s not the only story. Small businesses can also be a target – and the price tag can be shocking.

What small business owners are saying
We did some digging and discovered that almost 44% of small businesses reported being a victim of a data breach. And of the small businesses that experienced a breach, almost 31% spent over $50,000 to fix the problem. If the cost isn’t alarming, 20% of consumers reported they would no longer shop at a small business that experienced a data breach.1

When you consider what it takes getting back to business as usual, including all the fees from professional services firms, legal counsel and public relations advisers, you can understand why costs can be so high.

Take precautions before it’s too late
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. You can take some simple, low-cost steps to help protect yourself and your customers. For example:

  • Keep point-of-sale software and firewall systems up to date
  • Always change default passwords and update them regularly
  • Train employees to spot suspicious transactions, like unusually high-dollar sales and uncommon international orders
  • Make sure your POS system has the latest encryption and tokenization updates

If you have questions about protecting your business and your customers’ payment data, visit Security Solutions or call 800.430.7161 and we’ll be glad to assist.

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What to do when Mother Nature strikes.

Natural disasters can be devastating for homes, communities and businesses, too. After a tumultuous 2017, we know small businesses across the country will once again face destructive hurricanes, wild fires, tornados and more this year.

In the event your business lies in the path of dangerous weather, here are a few ways to prepare:

  • Waterproof as much as possible
    Wrap critical items such as POS systems and computers with tarps in case of roof leaks. Unplug all electronics and store power supplies away from the floor. Place smaller items like paper rolls for your receipt printer in sealed bags.
  • Protect large equipment
    An inch or two of water can permanently destroy things like computers, servers and other pieces of equipment that tend to be stored on the floor. Be sure to lift them to at least counter height.
  • Back-up important documents
    In case of fire or flood, be sure to print copies of important business documents and store them in an offsite location. Don’t always rely on digital copies.
  • Prepare for clear skies
    Once the weather clears, make sure you can get back up and running quickly by labeling wires and cataloging where you stored essential equipment.

We know natural disasters are unpredictable. We’ll always be there to help you get your business back on its feet.

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Purchase disputes and how to avoid them.

It can happen to any business. You make a sale only to find out days later that the customer is disputing the transaction.

It turns out disputes can be caused by a number of things, including simple mistakes, misunderstandings and yes, fraud. Here are a few of the most common causes and how to resolve them.

Purchase dispute: (verb) The act of a customer questioning the validity of a transaction that was registered to their account.

Common causes
Possible fraud

  • Customer did not authorize the transaction in question

Point-of-sale errors

  • The same transaction was processed multiple times
  • The card used by the customer was expired
  • Account numbers do not match

Business errors

  • Services not provided or merchandise not received
  • Merchandise was not as described or defective
  • Transaction amount differs from advertised purchase amount
  • Transaction displays from a company the customer does recognize

How to help reduce disputes

  • Check that the account number charged is the account number on the card.
  • Wait to process a transaction until the merchandise is shipped or delivered.
  • Provide signed proof that merchandise is delivered to the cardholder or other designated person.
  • Verify that the cardholder was advised of the purchase details and given the option to confirm or cancel at the time of the transaction.
  • Ensure your registered business name on the payment system is similar or it matches your business name on the cardholder statement.

Want to learn more about purchase disputes? Click here to view the “Common Reason Codes” video that provides a helpful explanation.

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You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Each issue of Small Talk we will answer some frequently asked questions from small business owners like you. You may learn something new!

Q: What is TransArmor® Data Protection and how does it help me?

A: TransArmor Data Protection helps protect card numbers by encrypting them from the moment of swipe, dip or tap. Card numbers are converted to tokens at the time of the authorization response and stored in the POS device. A token is a randomly generated number assigned to the card number that can be passed through the internet or other wireless networks needed to process the payment. These tokens are of no value to cyber criminals.2

Q: Why do I have this data protection on my account?

A: To help protect you from the impact of a data breach, all Clover® devices come with TransArmor Data Protection at no extra cost. You can also add the protection to other eligible POS equipment for an additional monthly fee. Along with providing an extra layer of security, TransArmor Data Protection can also help you reduce the time and effort associated with completing Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance.

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Promotional Ideas Calendar

Is your social media feeling a little stale? Download this handy promotional calendar for creative new post ideas!

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