Merchant Mess

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

The security breach last week, of forty-million card holders at Mastercard...has local merchants on high alert.
It's merchants...who end up shouldering most of the costs.
65-percent of its business at Sparks Florist is done by credit card...whether in the store, on the telephone, or over the internet.
The percentages can be small...but certainly add up.
Sparks Florist averages five to ten charge backs a month, which cost the company about a thousand dollars a year.
Recently, the company has started to ask for the security code on the back of the credit card...along with an address.
Cavanaugh's is taking it a step further...since 75-percent of its business is credit card sales.
The upscale furniture and art store...requires a down payment, before placing an order.
Customers have to pay the remaining balance...once they get the merchandise.
But, if the credit card machine doesn't pick up a bad card...this allows managers a few days to look over the information, before shipping the product.
Merchants say they have enough safeguards...but when it's the credit card companies releasing the information...more needs to be done to protect them.
Right now, California is the ONLY state requiring credit companies to disclose security breaches.
But, this issue has kicked legislative hearings into high gear...ALL aimed at protecting the consumer.


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