An effective and productive retail environment no longer just thrives on cash-based transactions. In a fast-changing and highly competitive retail environment, it’s now a must to adopt alternative ways on how customers and clients can complete the transactions. This means rethinking the possibility of mobile payments systems and incorporating credit card transactions. While credit cards have been the subject of a number of malicious attacks in recent years, the use of plastics is still a popular option for payment among shoppers.

Why should you secure customer data?

Securing customer data may require extra work and additional expenses, but it’s one investment every retailer should make. Protecting customer information and payment data is a sound business practice. It can help promote customer confidence, and can also save your business from fines and penalties.  If your retail business has been found out to have violated governmental standards, then your business will face legal costs, negative publicity and the risk of bankruptcy. But if you can secure payment data, then everyone with a stake in the business including customers will benefit.

Invest in secure credit card readers

With Target experience still fresh in the minds of many consumers, it’s critical to take a pro-active stance when shopping for credit card readers. This can be implemented by looking for credit card readers that allow customers to confidently swipe and sign in checkout counters. There are number of brands that offer credit card readers, so choose a brand that allows you to seamlessly integrate PCI compliance in your business practices.

The Payment Card Industry or PCI Data Security Standard is a set of rules that every merchant and retailer should follow to remain relevant in the industry. There are 12 requirements, designed to protect payment data and customer information. The best card readers are those that can fully and instantly encrypt the credit card information as soon as swiped.

Work with reliable teams with access to Point of Sale (POS) and card readers

Retail store owners should have full confidence on their employees manning the POS terminals. Employees should be trained in handling the POS system including the best practices in using credit card readers. Informed and equipped employees can facilitate faster flow of transactions, thus improving coeval customer retail experience.

There are vulnerabilities in the traditional payment systems, but all these can be addressed by taking pro-active steps in securing the payment process. With proper training and acquisition of secure hardware solutions, customer data can be secured.