The technology shifts over the past few years have upended how people do business. Remote and hybrid environments rule the workplace, and companies do more business from home locations today than at any point before. From meeting with clients and closing deals to signing contracts and accepting payments online, virtually everything someone can do in a brick-and-mortar establishment they can do via the web.
Digital transformation is reshaping the world. With the ability to work and manage activities from virtually anywhere, people have more freedom to roam without affecting productivity. In some cases, that mobility helps workers improve their efficiency and accomplish more than if tied to a desk or conference room.
However, those benefits come with greater responsibilities. As companies shift activities online, they must ensure that protections are in place to keep everyone—including themselves, customers and business partners—safe from cybercriminals.
An uncompromising defensive posture is a “must-have” in this growing web-based commercial environment. That situation is especially true in relation to online transactions.
Sharing credit and bank account information can create anxiety in the best circumstances, but some misperceptions around passing data via the internet exacerbate those concerns.
MSPs must understand those apprehensions to support their clients effectively. The more you know about small business owners’ “payment insecurities,” the easier it will be to find and implement the appropriate solutions. Providing end-users with tools and best practices to safely complete online transactions is crucial in today’s fast-paced environment—and MSPs must be confident in those endeavors. SMBs increasingly rely on that type of support to keep pace with the competition.
What key points does every MSP need to know about payment security today?
- Compliance can be complicated for SMBs. While business owners need not understand all the complexities of PCI- DSS (the Payment Card Identity Data Security Standard), MSPs should have good familiarity with these transaction protections. Team members should know the basic industry requirements as well as the tools and best practices that can help clients protect card data and other personal information. MSPs must adhere to the same standards in their own operations—like implementing a secure payment portal (ConnectBooster).
- Strong policies heighten awareness. A proper payment security strategy outlines the rules, regulations, and measures to protect a client’s or partner’s privacy, data, and transactions. Examples include mandating the use of password management and encryption solutions and multi-factor authentication. Other typical requirements include employee training and adhering to standard operating practices for all transactions. The more end-users know about the risks and penalties for non-compliance, the more likely they will be to adhere to their company’s policy.
- Online payment options are the new norm. Customers expect modern-day companies to offer the latest technologies, and as the IT experts for many small businesses, MSPs are often in charge of those transformations. Those responsibilities could include implementing a secure online payment solution. Providing options that address the needs of clients and their customers and adhere to the PCI-DSS rules is a must and, when done properly, can create new revenue streams for the MSP. Innovation and cybersecurity expertise, including payment security, are a value-add that many businesses seek in their IT services providers.
- Paper checks and in-person transactions offer no assurances. In some segments of the SMB community, there remains a misperception that online payments are riskier than traditional transactions. Those skeptics fail to mention that criminals have been targeting paper checks and in-person credit card transactions for decades. Whether through direct theft or “confidence schemes,” anyone can copy account information to make unauthorized purchases or withdrawals. Technology advances are making it easier for customers to make payments online without compromising the security of their bank and credit information.
- Secure payments create high margin channel opportunities. Most businesses accept credit, debit, or ACH today, and that resulting rise in demand requires companies to double down on the defense of transaction systems. The more clients need those services and expertise, the greater the opportunities for MSPs who can deliver those options. Whether accepting payments online or in-person, designing, implementing and supporting solutions that adhere to the latest PCI-DSS standards is a thriving and profitable practice option for the IT services community.
Protect the Digital Divide
The internet continues to reshape the way the world does business. The COVID-19 pandemic caused online purchasing to swell as people stayed home and avoided person-to-person contact. That same transformation occurred with B2B transactions, as companies shifted from direct face-to-face meetings with sales teams to online conversations and payment systems.
According to a recent Gartner study, more than 83% of B2B buyers prefer to buy products and services online. That research also suggests those numbers will continue to increase as the older generations retire. Balancing that transformation with effective cybersecurity protections remains a top priority—a significant opportunity for the MSP community.
Is your team ready, willing and able to take on that challenge? Whether you’re looking for options to keep clients’ payment secure or preparing to adopt similar options for your MSP business, ConnectBooster can help. Schedule a demo to see how ConnectBooster can better secure your transactions.