How to help protect your business debit and credit cards — and avoid fraud
Here are six ways to help protect your business debit and credit cards and accounts.
As a business owner, one of the many hats you wear is that of risk manager — from mitigating the risk of working with vendors and contractors, to ensuring your employees stay safe online, to protecting yourself with the right business insurance.
Protecting your business accounts is another hat you wear and taking precautions is easier than you might think. Here are six steps to help protect your business debit card, credit card, and checking account.
1. Check your accounts online every day
Check your accounts online or via mobile as part of your daily routine. You may also be able to request to receive alerts on your business card or account transactions from your financial institution. With these steps, you can detect and report suspicious activity right away.
2. Report a lost or stolen debit or credit card immediately
It happens: You take someone out to a business lunch and leave your debit or credit card on the table, or even worse, your wallet is stolen or lost. Fortunately, many cards offer protection by promptly reporting the lost or stolen card, and/or unauthorized charges.
The key is to report the loss immediately. The sooner you contact your financial institution, the faster they can act to help protect your account. Learn how to report a lost/stolen card.
3. Protect your personal and account information
Never give out your Social Security number, debit card number, credit card number, or other personal or business information over the phone, over email, or on the internet unless you have a trusted business relationship with the company and you have initiated the contact.
4. Don't put your eggs in one basket
Separate your business and personal accounts, including your debit cards, credit cards, and checking accounts. That way, if you're the victim of fraud, the fraudsters won't have access to all of your money. Maintaining separate accounts also makes it easier to track your business and personal expenses, and to file your taxes.
5. Prevent employee theft
Consider conducting background checks on employees who will have access to your business account including business debit or credit cards, and clearly outline when and how cards may be used, along with a spending cap. Regularly review employee card activity, and require the submission of receipts for purchases, which should then be tracked against transactions on your account.
6. Safeguard your PIN and passwords
Commit your Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) to memory, as well as passwords for your cards and accounts, rather than write them down. Set reminders to change your passwords every six months. If you must write them down, store them in a secure place, like a safe.
Following these six simple steps can give you peace of mind that you have taken steps to help your business debit cards, credit cards, and other accounts be secure so you can focus on running your business.