Positioning Value-Added Resellers as Trusted Security Advisors

By Nicole Bryan, Sterling Payment Technologies

sterling paymentEveryone has skin in the game when it comes to security within the payments ecosystem. Consumers need their account information protected to avoid fraud, merchants need to safeguard all data they collect to avoid liability for breaches, and payment processors need to avoid payouts fraudulent losses.

With a growing focus on EMV and mobile transaction processing as a means of boosting payment security nationwide, the ability of a value-added reseller to highlight how they can help merchants navigate the new security atmosphere is crucial. VARs would be wise to put their best possible foot forward when it comes to positioning themselves as security experts who can help their clients adapt.

Where to Begin?

The good news for VARs is that most merchants now have at least some familiarity with the ways in which the payment processing industry is shifting toward a more secure position. The 2015 EMV liability shift did a lot to kick-start a mass migration toward this type of payment processing. This occurred at the same time as broadening availability of mobile payment technology helped NFC purchases catch on with a small but ever-growing number of merchants and consumers.

With this in mind, perhaps the best way for VARs to highlight their security expertise is to take some of the burden off their merchant clients. With hundreds of thousands of merchants nationwide having already made the switch to newer and more secure payment technologies, or positioning themselves to do so in the near future, there are likely to be plenty of questions about the best ways to meet PCI compliance standards and otherwise step up payment security.

That's where VARs can help: While merchants typically do not have much - or any - familiarity with how to both meet and maintain industry security standards, VARs do. Therefore, positioning themselves as a kind of IT department and advisor on all related security matters, on an ongoing basis, can go a long way toward building that kind of trust.

What Do Merchants Want?

When they undergo the necessary EMV or mobile upgrades involved with taking the next step in security, merchants - regardless of their size or industry - typically want things to be as simple as possible, according to Webroot. The problem some of these businesses face, however, is that some VARs do not always have a novel, helpful approach to ongoing security not only of each transaction, but the overall point-of-sale systems companies rely on.

For instance, while antivirus and anti-malware systems are obviously a must for protecting POS devices and systems as a whole, some VARs do not often prioritize the latest and greatest options to protect those platforms. While merchants themselves may want to maintain a sort of "set it and forget it" attitude toward these kinds of protections, resellers simply cannot allow that to happen. Being proactive, and regularly updating security measures, scanning for threats as quickly and effectively as possible is a great way for any VAR to stand out from the competition. That, in turn, increases both security and satisfaction among clients.

Ongoing Advice and Assistance

Indeed, payment security experts have recently taken to highlighting the crucial role VARs can play when it comes to aiding merchants with all sorts of payment security issues, according to Digital Transactions. VARs that can guide merchants through the QIR process with helpful advice every step of the way will likely engender trust.

Moreover, persistent reminders from resellers about the importance of firewalls, proper password management and other security basics that are often overlooked can help merchants feel as though their VARs really have their backs, especially at a time when they're entering what is, for them, uncharted territory.

More Merchants Coming Around?

With all these issues now at hand, merchants seeking a reseller they can trust are now likely to actively look into a VAR's security stance, according to Tolar Systems CEO, Lance Tolar. Because no two VARs offer the same level of service, resellers have to differentiate themselves. Security expertise may be the "next big thing" when it comes to helping merchants meet their goals. However, it's vital for resellers to not only have a good plan to get merchants up to speed, it's also critical to make sure they also have clear road maps for future security improvements as well.

But to begin, any resellers that can most easily guide merchants through the process of assessing their payment systems' security and explain what needs to be done are the ones most likely to make that vital first impression. With all this in mind, VARs may want to look inward to determine where they can improve their own approaches when it comes to security, then highlight all those positives to merchants going forward.

Nicole BryanAbout the Author:
Nicole Bryan is the digital content writer for Sterling Payment Technologies, a payment processing company based in Tampa, Florida. Sterling is a payment processor that offers solutions that help grow their customers’ businesses more profitably and efficiently.

 

 

 

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