Why Outsourced Payment Processing-

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                                             Why Outsourced Payment Processing?
                                                               By Andy Eliason

   Payment processing for online businesses in-house can be complex and trying even in the best of
times. And as your company grows, things can only get worse. For this reason, outsourcing has
become a popular option in recent years. But the question that begs to be asked is: is it worth it?

Consider the current state of online commerce. Digital information constantly crosses the Internet,
delivering knowledge, services, and personal information to those that need it. Then again, there are
plenty of people of the criminal persuasion who are constantly on the lookout for poorly guarded
information, and know what to do with it once they've got it.

Are you prepared for such an event? In the course of running your daily business and dealing with the
constant minutia of immediate problems, have you done everything possible to guard against the
possibility of a security intrusion?

Criminals are depending on the likelihood that you haven't.

Outsourced payment processing, however helps you eliminate that risk. Companies that specialize in
processing credit cards should generally also specialize in keeping it safe.

In other words, security is one of the most important reasons to choose outsourced payment
processing solutions, but you need to make sure that the company you choose has your security as
their number one priority.

The next thing to expect from your payment processing company is the knowledge and experience that
would require too much time and hassle for you to gain on your own. The learning curve for staying
current with industry trends can be steep and unforgiving. But outsourced payment processing means
that you can leave that requirement to the people who work constantly at staying on the cutting edge of
the industry.

Also consider the current regulations mandated by the major credit card companies for security
compliance. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was devised as a means of
encouraging merchants to improve their security around credit card information. Any merchant that

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stores, processes, or transfers credit card numbers is required to become PCI compliant. Failure to do
so can result in stiff fines and the loss of the ability to accept credit cards.

The PCI DSS has over 200 individual controls that are designed to ensure a certain level of security.
They are very necessary, but at the same time can be very time consuming and difficult to implement.
Outsourced payment processing, on the other hand, can help you reach compliance by satisfying
many of the PCI requirements.

These reasons only scratch the surface of why outsourced payment processing is a good choice.
Dealing with payment processing in-house means you have to be set up for, and able to deal with, a
myriad of problems such as: selecting and setting up the merchant account bank, installing secure
gateways, ensuring that you have enough hosting capacity for your order pages and shopping cart.

We're not done yet, though. Don't forget the hardware and software installs and the constant
upgrades, maintenance, IT support, and other costs that just keep building on themselves. You have
to be ready to handle returns and chargebacks, and provide a customer support service to deal with
calls about credit card charges. And on top of all this, you have to be on the lookout for fraudulent
transactions as well as regular criminal intrusions.

If these requirements are starting to build a sense of dread for you, that was the point. Many
companies choose to attempt in-house solutions without fully realizing the implications.

Outsourced payment processing, if you take the time to research and find the right company, can help
you eliminate all that hassle while simultaneously improving the security and services you can offer
your customers.

Andy Eliason is a writer at Main10, Inc. If you'd like to learn more about outsourced payment
processing or PCI compliance, visit Braintree Payment Solutions today.

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                                   Outsourced Payment Processing As PCI Solution
                                                            By Andy Eliason

Due to the complex requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
many companies have postponed implementation of proper security measures around their customers'
sensitive information. Criminals are always looking for new targets to attack, so merchants need to
have adequate security. But what they are looking for is a simpler, more cost effective solution.

Outsourced Payment Processing is one of the best ways to accomplish a number of the PCI
requirements without causing any major interruptions in your normal business practices. There are a
number of benefits to outsourcing your payment processing needs – things that are very difficult to
achieve in-house.

First, outsourced payment processing lets you take advantage of a company's knowledge and
experience with PCI requirements. The complexities of the PCI DSS and programs, procedures, and
applications that surround safe payment processing can have a very steep learning curve. Many
companies fail to reach compliance because they simply don't have the time to gain that knowledge
and experience.

PCI DSS experts, on the other hand, can help you implement applications and procedures that will fit
well with your company model and simultaneously build your reputation as a trustworthy merchant.

The second benefit of outsourced payment processing is the amount of time that it will take to become
compliant will be significantly reduced. If you find the right company in which to outsource your
business, they can very quickly implement the solutions you need and cover a great deal of the PCI
requirements. While there are a mere 12 requirements to the PCI DSS, there are over 200 individual
controls that make them up. Dealing with all these controls can take months... possibly even a year to
a year and a half.

On the other hand, assuming you've found a competent company, outsourcing payment processing
can cut that time significantly. Down to 30 or 60 days in some cases.

And finally – what the PCI DSS is all about – security. The guidelines in the PCI DSS were created to
ensure a certain standard of security. To accomplish this it is recommended that data stored on your
system be kept to a minimum. But the problem here is that some data is necessary for legitimate
business and/or legal purposes. But keeping any information can conceivably make you a target for

The best answer to the dilemma is the old saying: they can't steal something you don't have. But wait,
you say. You just said some data has to be retained. This is true. But there's no reason to retain the
information on your own system, if you don't have all the necessary resources to protect it. All of it can
be remotely stored with a company that has nothing else to do but make sure that the informations
stays safe.

So how does all of this help a company become PCI compliant? We can start by looking at the third
requirement. It states, somewhat vaguely, that you must "Protect stored cardholder data."

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Broken down, this requirement details all the methods that must be employed to guard sensitive
information. This includes the strong encryption that must be used, the security around the encryption
keys, and what information can and cannot be stored.

Accomplishing each of these tasks can be very time consuming, and often merchants make mistakes
because they don't fully understand what constitutes sufficient encryption, or what makes a good
encryption key.

Now consider the outsourced payment processing option. A company that specializes in security is
going to be able to implement the required controls, because they are uniquely positioned to do so.
Why? They've done it before. They should be ready to do it again.

In the end, outsourced payment processing is a good option for companies that need to reach
compliance, but don't have the time or resources to do so on their own.

Andy Eliason is a writer at Main10, Inc. If you'd like to learn more about your outsourced payment
processing options, or becoming PCI complaint, visit Braintree Payment Solutions today.

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