5 security tips for accepting online payments at your association

Read on for tips to help you protect your association’s reputation and reassure your members that your online payment environment is secure and trustworthy.

Online channels offer great opportunities for associations to increase brand awareness, recruit and engage members, and generate revenue. At the same time, there are challenges when it comes to processing online payments for such things as dues, event registrations, and donations.

Members want to know that their sensitive personal and financial details don’t end up in the wrong hands. In fact, association industry research shows that more than 70 percent of members worry about data privacy and security. You need to protect your association’s future as a trusted resource in your industry.

Here’s five tips that’ll help you protect your association: 

Familiarize yourself with fraud.

It’s worth it to learn more about different types of fraud impacting associations, why it’s attractive to criminals, how it’s done, and how it can be stopped. The more you know, the better able you will be to identify suspicious activity and transactions, which can be shut down before they become a bigger problem. It’s then also more likely you will discourage criminals from attacking your online payment system. Fraudsters keep coming with new cyber schemes, so make learning a continual process.

Become PCI compliant.

To standardize the process of accepting, transmitting, and storing payment data, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) created a set of regulations mandating organizations to abide by rules to reduce fraudulent activity. This requires the annual completion of a self-assessment questionnaire. Remaining compliant with these guidelines is mandatory for all organizations handling credit card data of any kind.

Lock down your equipment.

You may be used to leaving your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone lying around to use for processing memberships and donations. However, you’re putting yourself and your organization at great risk, especially as your staff grows. Make sure every device is password protected. Regularly change passwords. Don’t give administrative access to just anyone. Educate staff on the need to protect their own devices, especially if they have access to your organization’s network or cloud storage platform.

Don’t hang onto payment data.

Storing payment and credit card data on a database, network, or cloud-based storage system is risky, and makes data vulnerable to hacking. If you do experience a breach, it will be your responsibility in terms of fees, penalties, and damages incurred from it. By using a hosted payment or donation form, you remove sensitive payment information from your system and reduce your risk.

Ramp up your security.

Security for online payments is about using multiple tactics to keep transaction data safe. Consider using encryption and tokenization, as well as a firewall and fraud management tools. Encryption and tokenization work to scramble data and make it unusable to hackers should they get close to it. Fraud management tools can help you set parameters on your merchant account to prevent thieves from testing cards, making transactions from blocked countries, or charging amounts larger than permitted.

These security tips don’t require a significant financial investment. They’re more about investing time and using knowledge to create a safer online payment environment.

Learn more

Your association management software (AMS) should make it easier to secure online payments at your association. For example, YourMembership AMS by Community Brands partners with Affinipay and BluePay to help your association move toward securely digitizing your revenue streams.

Learn more about why thousands of associations choose YourMembership to manage their membership and keep their member data secure: Request a demo

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