SME’s fined for failing credit card safety measures

SMEs are facing large penalties for failing to follow new procedures that were set in place to protect the credit card details of their customers.

The rules state that all businesses must be able to prove that debit and credit details are kept in a central location that is safe from fraud, such as in an approved electronic database.

However, most small business owners say that they would be happy to follow the rules, if there was more information about how to regulate or implement an appropriate system.

SMEs that are in violation of the rule must pay fines that are around a few pence for every transaction that comes through their store.  This of course adds up to a much larger amount by the close of the year.

The main complaint is that the fines are not properly being assessed, with some banks failing to flag the fines, and other businesses facing fines even though they are in compliance with the new regulations.

National chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses John Wright stated that the new measures were put in place to help improve data security but that small businesses were not considered when they were first introduced.

Even more disturbing perhaps is the fact that the banks that provide processing services to UK businesses have full discretion over how much they want to charge SMEs for breaking the rules.  Among the banks in the UK that asses fines are Lloyds, RBS, and HBOS.