office environment directly affects your productivity and how you work. If your
workspace is cluttered with documents, coffee cups, and other items that don’t
need to be there, you’re likely to feel distracted and anxious when it’s time
to work. The worst part is that sometimes if the clutter is bad enough, it’s
difficult to figure out where to start cleaning it up. Here are some tips on
how to get your office space back into the productive hub it’s supposed to be:
the process by identifying items that can obviously go in the garbage. This
includes napkins, old takeout containers, and empty to-go coffee cups. Grab a brand-new
garbage bag and walk around your office identifying these items and immediately
tossing them. The mess will look more manageable after this step.
Create a space for
office struggles with a flow of random objects entering its space. There are
three main types of these items: things you need to keep (umbrella, travel mug,
coat), trash, and important documents. Make sure your garbage can is not
overflowing so that incoming refuse doesn’t end up in your workspace. For the
objects you need to keep, identify spaces where they can stay. For example,
your coat can stay on the back of your chair or hanging on the door. Your travel
mug can have space on your desk when it’s full, but when it’s empty it stays on
a table near the door so that you don’t forget to wash it.
Get two document trays
you have a lot of paperwork that you need to deal with on a regular basis? If
you do, you need an organization system for them so that they don’t overflow
your workspace. To help with this, buy two document trays from your local
office supply store. Place them on your desk and label one for new documents
you haven’t looked at yet and another one for old documents that you’ve reviewed
and need to deal with later.
Go as digital as possible
onto the issue of overflowing documents, try to digitize your work flow as much
as you can (unless you’re someone who needs to hold the documents in their
hands). Scan relevant documents into your computer so that you can store them
there and access them without digging through filing folders.
organization can be tricky since it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily
grind. Once we get into the zone of working, we often lose sight of smaller
things like maintaining a clean workspace. While that’s understandable, cleaning
and organizing your space daily will save you time and energy in the long
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has established its place in the Philippines. In 2018, it has shown a median expansion with a rate of 20 percent each year, which still has room for future growth. ASSOCHAM, India’s apex trade association, reports that their BPO services have significantly declined since more and more organizations are gearing towards the Philippines. This is due to the versatility of the Filipinos in terms of skills since they appear to be able to do it all. Filipinos have neutral accents, have extensive knowledge in finance, IT, and even in graphic design and social media management. The skillset and talent of Filipinos have proved to be a valuable asset for BPO companies.
A projected $40 billion dollars in
revenue is projected to be generated by BPO companies while simultaneously
providing stable jobs for 2.8 million Filipinos over the next five years. This
industry has also highlighted Individuals specializing in fields such software
development, web design, back-office processes, and call center operations.
Such professionals are in the frontline in major BPO operations which they
provide quality businesses around the globe while also cutting costs for labor,
streamline operations, and scale the workforce as needed.
Major cities in the Philippines
like Davao, Manila, Makati, Quezon City, and Cebu City have turned as an
outsourcing hub. This may be primarily due to the yearly produce of graduates
and young professionals. After all, BPOs offer good work culture, competitive
salaries, and numerous benefits. Some also offer the option of having to work
from home as a remedy to the country’s unsolvable traffic and commute problem. It
certainly attracts those with and without experiences alike.
The BPO industry in the Philippines
has also proved to be a vital component in the growing economy. BPO and call
center companies throughout the countries have accounted to nearly 10 percent
of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and are forecasted to employ some 1.8
million residents by the end of 2018. The Philippines’s Commission on Higher
Education (CHED) has even assisted
universities to offer curriculums focused on training potential BPO and call
Speaking of Cebu City, it is also
home to Executive Boutique (EB), one of the Philippines’ top BPO companies. EB
provides excellent customer support, tech support help desk, and outbound
calls. EB provides a desirable workplace, competitive wages, full health
benefits, motivational performance bonuses, and team-building activities. They
also boast a 3 percent average monthly turnover rate, which is way below the
industry average which can sometimes be as high as 45 percent. EB also has all
the key characteristics that companies and employees alike should look for from
24/7 tight building and computer security down to professional training and
benefits for employees. EB has certainly
established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the BPO world. Surely
you can’t go wrong with Executive Boutique Call Center.
Deciding to outsource some of your tasks is one thing, but making sure that you have a solid strategy (or transition) to get the results you want is another.
Similar to setting a financial goal to be achieved at the end of each year, a business has to have a solid plan with clearly formulated action steps to follow to make sure one arrives at that financial goal.
Outsourcing, if done correctly, will result in countless benefits. It levels the playing field, especially when pitted against a giant company. It lends your company an air of expertise and gives it a much-needed boost.
The secret to ensuring your outsourcing efforts yield positive results is to have a solid fail-proof plan. The following are essential steps to coming up with a successful outsourcing business plan:
Have a clear objective
Outsourcing comes with some advantages. It is essential that you identify what your main objective/s is/are.
Your goals may probably be along the lines of reducing costs, increasing your bottom line, using company resources efficiently, getting access to experts not available locally or internally, etc.
Having a clear objective sets the stage for your selection of an outsourcing partner and negotiation process. It helps you set expectations for your company as well as your outsourcing partner. It also allows you to come up with a criteria to measure your success.
Determine your scope
Once you have identified your goals, you will be able to set your limits and boundaries or certain restrictions. You will recognize your core and non-core business functions, determine what you can and cannot outsource and whether you want to outsource to one company or several.
For a startup company, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to help you with scheduling and administration tasks. If you are a medium-size enterprise dealing with sales, you may want to outsource market research functions or telemarketing. As a giant company, you may want to outsource manufacturing or customer service.
Know your budget
Without a plan, it is difficult to reach your goals. Having a plan also means knowing how much you are willing to spend. Especially, for startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, who may have limited resources, setting a budget ensures you don’t blow things over and, you have adequate resources left for other endeavors like growth or innovation.
Having a budget, also allows you to understand current costs and performance levels. When you know how much money is coming out, you will be able to determine your success by also knowing exactly how much or if money is coming in. Being aware of this, you will know whether outsourcing is working for you, so you move forward or if you need to make changes, to improve further.
Set your criteria for success
Once you have placed your goals, the scope of the services you want to outsource and determined your budget, you will then be able to formulate clear, critical but achievable factors to use as a gauge in measuring your success. This should be commensurate to your goals and budget.
Having a clear, measurable and manageable set of values and terms is paramount to achieve
Formulating an outsourcing strategy that ensures success can be an overwhelming challenge especially if you are new to outsourcing.
Our team at Executive Boutique would be happy to share with you valuable insights and proven strategies that are borne out of actual and years of experience.
The services we provide encompass business segments including, but not limited to e-commerce, healthcare, financial, education, retail, travel, and tourism.
Companies starting out face many challenges. And going up against established and bigger companies only bring on pressure.
As a startup company, you face concerns on limited resources, a non-existent reputation, and a vague idea of your target market consumers. Looking at it from this perspective, it would seem that startups are fighting a losing battle against giant competitors.
Good thing they can now outsource to gain a competitive edge!
Advantages of BPO
Business Process Outsourcing, which involves hiring a third party company to do business tasks, is an effective strategy for helping startups survive and thrive. The list that follows enumerates the ways a startup company can benefit from BPO.
It is Cost Effective
Perhaps the most significant benefit of BPO is its cost-effectiveness.
With limited resources at your disposal, you most likely do not have enough capital to pay for monthly salary and benefits of an employee. With outsourcing, you save on recruitment efforts and providing benefits because they already have the right number of people you need to work on your projects or business functions.
Working with a BPO company helps you get the work done, at your standard level of quality for a lower cost.
Access to Experts
Startups would jump at the chance of working with experts but may not have adequate resources to pay for their remuneration. Outsourcing makes it possible for them to work with the best talents and experts in the industry.
Your partner BPO company is responsible for costs involved in selecting the perfect talent – providing them the necessary training and tools needed, and replacing them in the event of sudden departure or resignation.
Speed to Market
In our digital age where everything is fast paced, timing is crucial.
As a startup company, you cannot afford to wait especially when the demand for a product or service is ripe. It can take months for you to find the best candidates and experts to work on your project, and another month or two to train them properly for onboarding whereas, with outsourcing, they are ever ready and at your disposal.
Outsourcing gives you the power to move and work faster, learn quickly and correct mistakes because your team members are industry experts and know exactly what to do and how to move forward – fast!
Have More Time
As an entrepreneur starting out, it is easy to get caught up with mundane administrative tasks such as accounting, bookkeeping, payroll or even customer service because you are trying to save on costs.
However, as a startup, you should devote your time and focus to essential efforts such as growth, creativity, and innovation for your business to survive.
Free yourself from time- consuming business tasks by outsourcing them so that you have more time to do your core business functions.
Enables You to Provide Full Services
With a budget to consider, you may be tempted to scrimp on some business functions like IT or a customer service team.
Modern consumers are more demanding, educated and have standards that you will need to live up to, otherwise you end up losing them.
WIth your limited resources, you need to make wise investments and get added value for your spend. And outsourcing will give you more bang for your buck. They will enable your company to run an entire department providing services such as IT support and an exceptional customer service team.
Are you ready to outsource?
With Executive Boutique you can rely on us to provide you unparalleled BPO service at the most competitive prices! Talk to us today to know more about our products and services.
So much to do in so little time? Are you feeling overwhelmed that you are now starting to question whether you made the right decision when you started your business years back?
Looking back to the day your company first opened its doors, there was so much excitement, and it was indeed a long time dream coming to fruition.
Fast forward to today – your work hours have just gone longer, and your weekends (or vacation) have become non-existent..
You’re starting to think your dream is slowly turning into a nightmare.
If you’re in this predicament right now, it’s a clear indication of that your business in experiencing growing pains. It’s the right time to start outsourcing. Here are other signs indicating that it may be time for you to outsource.
From recruiting to bookkeeping, to accounting, designing your website to updating it, fielding calls and email inquiries – running a business is time-consuming. If most of the time, you find it difficult to keep your head above water, then, it’s time for you to start outsourcing.
Be wise and delegate tasks that are non-core business functions to ease your work burden.
Stuck in Business Operations
When you’re stuck in doing mundane tasks such as answering customer emails or calls, payroll, IT tasks, etc. – that you don’t have any time left to focus on coming up with creative ideas on how to grow your business, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to outsource
This a classic scenario that screams outsourcing. Start outsourcing office tasks such as encoding, scheduling, and customer servicing so that you get all the time you need to focus on enlarging your business.
Learning New Skills
Since day one, you have been learning to balance the sheets, keeping tabs on your employees, managing your social media platform, but you are not getting better at it.
As an entrepreneur new to the business, you may feel that you need to learn and be an expert, to carry out every function in your business, be a jack of all trades. But you don’t have to be, and you shouldn’t be.
Instead of spending precious time in learning and perfecting skills that are entirely new to you, why not outsource it to skilled professionals who are already experts so that your business can start growing exponentially?
One of the advantages of outsourcing is instant access to a wide talent pool of expert professionals. So there is no need for you to waste time in learning new skills. You can take your pick from the best of the best!
Business Growth is Stalled
Noticing that most of your day is spent on daily tasks required to run your business? And that at the end of each day, you are just too tired to come up with new ideas to keep your business growing? Reflecting on this, you are confident that this is the reason your business is falling behind.
It’s time to reevaluate your strategy and decide. Start to outsource so that you can focus on the critical aspect of your business or you can stay where you are and accept that this is the best your business will ever be. Because after all, focusing on your business growth and keeping up with the current trends is all consuming.
The Excitement Has Died Down
Remember those days when you couldn’t wait for your day to start at work? If those days are gone and you feel like dragging yourself to work each day, it’s time to make a change!
It’s a sad reality, but there are entrepreneurs who no longer feel the joy and instead are feeling burnt out. If you feel your business is draining you and you’re no longer having fun, pause for a while, and evaluate. Let go and outsource the things that are time-consuming and choose to do those that you do enjoy!
Start outsourcing some of your business tasks today!
With Executive Boutique’s stellar track record of BPO management, backed by highly-skilled agents and cutting-edge technology, you can confidently shift your back-office operations to our outsourcing center in the Philippines.
We offer services such as data entry, data mining, e-filing, claims processing, call center servicing and so much more.
After careful consideration, you are now 100% convinced that by outsourcing some of your business tasks, not only will it streamline your operations, but it will also increase your bottom line.
Now comes the challenging part of choosing the right BPO partner who is a perfect fit for your business. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report of June 2018, there are 851 registered BPO companies in the Philippines.
With such an overwhelming number, how do you decide which company to choose?
Qualities of a Good BPO Company
The list that follows are some of the criteria to consider so you can narrow down your choices and make an informed decision.
1) Tenure and Experience
The amount of time a BPO company has been in operation is an excellent place to start.
The longer a company is in the industry, the more experience it has under its belt.
Questions you can ask as the hiring company can be “How long have you been providing BPO services?” “What type of services do you offer?” and “How did you service companies similar to mine?
Experienced outsourcing companies have a better idea of what your needs are and how to meet them.
2) Services On Offer
It is always to your advantage to choose a BPO partner that has a diverse portfolio of services. It may be the case that you only need them for administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and data entry as of right now. But, as and when your company grows, a great BPO company will be able to support your growth and scale with your business.
It is a bonus, when the company can offer attractive rates for bundle servicing. You enjoy significant savings!
3) Sound Business Proposal
It is also critical that your potential BPO company can articulate the business plan in delivering your services, be able to track results and come up with concrete steps in resolving issues so that you understand what you are paying for.
It also doesn’t hurt if your BPO partner has accreditation in specific areas such as project management and quality control.
4) Technology and Infrastructure
Your potential BPO partner must be equipped with up-to-date systems and technology in delivering services to you. This ensures that your outsourced tasks are completed efficiently and promptly which translates to faster turnarounds and higher productivity.
5) Competitive Pricing
It is a known fact that outsourcing brings tremendous savings. So it makes perfect sense that you would want to get value for your money.
Before deciding, carefully consider the package being offered – the services that come with it and the terms and conditions.
6) The Workforce
The success of your outsourced services depends largely on your workforce. So it is crucial that you are aware of staffing arrangements like how they choose their talents; the talents qualifications and background; the training programs your potential partner offers.
You would particularly want to know how many dedicated team members will work for your account to determine who will deliver faster turnarounds and best results.
Be confident and choose Executive Boutique! We deliver excellent service and guaranteed results with our team of experienced BPO management, qualified agents and our cutting-edge technology. Get accuracy and efficiency at a fraction of what you are currently spending.
Outsourcing might just be the wisest business move you make. And choosing a BPO company located in the Philippines is just an added bonus that’s also just as crucial.
The Business Process Outsourcing sector in the Philippines is the most flexible and rapidly expanding industries. It contributes 9 percent to our nation’s economic development and growth.
In 2017 alone, it generated a total revenue of a whopping USD$24.5 billion and is projected to reach a whole income range of USD$40 to 55 billion by 2020.
The Philippines – World’s BPO Hotspot
Since the inception of the first BPO back in 1992, our industry continues to be robust and thriving for the past 27 years.
So what makes the Philippines, the ideal place for outsourcing your business needs?
English is considered our official language with 90% of our total population, conversant in it.
In 2017, we took the 15th spot in the world with a score of 60.59 in the Education First English Proficiency Index. It is no wonder that we are one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world.
Owing mostly to our inclination to the Western culture, where we live, and breathe Western movies, music, and lifestyle, conversing in English with a neutral accent comes naturally to us. Using English as the medium of instruction at schools and universities also helps.
The average age of the Filipino workforce is 22 years old. With approximately 450,000 fresh graduates every year, we have an abundant talent pool.
Also with a younger workforce, they are dynamic, flexible, eager to learn and easy to train. Coupled with the Filipino’s ability to be emphatic, we are the most ideal candidates for outsourcing.
Strong Government Support
In addition to the existing BPO-government collaborative efforts, and in anticipation of the ever-growing need for workers, the government is showing its support by subsidizing training for applicants, matching and upskilling in preparation of our shift to Knowledge Process Outsourcing as well as promoting science, technology and the creative arts to further innovation and creative capacity.
With our relatively inexpensive cost of living, labor rates are only a fraction compared to other countries.
Since operational costs such as office space rental, office equipment, taxes, recruitment services, legal services, etc. are borne by the BPO company, you are already enjoying approximately 60% of savings.
Add to that a Filipino’s strong work ethic, allowing us to provide quality service; you get more value for your money.
If you are looking for a reliable BPO company in the Philippines to outsource your non-core, back office functions to, count on Executive Boutique to deliver top-notch, quality service.
With the help of our highly-trained and professional agents, we are here to help you streamline your operations and increase your productivity. We will partner with you in achieving success.
We offer services from routine data entry to claims filing and processing, to data verification, lead generation, telemarketing and market research.
You’ve heard all about it. The success stories of companies who are big on outsourcing, and how it continues to bring significant savings and guaranteed returns for them.
Now you are ready to take your business to the next level and are seriously considering outsourcing.
But before you take the plunge, it is good to get a better understanding of outsourcing by learning it’s different types.
Different Types of Outsourcing
The business concept that is outsourcing was introduced to the Philippines back in 1992 when the first ever call center opened. The industry has grown so much since then that it, together with remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), is what drives our economy.
The outsourcing industry generates jobs and provides opportunities for the Filipinos household which can be classified into four types.
This perhaps is the most common type of outsourcing that deals with providing specialized service such as accounting, legal, recruitment, employee relations, and common office functions similar to data encoding and providing administrative assistance.
Professional outsourcing, which may also be referred to as Business Process Outsourcing, is proven to reduce overhead costs for companies, allowing them significant savings. Not only that, but it also has given organizations access to a global talent pool at low labor costs.
This type of service could be the oldest type of outsourcing.
Manufacturing outsourcing involves working with an overseas manufacturing company to produce your products and services with the aim of significantly lowering production cost and shortening the period it takes to produce or assemble it. Companies like Nike and Apple are known to have long been outsourcing their production to companies in China.
Information Technology Outsourcing
The outsourcing industry in the Philippines can be likened to a two-sided coin. One side is the BPO industry, the other side, the IT industry.
As we all get digitally connected, the need for IT services has been steadily increasing.
Being the highly specialized field that it is, finding the right talent at reasonable labor costs has been the constant challenge that the IT outsourcing industry is continually addressing.
A great example is giant, successful companies like Google, WhatsApp, and Skype who have been outsourcing IT developments tasks to offshore developers for years.
Not only is IT outsourcing allowing organizations tremendous savings on labor costs, but it also helps them save on equipment costs. Companies who outsource their IT services no longer need to invest in state-of-the-art technology, and it’s maintenance.
Lastly, by outsourcing IT support, organizations can dedicate their time and focus more on core business functions
There may be instances when companies need to work on short term projects such as website design or maybe, a seasonal campaign.
Project outsourcing helps with such a need where companies can hire workers or professionals for such tasks. It allows them to start on projects right away and no time is wasted in looking for local talent to fill in the position temporarily. They also save on costs as hiring professional services remotely are cheaper compared to bringing in someone in-house.
You can turn to Executive Boutique for your professional and IT outsourcing needs.
You may have seen us mentioned in Business News Daily’s roundup of “The Best Call Centers and Answering Services for Businesses in 2019”, but wonder what makes Executive Boutique the top call center in the Philippines — and among the very best outsourced call centers worldwide. The call center you choose will ultimately be an extension of your brand, so it’s a decision you won’t be taking lightly.
Naturally, the first question
you’ll wonder is: “Who is my partner? Are they capable?” Though Executive
Boutique is physically located in the bustling call center capital of the world
— Cebu City, Philippines, we are American and Australian owned, operated, and
managed. As such, we attract business clients from around the world who are
looking for a well-managed, yet affordable outsourcing option. Our company was
founded by successful veteran business executives with backgrounds in IT, law,
finance, sales, and marketing. We knew we had something unique to offer in our
valuable insights and proven strategies from the real-world.
We’ve rounded up the top reasons we’re the trusted
call center provider for hundreds of small and mid-sized businesses from the
US, Australia, Europe, and Canada.
Highly Experienced Agents and Quality Assurance
Next you’ll be curious about who will be directly
working for you. Our HR team follows
strict hiring and vetting procedures to find the perfect team for your account.
We check the educational and work references for all prospects. Every employee
is required to pass National Bureau of Investigations clearance and complete a
medical screening test.
When you choose our agents, you can be rest assured
you’re getting someone who: has passed comprehensive oral and written tests;
scored above average on IQ tests; achieved college-level education; and
possesses prior call center experience. In a testimonial, one client from
Delray Beach, Florida was impressed that “a lot of the agents EB recruited had
previously worked at large centers on accounts for major companies including
Dell, Microsoft, Lexmark, and AT&T.”
We create a desirable workplace with competitive wages, full health benefits, motivational performance incentives, and team-building activities — including beach parties and holiday events with prizes and recognition awards. Our pool of talent is second-to-none, and our 3% average monthly turnover rate is well below the industry average, which can be as high as 45 percent.
Executive Boutique’s rigorous training includes several days of orientation, one to six-week client product training, and continuous refresher courses. If you wish to oversee this process in person, we invite you to visit our office in person. If a trip is not feasible, most training can be done over the phone using GoToMeetings or Join.me. Our agents are trained to neutralize any accents they may have, so your customers will never know your call center is located overseas.
Our ongoing quality assurance program varies from
client to client, but may include:
Energy and attitude
Use of filler words
Pronunciation and articulation
Speed and pace
Rebuttal and objection handling
Security, and Reliability
The top call centers in the Philippines use the
latest technology, but have also thought ahead to plan for contingencies. Our
Voice over Internet Protocol system has the industry’s best sound quality and
transmits at less than 200 ms, so there is no delay. Our flexible, hybrid PBX
telephone system is a hosted/in-house system developed by Fonality under the
name Trixbox and developed on the Asterisk software platform, running on
in-house, Linux-based servers. Our network data is protected by firewall and
virus protection, backed up daily, with 24/7 IT support in-house. By partnering
with collaborators like PayPal, Microsoft, Call One, and Salesforce, we deliver
superior quality technology. We use cloud-based hosting with Vici Dial / OS
Dial predictive dialing. Each work station and server is protected by
uninterrupted power systems, in addition to the building’s backup generators. In
the unlikely event an ISP goes down, we have three backup telecom providers
that allow us to find the best connection at the lowest price.
Executive Boutique adheres to the utmost security
24/7 building security, with guards at all
entrances, front desk attendant, and video monitoring
Badge-restricted access and fingerprint scanning
for all employees and guests with proper ID and clearance
Tight restrictions on staff use of the internet,
mobile devices, writing instruments, and storage devices
Video monitoring to ensure compliance with all
Strict computer security monitoring by our
internal IT staff
Flexibility and Accessibility
Working with an outsourced call center allows you the flexibility to operate to discerning customer standards — 24/7, 365 days a year. A major reason growing firms outsource with us is our easygoing, “can-do” attitude and flexibility. You receive your own dedicated agents, but you may hire as few as five agents or as many as you need. We have over 500 seats in our call center, with one team lead for every 15 agents. We offer both inbound (60% off our workforce) and outbound (40%) agents.
We have the experience, knowledge, and skill to run
a full-service onboarding and training campaign if you wish or you can take a
heavy hand in conducting the interviews, selecting specific agents, and
overseeing the whole process. We invite you to come into the office for a visit
or you may manage your call center remotely with screen sharing software. The
team leader is directly accountable to you – contactable by phone, email, or
chat every day. Your staff is supported by our IT department, training manager,
QA monitors, project managers, and team leaders.
We work on flexible terms. There’s no annual contracts locking you in. We’re so confident you’ll love our services, we offer flexible on month-to-month terms, from 30 days on up. You can scale up or scale down, depending on the season or the successfulness of your enterprise. Small accounts may amend or cancel our services with a 30-day window, while larger accounts may require 60-90 days’ cancellation notice. The monthly price structure is based on the number of agents you need. If you’re looking for the top call center in the Philippines, contact us for a free quote to see the difference.
Whether you’re selling handmade art at the local farmer’s
market, or running a large organization generating thousands in sales daily,
PCI compliance is something that has been addressed when discussing
That’s because company dealing with the payment, storage, or
transmission of credit card information must comply with a set of standards and
practices aimed at protecting consumers and businesses.
Examples of those required to comply with PCI standards
Brick and mortar retailers
Hospitals and other medical facilities
Farmer/flea market vendors
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council is
responsible for the creation and advising of safe and ethical card payment
practices. This body is made up of major credit card companies who found it in
their best interest to protect themselves and consumers.
There are 4 Levels of PCI compliance for merchants, and 3
Levels for service providers. These levels are divided by the amount of
transactions they complete, the amount of e-commerce transactions, and the
number of accounts handled. Most small businesses are classified as Level 4
merchants since they typically handle between 20,000 and one million
transactions a year.
PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance was initially rolled out as a way to keep up with the changing relationship between merchant and consumer, more specifically the way products and services are paid for. Online shopping was a major factor behind these efforts, with easier payments came more areas of vulnerability for criminals and scammers to capitalize upon.
But it’s not only credit card transactions to which these
Gift cards provided a new area of concern for businesses and
credit card companies; gift card recipients were at risk for paying with empty
cards and online merchants could get scammed as well. With the growing use of
gift cards issued by major credit card companies, the safety surrounding these
transactions are taken even more seriously.
Failing to adhere to PCI standards is not illegal at the federal level, but it is in the best interest of merchants to follow them. Complying with PCI standards is not only ethical, but also necessary in order to avoid fines, lawsuits, and other security related issues. Fines incurred by data breaches or fraud loss can take a toll on a business, possibly to the point of bankruptcy.
PCI compliance should be taken seriously by a business if
they want to succeed, if this can’t be done in-house then they should enlist
the help of a company to assist in maintaining the standards. Free of fines and
bad publicity, organizations can then do business knowing both them, and their
customers are safe.