What Are “Smart” Credit Cards, and Why Are They Coming to America?

Starting late next year, every credit card in the United States will adopt a more secure system.

Andrew Tarantola explains what it is, and how it works in this Gizmodo article:

What Are “Smart” Credit Cards, and Why Are They Coming to America?

What does it mean for you, the merchant?

Both MasterCard and Visa have set an October 2015 deadline to roll out the new EMV “smart cards” technology in America. Once the deadline passed, if a merchant is still using the old system with a swipe and a signature, they will be liable for any fraudulent transactions if the customer has a chip card. On the other hand, if the merchant uses the new system, but the customer is still using the old card, then the customer’s bank will bear the liability instead.

5 tips for easy PCI compliance

It’s a well known fact that PCI compliance is often a baffling puzzle for small merchants. But you need to know what to do in order to avoid non-compliance fees and costs of a security breach that is more likely to happen if you ignore PCI compliance.

Eric Geier takes a lot of confusion out of the picture with his short and clear article:

5 tips for easy PCI compliance

Unlike many other authors that do their best to help merchants navigate through the complicated world of PCI compliance, Eric talks not only about your online store but also about mobile card readers, proper office and brick and mortar store setup.

None of this stuff is very technical, and all of it will help to keep you on a good side of card brands who define PCI security standards.

Have further questions specific to your situation? Contact Dusk Owl, we are here to answer them.

The Psychology of Online Checkout [Infographic]

Did you know that 57% of online shoppers abandon a site after waiting 3 seconds for page load and that 80% don’t return after that? Or that 79% of consumers trust online reviews for local business as much as a personal recommendation? Or that 29% of online shoppers will abandon checkout if asked to register?

These and other interesting findings about consumer behavior were collected from multiple sources and summarized nicely in an infographic by VoucherCloud. See how they affect your current ecommerce setup and future plans to adjust it.


(click the image to see the full size version)

Infographic: What Holiday Shoppers Want From Retailers In 2013

Shopping search engine Pricegrabber have compiled the results of its Winter Holiday Shopping Survey into the insightful infographic that those of you who own online stores will appreciate.

Tis the season Infographic FINAL high res

(click the image to see the full size version)

Allow your customers to pay through PayPal with a credit card

If you chose PayPal to accept payments on your web site your customers do not need to have a PayPal account to be able to pay. All you need to do for that is choose the right type for your own PayPal account and configure it properly.

Here’s the entire process, short and simple:

1. If you are setting a new PayPal account, choose a Premium or Business one. The only difference between the two is that a Business account gives the ability to accept credit cards to more than one person.

If you already have a Personal Paypal account, either upgrade it or set up a new Premium or Business account.

In either case PayPal will ask if you want to verify your account. This step is not required, but the short note on your payment page about being verified gives your customers an extra reassurance that they are making a safe purchase.

2. In your PayPal account, click the account icon at the top right of the screen (next to the “Log Out” button) and choose Profile and settings from the drop-down menu.

3. On the next page, click My Selling Tools on the left, then under Selling online on the right find this item: Website preferences. Click the Update link next to it.

4. Scroll down to PayPal Account Optional and check the On button.

5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

That’s it!

10 Essential Things Your E-Commerce Site Should Have

Sure, there are no universal features or design options which guarantee that your online shop will become popular but there are several general essentials and desirable things which should be taken care of when creating an online store. Those things are especially important for the home page because often it forms people’s opinion on your store and your products. It’s no different from a brick and mortar store.

So what’s essential? Building your store with sales in mind, helping your visitors make the decision about their purchase, building trust with them. It all starts with grabbing people’s interest quickly and keeping them interested while they go from your home page to the rest of your store.

Ann Davlin suggests several design features which will probably help you improve your web store usability and increase its profitability.

The PA-DSS Deadline has Passed…Now What?

So, July 1, 2010 passed. Any company that accepts gift, debit, or credit cards on their web site now must use PA-DSS compliant payment applications (a shopping cart is one such application) or face non-compliance fines, warnings from their merchant account provider, and even a possibility to lose the ability to process card payments if the card data is compromised.

See what’s the cost of becoming compliant is now and what options you have to achieve compliance even if your budget is limited.