SecurityCents Blog

Insights on payment data security, payments news and trends

HT-NEXT 2019

Another year and another great show! Thank you once again to Hospitality Technology, EnsembleIQ, and HTNG for putting on what is one of Merchant Link’s favorite shows. New Orleans certainly is a great destination and spot to hold this intimate conference with its vast food options and choice of fun activities to build great relationships. Again this year the show was a great mix of fun and the latest in travel and hospitality technology trends.

EMV Chip Technology VS Quick Chip Technology

Every day I’m asked about EMV and chip card security technology. It’s my job… it’s what I do. Recently I was asked for information to implement Quick Chip into a client’s systems and it gave me a quick flash back to our past. Remember when you could walk into a store or restaurant, select your item and hand your card to the clerk? You didn’t stop to think about what security was there – you just acted. Blind trust. Today, hackers and thieves have made it nearly impossible to “hand your card over” and both merchants and consumers are demanding that technology keep up with today’s landscape.

What are incremental authorizations?

Incremental authorizations are additional authorizations in a payment lifecycle. For instance, in a hotel when a cardholder decides to stay an extra day, the merchant needs to be able to secure the funds for the stay extension and associate the additional funds needed with the original authorization request. Incrementals have been supported by the processors and the card brands in the lodging space for years. But it’s only recently that they started supporting these transactions in restaurants and bars for tabs and bottle service.


If you are a responsible car owner… or if you’re a dad, you probably wouldn’t consider allowing extensive mileage to build up on your car, or your child’s, without getting an oil change.
If you own a cell phone… or if you’re a teenager, you wouldn’t be caught dead with a cell phone that is several years old. Upgrading on a regular basis is the norm, and the public looks askance at anyone carrying a flip phone.

Understanding 3-D Secure

As counterfeit card fraud becomes more difficult and online payments become more popular, fraudsters are shifting their focus away from the traditional channels and focusing on the card not present environment.

Chargebacks with EMV PIN Pads

I get asked all the time about how to prevent chargebacks in the lodging space. It’s an interesting issue because hotels receive credit card transactions from several different sources and the rules will vary by channel. The simple answer is that the hotel has the best chance to win a dispute/chargeback based on fraudulent reason codes when the hotel reads the chip on the card when the guest arrives.

2019 NRF Recap

NRF has been both a leading and trailing indicator of the retail industry. Attendance typically is a lagging indicator as this is usually a direct reflection of the previous year’s store sales and revenue obtainment.

How Merchant Link Thinks Hotels Can Maximize QR Code Growth

Alternative payments methods, such as contactless and QR codes, have been growing globally in popularity for the last half-decade or so. However, the year 2018 has seen something of a quiet sea change when it comes to the acceptance of such payment methods among hotels around the globe. Since the beginning of the year, Merchant
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Customer Chat Support Security

The drive to convert Internet shopping baskets to closed sales has always been a challenge. It used to be that someone could pick up the telephone and talk to an agent. In the new world of online chat assistance all support can be delivered through the chat window, including payments. This is both a great support cost reduction and cart conversion tool.

Signatures and Credit Cards

As of 1/12/2018, all of the major card brands have made announcements and changes to allow merchants to choose to process payments without a customer signature starting in April 2018. The decision to process payments without requiring cardholder signatures is optional, regardless of the amount of the purchase.