Think about the last time you went to the grocery store or ordered a product online. How did you pay for your transaction? More than likely, you used a credit or debit card. These digital forms of payment are becoming increasingly common worldwide — and increasingly important to our lives.
In fact, according to “The Cashless Journey,” a report compiled and released by MasterCard, in 2013, 80 percent of consumer spending in the United States was cashless. And as more individuals acquire credit cards — and more retailers and businesses accept payment cards — this number is sure to increase.
Despite the convenience this has introduced into our lives, there are also dangers. In 2012, the United States accounted for 47.3 percent of worldwide payment card fraud losses — despite generating only 23.5 percent of total credit card usage.
With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that we sometimes get questions from consumers about how we use their information — and, more importantly, how we protect it. Below, we answer a few common questions about how we protect our members:
Why do you need my credit card number?
When a member joins one of our dining rewards programs, we request you register your credit card number with us — but never the security code or expiration date. We do this intentionally to protect our members from fraud.
We will know you’ve dined at one of our over 10,000 restaurants when you pay with any of those registered cards and when there’s a match, we get to award you points, miles, or whatever your reward of choice may be. There are no additional membership cards that can be lost or forgotten about. This way, our members never miss an opportunity to earn the rewards of their choice.
How do I know my card won’t be charged?
Think back to the online transaction we mentioned earlier. To complete the purchase, you would have had to provide not just the credit card number, but also the billing address, security code, and expiration date associated with your account.
That’s because each of these data points is necessary to process a single transaction. When fraudulent charges occur, it’s because a fraudster has been able to acquire all of this information — or a stolen card itself, which has each of these data points embedded in its magnetic strip.
However, we do not at any time request, store, track, or receive any credit card-related information beyond the card number, ensuring we do not have enough data on individual cards for any fraudulent or inappropriate charges to occur.
How do I know my credit card number is secure?
Even though we don’t store the rest of your credit card data, it’s still natural to be concerned about the card number itself. That’s why Rewards Network not only meets, but exceeds all security standards required by the PCI Global Data Standards Council (PCI DSS). We are certified against version 3.1 of PCI DSS, the most current version of the standard.
The Council was founded in 2006 by five prominent payment brands — including American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa Inc. This global forum is responsible for the development, management, education, and awareness of security standards for credit and debit cards.
Any company that does not adhere to these stringent rules — from the smallest retailer to the largest corporation — is not authorized to accept payment cards, or store, process, or transmit any cardholder data.
We believe that the effort toward compliance is not a one-time event, but rather a continuous effort that is consistently being reviewed, improved, and maintained. Payment card technologies may change, but one thing is always the same: if we can’t ensure the safety of our members, we simply can’t do business.
Where do I sign up?
Check out our website to see which dining loyalty rewards program is right for you, and start rewarding yourself more!
Want to learn more about how your credit and debit cards are evolving? Check out our guide to how the new EMV payment technology may affect you: