How C-Stores Can Combat Fraud

19 Jul 2019, Posted by McPherson Oil in General

Retail fraud has grown exponentially in recent years.  In 2015, The Nilson Report stated that businesses lost nearly $22 million in credit and debit fraud. While, yes, a large number of that loss fell on e-commerce, brick and mortar retailers, including C-stores, still face fraud in plenty of forms. As C-store owners know, the real profit isn’t at the pump but in the store. So, while fraudulent activity occurs more frequently online, it doesn’t mean convenience store retailers are off the hook.

Fraudsters are tricky which is why it’s so important to stay ahead of them.  With the right strategies in place, it’s possible to combat fraud.


  1. Verify your customer

Sure, this sounds obvious, but remember that just because someone has physical possession of a card, doesn’t mean it’s theirs.  If the customer is using a debit card, they will type in their PIN.  However, if someone is using it as credit, ask for ID.  It may slow down the check-out process by a few seconds, but this will help make sure someone isn’t using a fraudulent card to purchase items in your store.


  1. Complete your Chip Reader Conversion

EMV chip cards use tokenization – creating a one-time use code (or “token”) for the transaction instead of transferring information through the magnetic strip.  The card holder’s info is never transferred preventing fraudsters from stealing their credit card number or other personal info.

It’s been a while since the EMV shift in the U.S. market.  If you are not yet compliant, you can now be held liable for fraud in some states. Being EMV compliant not only protects the customer, it protects your business.


  1. Mobile Payments

Smart phones have apps like Apple, Samsung and Google Pay.  This newer technology is more than a bonus feature, they protect the user.  These platforms use the same EMV tokenization mentioned above.  In addition, they use two factor authorization.

If you do not already have the technology to accept these payments at the counter, look into getting it.  Many users, largely millennials, are using this technology instead of cards.  You still get the customer protection as mentioned above while opening your C-store to a larger market.


  1. Employees

Your employees are both an asset and, without proper training, a possible liability. Duping employees out of millions of dollars annually, employee-assisted fraud is, unfortunately, a common practice. It’s not just the deliberate attempts, but workers who aren’t trained on identifying fraudulent attempts who cost the business the most money.

Train your employees on what fraud looks like and keep them up to date on the latest trends in the market.  In addition, make sure they know the consequences of fraud.  Your employees are the first line of defense.


  1. Keep Tabs on the Latest Trends

Even if you do everything correctly, there is still no guarantee that you will not experience someone trying to steal money or items through fraudulent practices.  After all, fraudsters are always trying to find ways to beat the system.

Make sure your up to date on the latest practices as well as fraud tools and technology.  While you will always be on defense against fraudsters, that doesn’t mean you can’t also play offense.


AboutMcPherson Oil has provided the southeast with quality products and services since 1971.  As a proud distributor of ExxonMobil products, we offer these services through our belief in TPM – Total Petroleum Management.  Through our TPM program, McPherson brings a valued-added difference to its customers by meeting all of their petroleum needs. Our commitment to our customers is reflected in our company vision and mission statements. McPherson proudly services Alabama, Arkansas, North and Central Georgia, Mississippi coast, Florida panhandle, Greater Chattanooga Area, the Greater New Orleans Area and Louisiana Gulf Coast.