August 8th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

We meet with hundreds of business owners, ranging from those that run brilliant businesses to those at the other end of the spectrum and have failed to make their business work. The common factor amongst those at the more successful end is not related to industry type, economic conditions or the fact that have some niche product, but rather they have simply appreciated that they know business success starts with themselves and their own actions.

 
For example, great business people understand the need to continually educate themselves. There is a wealth of information out there, from books to webinars to on-line content (and of course business coaching!) but the important thing is whether you actually take advantage of it.

 
A great way to start is to sign up to an Audible account, download a book a month and play it in the car instead of the radio on the way to and from work. Take the time to learn more about sales, marketing, team management, personal motivation etc. etc. …. Take that ‘I already know it’ attitude out of the equation as the more you learn the more you earn!

 
Another common trait of those more successful business people (no doubt also a common theme with successful people in general, whatever they do!) is the ability to live your life above the ‘point of power’ as we call it at ActionCOACH.

 
Above the point people take full responsibility for their actions, allow themselves to be held accountable and take full ownership of their lives. Below the point people blame others, make excuses or just choose to live in complete denial.

 

action power

We all know below the point people, those who whinge and moan about life and the worse thing is, spending any time with them can bring you down below the point too. Usually they don’t even realise they are down there, because it is someone else’s fault, never theirs! And the longer you stay down there, the harder it can be to get back up above the point because you’ll find a whole load of stuff that reinforces those negative beliefs!

 
Negative responses are quicker and easier to apply because as humans we are hard wired to take the line of least resistance, so making an excuse and blaming something or someone else because you’ve lost a piece of business is the natural thing to do. However, successful people realise that negative response is not going to work and so will ‘own their ship’ and be accountable and respond accordingly.

 
Jack Canfield, renowned entrepreneur and author explains it well when he describes;

 

Event x Response = Outcome

 

In other words, if you don’t like the outcome you are experiencing then don’t go blaming the event as you rarely have influence over it. Instead look at your response to the event and change that to give you a different outcome.

 
Action; the key message is this;

 
Don’t just wish your business was doing better, take responsibility to take positive action to do something about it. Wishing is not a strategy!

 
ActionCOACH is a franchise business and the world’s largest business coaching company. We have 200 franchise partners in the UK and are one of only 4 Franchises to achieve Smith & Henderson’s coveted 5-Star Franchisee Satisfaction Awards Status 5 times.

 

To get in touch to talk through how ActionCOACH can help you not only grow your business, but reach your goals too email us on ukpartners@actioncoach.com

August 6th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

You’ve got an established franchise business and you’re recruiting more franchisees. That’s good news of course, but how do you train your growing number of franchisees? How do you know your franchisees are following your model correctly? How do you know the quality you’ve strived for is being delivered in every part of your network?

 

How e-learning can help you

You’ve most likely got onboarding training for your new franchisees. But it’s human nature that we find it hard to remember everything we’re told up front. Learning is most effective when it’s implemented, and that may happen at some point after your franchisees have come on board. Using e-learning allows your franchisees to jump online, 24/7/365 and engage with essential training when they need it most, making it much more likely that the learning will be implemented and change behaviours and actions.

 

For example, you might be rolling out a new campaign to recruit customers and be using social media to promote it. Or you might be introducing a new IT system, e.g. for customer management or bookings, and you need to train your franchisees how to use it effectively. Tailored e-learning can help train your franchisees in targeted topics that are made available to them when they need it most.

 

E-learning can also help ensure franchisees are delivering your business model effectively and to the quality standards you expect. You most likely have a manual (or several) explaining your model and standards. But does it really bring to life the passion that you put into establishing your successful business? E-learning using the right mix of graphics, video and questions can really enliven your training, making it easy to digest and increasing engagement.

 

How can iflourish help you?

Our learning platform, Course Builder, enables you to create and publish learning content rapidly and distribute it to whoever in your franchise network needs it, whether it’s individuals, groups or your whole network. Course Builder is branded using your logo, brand colours and fonts so that your franchisees know that it’s part of your online presence. You can test franchisees’ knowledge through a wide range of question types, set pass marks where necessary and reward them with points and branded certificates.

 

Watch our short video below to find out more about Course Builder.

 

Not tried e-learning before?

You may be new to e-learning, but that’s no problem as we also deliver an effective onboarding process that will help you get up and running quickly and successfully.

 

We’ll train you how to use Course Builder, although we think you’ll agree it’s so simple you won’t need much training, and we’ll work with you on your learning strategy to identify what learning to prioritise and how to develop it.

 

Worried you don’t have the skills?

You may be surprised to hear that you already have the skills in-house to create and publish effective e-learning. We help many businesses uncover their natural creative talents. The award-winning Puddle Ducks franchise started using Course Builder in 2014. Without any prior expertise or graphics skills, they have produced over 60 of their own courses on a wide range of topics.

 

Want to boost your growth?

If you want to boost your growth and help your franchisees flourish get in touch with Frankie O’Brien at frankie@iflourish.co.uk or on 07850 059 075 for a free demo and trial.

iflourish-logo-rgb72dpi

July 24th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Coconut Creatives logo

At Coconut Creatives, we are often asked about the current state of the franchise recruitment market in the UK. What are the trends, and how can franchisors improve their strategies? To answer this, we will address current trends, shining some light on what is happening with your recruitment.

 
You’re creating some awesome recruitment campaigns, no doubt about it. But the return on your investment doesn’t seem to reflect what you know is an excellent concept. We have seen first-hand how difficult the current landscape is for franchise recruitment. Let’s examine what is happening:

 
Looking to Google
Coconut Creatives achieved Google Partner status in 2017. This demonstrates our ability to create highly-effective Google AdWords campaigns on behalf of our clients, as we support their recruitment strategies. In doing this, we gain crucial insight into how people are using the search engine to help research their franchise decision-making process. Most of your leads, or potential leads, will at one point, turn to Google for answers.

 
With regard to franchise recruitment, we will typically see a steady 12-month pattern of spikes and drops throughout the year. Traditionally, franchise searches drop-off over the summer, before a spike in September. This is followed by a gradual drop leading toward December and a really quiet period over Christmas. A sudden clear surge is once again apparent throughout January to March. This has been a consistent pattern in franchise search behaviour over the last five years.

 

 

But in 2018, we haven’t seen this same trend. Since the normal Christmas drop-off at the end of last year, we have only experienced a slight uplift in January with a second minimal uplift in February. Nothing like the number of searches for franchise opportunities we would normally expect to see through Google. In fact, it appears the number of searches for franchising is currently at the lowest point it’s been in five years.

 
So, what’s changed?
In order to understand what is affecting the franchise industry, we need to look at general employment records for a moment. According to the Office of National Statistics employment report released earlier this month*, from December 2017 to February 2018, and March to May 2018, the number of people in work has increased.

 

 

Conversely, for the same periods, the number of people who are unemployed has decreased. We are currently seeing the highest levels of employment since comparable records began in 1971.

 

 

Alongside this, we are also experiencing a positive economic upturn, with businesses being in a stronger position to offer competitive wages to their staff. This in spite of some of the larger high-street names going into recent administration.

 

 

As business improves, franchising declines?
When we see a strengthening of the job market, it is generally a result of a growing economy, and the drive to avoid pain which normally leads to a career change, is reduced. In a nutshell, people just aren’t looking to risk moving careers, or losing their wage.

 

 

This doesn’t help with franchise recruitment. People aren’t ready to take the risk of setting-up their own business, or have sufficient motivation to move away from job pain. This is one of the reasons we are experiencing a decline in the number of online searches for franchising opportunities. This is a generalisation – some sectors haven’t been affected by this dip, so are still seeing the same level of searches.

 

 

The other factor to consider is Brexit. Whilst you may not think it has an effect on your franchise, per se, the reality is Brexit has reduced the general public’s confidence in future economic and job security, whilst the Government manoeuvres the deal.

 

 

So, Brexit has started to dampen activity?
Whenever there is a big UK-wide event, such as a General Election, it is clear to see a correlation with the types of searches being carried out. We have seen a clear change in traffic leading to franchising, in response to Brexit.

 

 

Tied-in with this is a lack of desire for some people to want to invest in a new business, and lead it through Brexit. Many potential franchisees are quietly watching what is happening with the Government’s Brexit plans. This uncertainty diminishes the motivation for people to make significant changes to their situation.

 

 

So Brexit uncertainty, combined with a strong job market and increased wages, are the root causes for the declining trend in franchise related searches.

 

 

How do we solve a problem like franchise recruitment?
Whilst the recruitment landscape is changing, and less people are searching in a crowded franchise pool, it’s not all doom and gloom!

 

 

Whatever happens post-Brexit, good or bad, we anticipate franchise recruitment searches to bounce back up again. If Brexit has a positive impact on UK business, this will lead to in increased confidence for potential franchisees to make the investment. If Brexit has a negative impact on the UK, this will drive more people to seek to take control of their own futures. And your franchise recruitment will be back on track!

 

 

So, whilst the environment for franchise recruitment feels tough at the moment, this is not to say you can’t still recruit. What we are seeing is how the best franchisors focus their attention on their after-lead marketing. You may be experiencing a lower level of leads generated, by really focusing in on how you lavish attention on your lead, you can still recruit new franchisees into your network. Franchising is experiencing quality over quantity, which in the long-run, works out better for you, anyway. Don’t lose heart!

 

 

*https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/july2018

July 23rd, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

transmission logo

To state the obvious, video is already an extremely popular content medium. But far from plateauing, online video is set to continue its rapid growth. By 2020 it’s set to reach an overwhelming 80% share of all global internet traffic.

transmission July

This trend is propelled by two key factors. Firstly, there is the growing popularity of on-demand video. Consumers want to view TV programmes and movies instantly, and with TV stations going online and platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, they can do exactly that.

 

Then there is the increasing popularity of video-based social media. Facebook is the biggest social platform for video in the world, and Snapchat and Instagram’s increasing popularity (both of which now involve video) mean wider views of video content from social platforms. Posts containing video attract 1,200% more shares than text and image posts combined so it’s a powerful tool to not only engage your existing audience, but to reach like-minded people too.

 

Although it’s true that online video consumption is highest in teens and young people, it’s not exclusive to this demographic. This appetite for online video content is inter-generational with people across the spectrum seeking out content that is relevant, entertaining and enriching.

 

Transmission enables franchises to take advantage of these trends. We create video content to push out your offering to online audiences in an engaging and attention-grabbing way, ensuring you’re ahead of the game when consumers are making their choices online.

 

Of course, we could write a much longer article, but it seems more fitting for us to showcase the power of video content through, well, video content. Find out how your business can harness the awesome power of social video here:

July 9th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

FactsMyths-300x169hr dept

 

HR has more than its fair share of myths and misinformation! Could it be the ever-changing legislation and case law, the conflicting pressures that many SME business owners face or simply the fact that we are in the business of people problems? It’s probably down to a combination of all three. Here, we dispel a selection of the most common HR myths that our experts around the country encounter.

 

“You can’t make a pregnant employee redundant.”

 

Yes you can. However it must be a procedurally fair process. Be careful though that there is no risk of sex discrimination in the selection process. You also need to be mindful that once a pregnant employee goes on maternity leave, they have extra legal protection by having first option on any available positions that they are qualified to do if placed at risk of redundancy. Get HR support!

 

“No one can take you to tribunal without two years’ service.”

 

Now this is a really dangerous one because, yes they can – and for a range of reasons. For example: discrimination related to any of the nine protected characteristics, underpayment of wages like the National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage, breach of working-time regulations in terms of holiday pay or a breach of contract.

 

“You don’t have to give part-time staff the same benefits as full-time staff.”

 

Part-time staff must suffer no detriment, and so must have the same benefits as full-time staff (or broadly equivalent ones if the same are not possible). Many benefits can be pro rata for part-time staff, such as holiday allowance.

 

“Casual and zero-hour staff do not get holidays.”

 

All employees and workers accrue statutory holiday from day one. This is 20 days plus bank holidays.

 

“I can decide if I want someone to be self-employed.”

 

Oh no you can’t, as Uber and Pimlico Plumbers are finding out. There are strict rules for deciding the status of people in the business. It is unhelpful that HMRC and employment law rules are different in deciding if someone is an employee, a worker or self-employed.

 

“I can’t contact sick employees.”

 

As an employer you have a ‘duty of care’ to keep in touch with a sick employee when they are signed-off to see how they are doing. This doesn’t mean daily calls and emails as this could lead to a harassment case. Regular contact should not just focus on their return to work, but their well-being, and if any reasonable adjustments can be made to help their return.

 

“If an employee has a fit note for two weeks, they can’t come back before the end of the two weeks.”

 

If your employee wants to return to work before the end date on their fit note this should be discussed. However, in some cases you may not be able to agree an earlier return for the employee due to required workplace adjustments. Therefore the employee should stay off work until the end date of the fit note.

 

“You can fire employees on the spot.”

 

Well, if they had shot a colleague it would probably fall within a range of reasonable responses. But usually the Acas code for disciplinary and grievance should be followed.

 

“Employees don’t have a contract unless there is something in writing.”

 

Express terms can be agreed between both the employer and employee in written or verbal communication. So, salary at the interview and pay rise promises at the Christmas party can count!

 

Don’t get caught out by HR myths

 

If you want to take advantage of our HR myth-busting teams, or are interested in any of our other services, be sure to contact your local HR Dept office today!

June 26th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

suresite-group-2018 (1)

 

Contactless payments have doubled in the last 12 months, we hope you find the following information useful.

 
The limit for contactless cards is currently £30, but Visa introduced a zero authorisation limit from October 2017 to address some of the security issues found with contactless. The majority of terminals have applied this change to MasterCard as well.

 

This change means that you may notice an increase in the time that contactless payments take to process, as each of the payments will now be authorised online, it is important to remember that when you hear the ‘beep’ when the contactless card is used, this does not mean that the payment has been authorised. You should wait for the authorisation message to be displayed before completing  the transaction with the customer.

 

If you do not wait for the transaction to be authorised and the customer leaves, there is a risk of the payment being declined and leaving you out of pocket.
 

There are lots of benefits to you when taking contactless such as:

  • Fast: A better, quicker service for you and your customers
  • Convenient: Reduce queues and avoid basket abandonment
  • Secure: Less potential for till errors or fraud
  • Future-proofed: Accepts all Visa contactless cards, tags, fobs, wearables and mobile solutions – including services such as Apple Pay
  • General: More satisfied customers

 

Apple Pay
Once you are contactless enabled you are also able to accept Apple Pay which is treated by the terminal as a normal contactless card. The transaction receipt is on the Apple device when the transaction is completed.

 

The additional exciting part of Apple Pay is the ability to pay for items more than £30 using the contactless method. This is designated as a High Value Payment and needs a secondary authentication method, either a thumb print or PIN on the iPhone itself. For these transactions it is the card issuer that carries the risk, not the retailer. Secondary authentication is known as Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method (CDCVM) and is considered by the bank as equivalent to Chip and PIN authentication. You find more information by visiting the apple here

 

An important part of Apple Pay is that the card number is not used or stored, instead a form of tokenisation is used to keep the information safe. If an iPhone is lost or stolen the Apple Pay element is cancelled, not the card information registered to the device.

 

For more information about Apple Pay there is some good information on the Visa website here.

 

There are many other devices that can act as a contactless payment method, key rings, tags watches, rings, once you have the contactless ability all of these will work.

June 18th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Video is a hugely powerful way to promote your business both to customers and to potential new franchisees.

 

Here at Transmission, we’ve been working with many of our clients for years, and Kumon have been producing video content with us for over a decade.

 

As a franchised network of Maths & English study centres, Kumon work with us to create standout broadcast content which boosts the perception of the brand and increases sales.

 

They’re passionate about video and understand the many benefits that well produced video content can bring.

 

So when Kumon decided to create their new website, they decided that video should be central to the customer experience.

 

  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video
  • 52% of marketers say that video has the best ROI of any content
  • Viewers retain 95% of information from video compared to just 10% from text
  • 81% of people are more likely to buy if they have watched an online video

 

Making A Start

Before we started the cameras rolling, we worked closely with Kumon to build our knowledge and understanding of the brand’s challenges, USPs and KPIs. This enabled us to drive forwards with strategic insight that would make the video content deliver against the wider business goals. From this, we then worked together and wrote a brief for every film.

 

Each film served a different purpose, and in many cases targeted a different audience, so we needed to devise a strategy that allowed us to connect with these people in a unique way. It’s this collaborative approach that means we’re able to use the powerful tool of video content to get the most out of the initial investment.

 

Creating Content

Over the course of 3 months, we then produced 30 videos to run across Kumon’s website and social channels, as well as to be used in internal meetings and presentations.

 

The videos each focus on one single subject matter and range in duration – from 30 seconds up to 3 minutes. And every one is carefully positioned on the website so that we can deliver relevant information at key decision making points of the customer’s journey. From creating emotive narrative case studies to simple to follow animated explainer videos.

 

We worked with Kumon throughout the production process, from writing the scripts and organising the filming right through to the shoot itself, as well as editing, and assisting with the strategic rollout of content online.

 

Getting Results

Since the website went live in January 2018, we’ve hugely boosted the perception of the brand both internally and externally. In terms of hard metrics, it’s all about the bottom line and the video content has meant that the online conversation rate has increased by a staggering 34% year on year. That’s over a third more visitors turning in to customers.

 

So now, with this high performing conversion engine, we need to fill it with more visitors. Thanks to our holistic view gained from those initial strategic conversations, we produced the films in such a way that we created a huge asset bank along the way. Video footage and still shots have all been logged and categorised in to a library that has been used to create campaigns across TV, radio, social, digital and print media – all at a fraction of the normal cost.

This unified approach to content has given a powerful resource that Kumon will be reaping the rewards from for years to come.

 

In the following video, Guy Flower and Nicola Amoroso from the Kumon marketing team give a fascinating insight to their learnings and experience of producing video content with Transmission.

 

 

June 14th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

ActionCOACH logo clear

 

Do you have one of those salespeople who thinks that giving a discount is the easiest, quickest way to make a sale? Or is that you? Of course, they may be right, but what about the profit they’re giving away?

 

If your product has a profit margin of 30% and you give a 10% discount to make the sale, you’re losing a massive, one-third (33.33%) of the available profit!

 

If you are selling, or have others selling for you, you must protect your price and your margins. Teach your people not to hesitate or stutter when a buyer insists on a lower price. Start using tactics to hold firm on your prices. Sell value…perceived and real.

 

Here’s Why:
Do you think it’s possible to work 50% less and earn the same income from selling?
You bet it is! Here’s how:

 

Your company sells kitchens, I’ll use some simple numbers to illustrate the point. Let us assume a selling price of £10,000 per kitchen with a 30% margin.
Assume that your net cost per kitchen is £7,000.
That means that the net profit on each kitchen would be £3,000.

 

If ten kitchens are sold at the full price, the net profit for your company will be £30,000.

 

Compare this with again selling ten kitchens, but this time at a discount of 10%.
The total selling price for ten kitchens is then £90,000.
The net cost for ten kitchens remains at £70,000.
The net profit has decreased to only £20,000……
compared to the original transaction £30,000 where no discount was given.

 

If your company continued to sell at 10% discount, then you’d have to sell 15 kitchens to achieve a net profit of £30,000.

 

What are the lessons to be learned from this example?
A 10% discount means your company must sell 50% more units (15 instead of 10) to earn the same profit. A 10% discount means someone has to work 50% harder to earn the company the same profit.
By not giving discounts, in essence the company can “work” 50% less and earn the same income.

 

In spite of this, you might still think, “But, if I don’t give discounts, I’ll lose sales! It’s an industry norm to give them…everyone does. If I don’t give discounts, they’ll go to the competition!”

 

And you may be right, of course. You may lose a few deals if you don’t give discounts…but the good news is you can afford to…and still make the same or more profit.

 

I’ve put the numbers in to a grid below, so you can look at your own particular numbers. What is your margin and how much more product do you have to sell with each discount you give?

 

actioncoach table

 

ActionCOACH is a franchise business and the world’s largest business coaching company. We have 200 franchise partners in the UK and are one of only 4 Franchises to achieve Smith & Henderson’s coveted 5-Star Franchisee Satisfaction Awards Status 5 times.

 

To get in touch to talk through how ActionCOACH can help you not only grow your business, but reach your goals too email us on ukpartners@actioncoach.com

June 4th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

Coconut Creatives logo

Marketing activity within franchise networks is typically a mix of head office support and franchisees controlling their local market, be it email campaigns, online adverts, etc. But what if there was an advantage to centralising these activities….

 

Marketing. The great delight and fear-inducing element of running your franchise. With at least three different angles to take: Brand building, customer attracting, and franchisee network recruitment, how can you control all these elements for your franchise?

 

Many franchisors, encourage their network to do their own marketing and establish themselves in their local area, even though they have limited skills to do this. But what if it was actually more advantageous to centralise some or all of your marketing campaigns, rather than leaving it down to individual franchisees to do their own?

 

Not convinced? Afraid of your own lack of marketing know-how? Before you completely write-off the idea as being more work for you, hear us out…

 

1. Experience

New franchisees will definitely have a lot of enthusiasm and excitement when it comes to starting their new business with you, but they may not have the marketing experience or know-how. As the franchise owner, you have the experience and have already worked out what types of campaigns and adverts work: You have developed the corporate model, which has attracted the network you have.

 

At a local level, the danger is they try a campaign and it doesn’t work, and they lose money whilst getting despondent. By centralising your marketing, you use your experience to assure your network of marketing success, and you ensure there is a consistency in the types of adverts and messages you are putting out.

 

2. Collaborative data

When your network is using their own marketing strategies there’s the possibility you lose sight of what works and what doesn’t for the different territories. By centralising your marketing, you have an overview of all the data across your network, so can easily identify what works in one territory, and adapt it for others, whilst seeing what doesn’t work, and either tweaking it, or revising it completely.

 

3. Size matters… to Google

Google (yeah, other platforms are available) are fully supportive of ad campaigns. The bigger the campaign, the bigger the advantages to you in terms of cost saving and lead generation. If all your franchisees are running their own separate campaigns, then Google sees this as lots of small adverts. But, by centralising your marketing, and running campaigns for all your territories, this is recognised as one campaign, and Google loves you and learn what works, so you collect the benefits, and the results of a bigger strategy.

 

4. Reportative measures

Centralising your data also leads to a centralised report across the whole of your network, which gives you full insight and overview of your marketing, to support future marketing strategies. By using the systems for yourself, you are able to give effective guidance and support as part of your franchise.

 

5. It’s definitely going to happen

Finally, by centralising your marketing, you know it is definitely going to happen. You know how it can be, best laid plans which franchisees may have, then as they become caught up in establishing and building their business, marketing is often pushed down the list.

 

As the franchisor, by taking control of your marketing campaigns, you can tailor when and how often you are sending out your key messaging in order to attract customers, raise brand awareness, and put your franchise in the path of prospective new franchisees.

 

Centralising your marketing doesn’t have to mean it has to be YOU doing the creating and strategizing. By bringing in a company like Coconut Creatives, who not only understand marketing, but also – based on 12 years of experience – understands intricately the relationship you have with your network, you can easily and cohesively centralise your marketing, to make the most of the opportunities which are more readily available to you.

 

“Coconut Creatives are the ONLY choice when it comes to online marketing for franchises. Their experience in the industry partnered with their knowledge of digital marketing is surpassed by none. Over the last year they have dramatically reduced our cost per lead and increased sales.” Graham Lond, CEO, Practical Car & Van Rental

 

So what do you think? Want to find out more? Contact us on

May 15th, 2018 by Marketing in Suppliers

PCI Compliance is hugely important for any business that processes card payments. We recognise that the subject can be confusing and you may not know where to start.

 

We would like to help you understand what it is, how you can achieve it and to make you aware of the pitfalls of non-compliance.

 

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS is a security standard that has been set up to establish consistent data security measures for merchants, banks and service providers as a result of an increase in fraud. It includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design, and other critical protective measures.

 

Working to the requirements laid out in the PCI programme, will help you to maintain ongoing integrity and security of cardholder data on behalf of all your customers.

 

Does this apply to you?

Visa and MasterCard require all merchants who accept payment cards to be compliant with PCI DSS. Compliance also forms part of the terms and conditions of your merchant agreement with your acquiring bank. There are four levels of compliance ranging from Level 1 (merchants processing over £6m) to Level 4 (processing over £1m).

 

Why is it Important?

Whilst PCI compliance is not a legal requirement, it is important. Those who do not comply may be subject to fines, card replacement costs, costly forensic audits and brand damage. The principles and accompanying requirements of PCI DSS such as implementing a secure network, regular monitoring and testing, mean that there is less risk of fraudulent use.

 

“Being compliant is proof to your customers that their data is in safe hands”

 

How do I become PCI DSS compliant?

Firstly, you will be required to complete and pass an annual self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ).

 

Depending on your card processing setup, you may also be required to perform and pass quarterly network vulnerability scans.

 

Any third parties used in the storage, processing or transmission of payment card holder data are also required to be PCI compliant and your knowledge of this will need to be declared as part of the validation process.

 

What is Suresite doing to help?

We have been working directly with our acquirer and their security partners, to ensure the process of becoming compliant with the PCI DSS is as simple as possible.

 

A purpose-built web portal service, has been designed to help you reach, record and maintain your compliance.

 

We have also designed number of document templates which can be easily adapted to suit your own business model.

 

What can I do to prepare?

There are a number of simple steps that you can take to improve your data security:

 

  1. Create and maintain an information security policy
  2. Create employee data security training materials and conduct any necessary training
  3. Avoid storing full payment card holder data
  4. Create and test an incident response plan
  5. Obtain written agreements from service providers concerning their handling of card data
  6. Verify that the devices you use are on the list of the approved devices, published by the PCI council

 

Suresite Card Services provides low cost card payment services to retailers. We are one of the largest independent card processing companies in the United Kingdom and process over £2b card payment transactions per annum.

 

We are a Worldpay master merchant and this, together with the large volume of card transactions that we process annually, means that we are able to pass on huge savings to our clients.

 

Visit our website for more information.

 

cardsadmin@suresite.co.uk

01772 790901

www.suresite.co.uk/card-services