Creating a motivating and positive workplace involves acknowledging the efforts of your team. A popular method for doing this is through gift cards, which provide a versatile and thoughtful way to acknowledge your employees’ commitment and achievements.
Gift cards can be a part of regular reward programs or just an expression of gratitude, but are often viewed as a great gesture from customers or employees.
Because of this, businesses frequently purchase bulk gifts for employees from suppliers to simplify their reward processes. This method is efficient and also leads to cost savings. However, it’s vital to consider the security measures implemented by the provider to protect your sensitive data.
Why Data Risks are High With Gift Card Companies
Data security is a paramount concern for all businesses, especially those dealing with sensitive financial information. Gift card companies are no exception and face several unique challenges that increase their data risks. Here are some reasons why these risks are particularly high:
Large Database of Financial Information
Companies dealing in gift cards often maintain extensive records of sensitive information. This includes the balances on the gift cards, as well as the personal and financial information of both the buyers and the recipients.
Having this large collection of data often makes them more appealing to cyberattackers. The fallout could be drastic if a security compromise occurs, causing considerable financial damage and harming the company’s reputation.
Unsecured Online Platforms
Many gift card companies rely on web platforms, which might not always have adequate security measures in place. While online shopping platforms provide user-friendly access and convenience, they can also bring increased security vulnerabilities—some of which may not be immediately obvious.
Challenges such as phishing attempts, malicious software, and data breaches are common in the e-commerce sector. Without strict security protocols, there’s an increased risk of sensitive information being compromised, posing serious threats to the company, its customers, and employees.
Multiple Third-Party Vendors
Gift card companies often work with external partners for tasks like issuing cards, distributing them to customers or employees, advertising, and customer support. More partners mean more ways to access the company’s information, which significantly raises the chances of a security incident occurring.
If any of these external vendors are not maintaining sufficient data security practices, it could leave the business’s data open to cyber risks.
Important Steps You Should Take Before Working with a Gift Card Provider
Selecting a gift card provider involves more than just evaluating their convenience and customer support. Their commitment to data security and industry compliance should also be equally important.
Here’s what to look for before choosing a gift card provider:
Ensure They Meet Regulatory Compliance Standards
It’s essential to check if a gift card provider adheres to all relevant laws and regulations. These rules are designed to safeguard businesses and consumers against fraud and data leaks.
For example, in the U.S., providers must follow the CARD Act, which governs expiration dates and fees. They also need to comply with the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), which ensures companies handling credit card data maintain secure operations.
Working with a provider that doesn’t meet these standards could lead to serious issues. While not all countries have specific regulations for gift cards, it’s crucial to check if the provider follows industry standards and best practices.
Confirm the Type of Data Encryption They Use
Data encryption, which turns information into a coded format to block unauthorized access, is an essential element of strong data security. When selecting a gift card provider, it’s important to understand their encryption methods.
Top gift card providers typically use Advanced Encryption Standards (AES), which is recognized as a top-tier encryption method. They might also implement SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for data in transit, adding another level of protection.
The strength of encryption directly impacts the safety of your data. Don’t hesitate to inquire about a provider’s encryption techniques. But you should be wary if they avoid discussing this topic or give unclear answers.
Look for Security Certifications
Security certifications are key indicators of a provider’s dedication to data security. These certifications show that the company adheres to certain security norms and their processes have been independently reviewed.
Look for certifications like PCI DSS compliance, which is crucial for companies handling credit card data. ISO 27001 is another significant certification, showing adherence to best practices in information security management systems.
Some other certifications to watch out for are SOC 1 and SOC 2, which certify that the provider has strict controls in place to protect client data.
Check Their Privacy Policies
Remember, privacy policies are subject to change. Regularly revisiting these policies is important to keep up with any important updates that may have taken place.
Make Sure Your Data is Secure
Whether shopping for employee work anniversary gifts or incentive rewards, it is important to exercise caution when choosing your gift card supplier. Dedicate enough time to thoroughly research and compare various suppliers, focusing on their security protocols and overall reputation in the market. Taking the time to compare solutions is vital to safeguard both your company’s information and your customer’s or employees’ interests.
About the Author
Cindy Mielke is Tango Card‘s Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, and a Certified Professional of Incentive Management. Her passion is helping teammates, clients, and partners achieve success. A strong advocate for the incentive industry, Cindy received the Karen Renk Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) in 2019. She currently serves on the IMA board of directors and on the board of the Incentive and Engagement Solutions Providers (IESP).
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